News from Reading Neighbourhood Network – 16 June 2019

Welcome to the latest Reading Neighbourhood Network newsletter, where you will find all the latest news and events from our members. All our news and much more can be found on our website at

News articles
  • Win £1000 for a local cause

    6 June 2019

    News from: Berkshire Community Foundation

    Berkshire Community Foundation is asking for your views on issues facing people in Berkshire.

    An estimated 98,000 people in Berkshire are family carers and the numbers are set to grow as more people live longer into older age. Vital Signs 2018 highlighted the stresses associated with combining care giving and paid work, concern that young carers should be enabled to reach their full potential and recognition that older carers are increasingly living with disabilities themselves.

    Vital Signs 2019 therefore explores issues for people of all ages giving and receiving care, and wider factors that underpin wellbeing for people in Berkshire.

    This Vital Signs survey is designed to help us understand the priorities of local people in relation to care needs in Berkshire communities.

    By completing the survey, you could win £1,000 to be granted to a cause of your choice.

    The survey can be completed online at

  • The Great Get Together

    30 May 2019 The Great Get Together

    Neighbourly events this summer: It is too late to apply to Reading Borough Council for a road closure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have an event in your neighbourhood this summer – just one that doesn’t need a street closure!

    Your local park, neighbours’ front gardens and other accessible community spaces are all places you could host an event for everyone – especially for those who rarely get out.

    The Jo Cox Foundation
    The Great Get Together is our chance to help bring the country back together and celebrate all that unites us. Here’s how to take part on 21 to 23 June:
    Take the pledge to get together in your community and share it on Twitter
    Find an event near you
    Request your free event pack full of bunting, stickers, wristbands and activities to get people talking and hold your own Great Get Together

  • Volunteer to be an Air Quality Champion!

    28 May 2019 Volunteer to be an Air Quality Champion!

    Reading Borough Council is seeking volunteers to become local Air Quality Champions and help spread its clean air and anti-idling message.

    On ‘Clean Air Day’ – Thursday 20 June – the Council is holding a ‘no idling day’ and is appealing to local people to come forward and help persuade motorists to switch off their engines.

    Volunteers receive training where they learn about the strong link between idling engines and poor health. They will be given tips on how best to approach drivers who have left car engines running, including providing them with information to help them quash some common myths like re-starting your engine burns more fuel than leaving it idling.

    Drivers are also invited to become part of the campaign to improve air quality by switching off. The friendly and informative approach has had a 75% success rate when used in other towns or cities.

    Volunteering is easy. Go to to register or to find out more.

  • One Reading News – issue 1 is out now

    23 May 2019 One Reading News – issue 1 is out now

    If you work with children, young people and families in Reading, then do sign up for a new bi-monthly newsletter full of news, upcoming events, training and development opportunities, and resources.

    One Reading News is for everyone working in health, education, special educational needs and disabilities, children’s social care, early help, the youth offending service, and the voluntary and community sector.

    Further information
    Subscribe to One Reading News
    Read Issue 1

    Get in touch with news or events you’d like to see featured in Issue 2 (out in July), by emailing

  • RVA Summer Intern – closing date 7 June 2019

    23 May 2019

    Intern required at Reading Voluntary Action for the coordination of a youth summer activity programme.

    RVA is looking for an intern to work alongside the Youth Project Coordinator to create, promote, attend and report on a calendar of youth summer holiday activities across Reading.

    Main tasks include: Creating a calendar of all youth activities taking place across Reading during the summer holidays; the production of various promotional materials; social media marketing; community engagement work; attending as many activity sessions as possible in August and reporting on those sessions; monitoring the overall programme and producing a final report at the end of the summer.

    Person specification: You will need to be reliable, organised, be a competent user of different social media platforms, personable, a good communicator and have the ability to be reflective and write a constructive report.

    Download the job description.

    Location: Central Reading
    Salary: £15/hr
    Reference number for post: 05/19/YP
    How to apply: Complete and return the application form to by 19:00 on Friday 7 June 2019.
    Download an application form

    For more information please contact Charlotte Netherton-Sinclair (Youth Project Co-ordinator) by phone on 01189 372273 or email at

  • Stronger Together Referral Co-ordinator – closing date 20 June 2019

    22 May 2019

    Are you motivated to help people improve their lives and realise their potential? Are you good at working in partnership and networking?

    Reading Voluntary Action is looking for a new Stronger Together Referral Co-ordinator to raise awareness of all the partnership has to offer and to support people to navigate the services available to them.

    The Stronger Together partnership is made up of 7 local organisations who offer a range of services to help unemployed and economically inactive people get into volunteering or work, to start their own business or just move closer to those goals.

    The purpose of the role is to increase the numbers of people participating in the project by:
    -Promoting the Stronger Together project to individuals, organisations and agencies.
    -Developing a partnership model that will enable participants to navigate the services available to them, to achieve the best possible outcomes.

    Download the job description.

    Contract type: Full time
    Salary: £27,000 12 month contract
    How to apply: Please complete and return the application form to by 17:00 Thursday 20 June 2019.
    Download an application form here

    For more information please contact Rachel Spencer by phone on 01189 372273 or email at

    Big Lottery logoStronger Together logo

  • Ready Friends Toolkit launched

    22 May 2019 Ready Friends Toolkit launched

    At the Reading Befriending Forum on 16 May, a new toolkit was launched by RVA in partnership with Reading Neighbourhood Network (RNN), to inspire and equip local people to take action on loneliness in their street, community, and with friends and family.

    The toolkit – an 8-page printed booklet and a more in-depth online version – is packed with ideas, tips, information and downloadable resources to help people take action – today!

    RVA and RNN work with local people wanting to set up groups and run events in their neighbourhood or across Reading, to make a difference to the lives of people in the town.

    The toolkit includes help and information, such as:
    -Finding out what’s on near me
    -Help finding what’s right for me
    -Using the internet
    -Getting there
    -Local befriending and buddying services
    -Starting something in my neighbourhood
    -Things I can do for myself and for others

    The toolkit will grow over time and respond to changing needs in Reading’s communities. There are plans to add a Street Party Starter Kit in the summer and to secure funding to create new versions for specific communities.

    Further information:
    Request printed copies of the toolkit from or find the online toolkit at

  • Help Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service to build an inclusive workforce

    21 May 2019 Help Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service to build an inclusive workforce

    News from: Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service

    The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) provide prevention, protection and response services across the county of Berkshire. 12 whole-time and six on-call fire stations cover 486 square miles. They serve a diverse population of 863,000, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    They want to build an inclusive workforce which reflects our local community and as such are approaching a number of local community groups to understand more about perceptions of the Service and roles within it. They would therefore be very grateful if you could complete this short survey which takes five minutes to complete. The survey is open until 27 May 2019.

    RBFRS is undertaking this research ahead of the launch of their latest recruitment campaign. They will be taking applications for a number of exciting career opportunities across the Service, including support staff, on call firefighters and whole-time firefighters.

    They are eager to capture the views of as many people across the local community as possible and the data collected will be used to help inform their recruitment campaign. Your feedback is important to RBFRS and will remain anonymous.

    You can complete the survey at

  • The benefits of arts, culture and physical activity

    9 May 2019 The benefits of arts, culture and physical activity

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    Many of you will be aware of Arts on Prescription, Museums on Prescription and Exercise on Prescription. These are all initiatives designed to support and improve our health and wellbeing. Two local events last week gave some of the evidence of how physical activity, arts and culture can benefit us.

    Physical activity in Social Prescribing
    On Wednesday, the Get Berkshire Active Sport and Physical Activity Network focused on physical activity in Social Prescribing. Dr William Bird, a local GP and CEO of Intelligent Health gave the keynote speech and talked about the ‘triple strength’ of going for a walk – exercise, nature and companionship. We are programmed to be in a sociable group, with a supportive environment and have a purpose, but many people experience loneliness, hostility and rejection, which can lead to fear and chronic stress.

    Chronic stress, can enhance the risk of long term health conditions such as cardio-vascular disease, while lonely people can be less physically active, and experience more pain, depression, fatigue and poor health. Being more active can increase confidence, lead to greater concentration, less illness and greater contentment.

    Creative Health: the arts for health and wellbeing
    On Thursday, there was an event on Creative Health. Lord Howarth of Newport, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing, summarised the report from the APPG inquiry.

    It has 10 high-level recommendations including that Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships should ensure that arts and cultural organisations are involved in the delivery of health and wellbeing at regional and local level. We heard about measuring the impact of Museums on Prescription in Kent, Music in Mind and Rythmix, a music project for young people with mental health issues.

    Photo: Robin Howie.

  • Rooms for hire at RCLC during the summer

    8 May 2019 Rooms for hire at RCLC during the summer

    From 11 July to 7 September 2019, Reading Community Learning Centre offers three bright, well-equipped rooms for hire to voluntary and community groups at subsidised rates.

    The rooms can also be hired at competitive rates by public bodies, private organisations and individuals, and are suitable for conferences, training, meetings.

    Please download the leaflet for further information.

Upcoming events
  • Sun
    10:30 - 12:30Reading Irish Centre

    96-104 Chatham Street, Reading RG1 7HT

    If we could walk in some else’s shoes would we forgive them for who they are and what they have done? Should we encourage more empathy or does empathy have limits?

    This month we welcome Margot Ravenscroft of Amicus, a UK charity that helps provide representation for those facing the death penalty in the United States. It will be a tale of the individuals and the impact they have in this difficult area.

    As always there will be silly games, sharing, socialising and singing along with The Word of Bob. After the Assembly, we will either go for a picnic or to Brewdog depending on the weather.

    Getting to Sunday Assembly: There is free parking on Sundays on the streets north of the Irish Centre. Try Weldale, North and Great Knollys Streets but get there early. There is a footpath that leads from Weldale Street to Chatham Street and then the Irish Centre will be on your right.

    Sunday Assembly Reading is free to attend and runs entirely on donations. The Assembly is a secular congregation that celebrates life, meeting once a month at The Reading Irish Centre and welcomes all ages and all backgrounds.

  • Wed
    19:30 - 21:00Pakistan Community Centre

    373 London Road, Reading RG1 3PB

    On 19 June, Reading Interfaith Group will meet up again. We’re hoping to share insights around the theme ‘Overcoming hate with love’. We would like to find inspiration in our diverse faith traditions to counter hate in society and in our own hearts. The outline of the evening:

    • Short contributions from different faiths: readings of Scriptures and prayers. Please contact us if you want to represent your faith group.
    • Discussion in small, mixed groups: How can we overcome hate with love in Reading and beyond?
    • Central feedback and suggestions for a future meeting.

    Contact details:
    Phone: 07947 259910

  • Sat
    10:00 - 15:00The Weller Centre

    110 Amersham Road, Reading RG4 5NA

    Come to the Weller Centre for a fun day out. We will have lots of activities for you to get involved with.

    Main Hall Program:

    • 11:00-12:00 Disco
    • 12:00-12:30 Board and Presentation of Peppercorn
    • 12:30-13:00 Disco
    • 13:00-14:30 Play list
    • 14:30 Conco Dance demo

    Throughout the event CMA Henna Painting, Craft Club, Face Painting and cooking Demo in the meeting room. Car Boot and Table top sale, Basketball, BBQ,  Bouncy Castle and Bike repairs in the outside areas.

    Tea, Coffee and cakes available in the Cafe.

  • Sat
    19:30 - 23:00The Royal British Legion

    Woodward Close, Winnersh, Wokingham RG41 5LP

    Summerfest is a musical evening of singers and friends from the hospital, singing different types of music and raising funds for League of Friends of the Royal Berkshire hospital. During the evening there will also be a raffle all to raise funds for the charity.

    Tickets cost just £5. For more information please call on 07983 982094.

  • Sun
    12:00 - 18:00Palmer Park

    Reading RG1 3PA

    East Reading Festival is a local community festival that runs in June every year in Palmer Park. The festival aims to strengthen the connections between the people and organisations of East Reading.

    The event culminates in a fun day at Palmer Park with a wide range of attractions, music and performance marquees.

    For more information see the East Reading Festival Website.

  • Sat
    11:00 - 15:00Whitley Wood Fire Station

    270 Whitley Wood Road, Reading RG2 8FS

    Berkshire Fire and Rescue are having an open day at the Whitley Wood Fire Station. During the day there will be exciting demonstrations and a chance to see the appliances and equipment the crew uses.

    It's a family friendly free event so don't miss out.

  • Sun
    12:00 - 17:00Baker Street

    Reading RG1 7JS

    This is the big one. We close off Baker Street, from Carey Street/Zinzan Street along to Howard Street/Body Road and have a party. Please bring along some food for us all to share. We will provide (soft) drinks, cutlery, crockery, chairs and tables so you can eat your food, chat to your neighbours and enjoy the sunshine.

    There will also be activities such as live music, Zumba, martial arts, bouncy castles, swingball, the regular BSANA quiz and a crazy golf course! Opens at Noon, but you are welcome to come any time from 10:00 and help us set everything up.

  • Wed
    10:00 - 12:00Reading Voluntary Action

    Third Floor, Reading Central Library, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BQ

    Are you on the committee of a small community group in Reading and looking for support? Being on a committee or managing a charity is extremely rewarding but it can also sometimes be challenging or isolating and there’s a lot to learn in running a group! So why not come along to our Social Action Leaders Network.

    The network will help to:

    • Increase your confidence in your role in managing or leading a small group;
    • Increase your skills in leading others in your community, planning activities, managing finance, communications and all the practicalities of running a small community group;
    • Help you to build a network of peer support with those in similar roles around the town.

    This first network will explore:
    Your group’s vision: Creatively imagining what success looks like for your group and top tips on leading others with inspiration.

    As well as a short talk, the session will also include break out discussions, having a go at revisiting your vision, and a chance to network with others who who are running community groups in Reading over tea, coffee and biscuits.

    For further information and to book your free place, please visit

    If you have any questions about the network, please contact Herjeet Randhawa, RVA Advice Worker on 01189 372273 or by email at

  • Wed
    18:30 - 20:30St Laurence's Church

    Friar Street, Reading RG1 1DA

    Reading Soup returns for a summer edition on Wednesday 10 July.

    Join us in the stunning venue of St Laurence for an evening of Community Projects, live music, art from local artists and delicious, home-made vegan soup!

    How Reading Soup works:

    • £5 gets you a warm bowl of delicious Soup
    • Local Groups and Projects pitch about their work to the crowd
    • The crowd vote for their favourite Project
    • The Project with the most votes WINS all of the door money
    • Plus there's live music and art on display to enjoy

    Children are welcome and the venue is fully accessible. Find out more on the website at

  • Sat
    12:00 - 16:00Forbury Gardens

    Reading RG1 3BB

    Reading Town Meal is a truly community-powered event. First held in 2011, so far there have been five fantastic ‘picnics in the park’ celebrating the delicious fruit and veg that is grown in Reading. All the food is donated by the wonderful growers and allotment holders around Reading, cooked by Reading College students, and served free in Forbury Gardens.

    The meal is accompanied by music from local bands, family fun activities, plus the chance to learn more about growing your own food, shop with local producers and find out what local community and sustainability groups are doing in Reading.

    Find out more at

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