News from Reading Neighbourhood Network – 13 December 2018

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
  • Reading – Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places 2018

    4 December 2018

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    In accordance with the provisions of the Representation of the People Act 1983 and Section 16 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006, Reading Borough Council must undertake a review of the polling districts and polling places within its area every five years. Section 17 of the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 provides that the next such review must take place in the period of 16 months from 1 October 2018.

    Maps and information relating to current electoral arrangements are available for inspection and are displayed at the Reading Civic Offices foyer, at Reading Central Library and Reading Borough Council website. Please find a map of current polling locations here.

    As part of the review, any elector may make representations, which may include comments on current polling district boundaries and proposals for specified alternative polling places. In addition, comments are invited on the facilities for access to polling stations, and the Council will be consulting directly with persons with an expertise in relation to access and disability.

    Comments are invited by 2 January 2019. If you wish to make any representations you should do so in writing to Electoral Services Manager by that date, by letter, or by e-mail, or through the Council’s website, using the contact points detailed below:

    By post: Electoral Services Manager, Polling District/Places/Stations Review, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading RG1 2LU.

    Photo: Paul Gillett

  • Police and Property Fund Act open for applications

    29 November 2018

    The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld, and the Chief Constable, Francis Habgood, have opened a new grant round of the Police Property Act Fund.

    Earlier this year, £97,950 was distributed to 20 different organisations, and the PCC and Chief Constable expect to allocate around £100,000 in this grant round.

    Applications are now invited from local voluntary and community groups who can contribute towards two of the PCC’s strategic priorities in his Police and Crime Plan, which are:
    -Prevention and Early Intervention

    Some examples of projects that may be considered include those that aim to tackle:
    -Elder abuse
    -Hidden harm such as stalking, honour based abuse and forced marriage
    -Peer on peer abuse
    -Road safety

    All applications will be required to submit clear evidence of how their project or activity will contribute towards achieving the key aim indicated.

    The closing date for this round of applications is Monday 17 December at 09:00 and applications will be considered jointly by the PCC and the Chief Constable. More information and the application form can be found on the website at

  • Community Energy for Reading – grants for sustainability initiatives

    22 November 2018

    Reading Community Energy Society is offering grant funding for sustainability initiatives in and around Reading, from £100 to £5,000 for initiatives which meet one or more of the following aims:
    -Improving energy efficiency
    -Reducing carbon emissions
    -Support sustainability in the local community including educational projects

    Grants are open to organisations which are not-for-profit, charities or an SME (Small or Medium Sized Enterprise) based within an approximate 15 mile radius of Reading Town Hall.

    Further information and an application form can be found online at

  • Activity workshops for children and families – call for providers

    21 November 2018

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    Could you provide activity workshops for young people and families in South Reading?

    The charity Aspire2 are looking for activity providers to offer some workshops in South Reading. They are looking for a variety of activities for all ages: early years, families, primary and secondary age. The activities could be art, music, dance, drama, sports or something else…

    The dates and brief details
    -Saturday 22 December 2018 – Christmas Holiday Workshop
    -Tuesday 19 Feb 2019 – Spring Term Art Workshop
    -Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 April 2019 – Easter Activity Workshops
    -Tuesday 30 April and Wednesday 1 May 2019 – Activity Workshop
    -Monday 29 July – Thursday 1 August 2019 – Activity Workshops
    -Wednesday 28 – Friday 30 August 2019 – Activity Workshops
    -October Half Term 2019 – 2 days of workshops

    If you are interested, please email RVA’s Youth Project Coodinator, Charlotte Netherton-Sinclair, with the following information:
    -Type of workshop/activity
    -Who is your workshop for? (specific age or whole family)
    -Length of workshop
    -What space/type of venue and equipment would be required?
    -Cost of workshop(s)
    -Please specify preferred dates out of those above (or any dates you cannot do)


  • Palmer Café let to Tutu’s Ethiopian Table

    15 November 2018

    Reading Borough Council has announced the new tenant of Palmer Park’s Lodge Café as award-winning Tutu Melaku, the founder and owner of Tutu’s Ethiopian Table.

    The new venture replaces the Chalkboard Café, which closed in 2017. The café is located close to the park playground at the edge of Wokingham Road in east Reading.

    The first ‘Pavilion Refreshment Room’ was opened at this location in 1891 and the café still has elements of the original kitchen and fireplace features to present day.

    Council officers are currently working with Tutu to bring the building back into use, and it is anticipated the new café will open in the New Year.

  • Thinking of getting an electric car?

    14 November 2018

    Go Electric Reading is a Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) funded project run by Reading Borough Council to look at providing electric car charging for people who have to park their car on the street.

    The initiative will install the chargers using the existing electrical supply to street furniture, such as lamp posts, allowing residents to charge their vehicles on street and outside their own homes.

    The first stage of the council initiative is to identify residents without off-street parking who may be able to benefit from the scheme. The council has opened a survey to gauge demand – if you are interested please visit for more details. The survey is open until 14 December.

  • Social Prescribing – coming of age

    12 November 2018

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    The King’s Fund hosted a conference on 6 November bringing together established and developing Social Prescribing (SP) services, NHS acute trusts, GPs and many voluntary organisation interested in being part of the Social Prescribing movement.

    The conference kicked off with a breakfast discussion about how social prescribing can help reduce the demand on secondary services for people with long-term health conditions. Most SP services were set up to support people referred by GPs, i.e. primary healthcare.

    In Reading we are already having discussions about how SP can support people who have care and support plans for their diabetes, and for people who are completing pulmonary rehabilitation programmes. And many people referred by GPs have a range of long-term health conditions where exercise, healthy eating or a support group can help to maintain or improve their health.

    We heard from Matt Hancock MP, the Minister for Health and Social Care who made the link between arts and culture, and wellbeing, giving an example of singing as a good way of improving lung function. He said that SP is “fundamental to prevention” and “an indispensable tool for GPs”.

    He was questioned about the financial sustainability of front-line voluntary services which ultimately provide the support for clients who are signposted to them through SP. Some schemes do have funding following the client to the front-line organisation – this is not the model we have in Reading. At the Wellbeing Forum on 12 December, we want to explore this issue further.

    The Social Prescribing Network will be launching a consultation about an outcomes framework for Social Prescribing, led by NHS England. More detail to follow.

  • Hut at Knights Way, Emmer Green – bidding opportunity

    7 November 2018

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    The above Property is currently vacant and the Council has decided to grant a lease. In accordance with the Third Sector Premises Policy Statement agreed on the 16 February 2016, voluntary sector organisations have a period of 8 weeks to submit a bid for the property.

    Description of property
    -Standalone hut
    -Residential location
    -Facilities: electricity supply
    -Floor area: 53 square metres
    -External area of the site: 250 square metres

    The lease of the property is also being advertised on the Reading Borough Council Website. Full marketing particulars can be found at The bidding deadline is noon on 9 January 2019.

    Further information: For a Third Sector application form, guidance, scoring and accompanying information, please contact Clare Muir (Policy and Voluntary Sector Manager) by emailing or phoning 0118 937211.

Upcoming events
  • Thu
    11:00 - 13:00Reading Central Library

    Third Floor, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BQ

    Reading, Place of Culture invite interested groups to attend to attend a Commissioning Ready workshop.

    This is in preparation for the second cycle of funding, which will be launched in January 2019, with the release of three specifications which outline the areas of need that will be addressed through commissioned projects.

    This workshop will go over the commissioning process, the types of specification questions asked last year, examples of best practice from Year 1, a breakdown of definitions, practical skills for the Intend System and the specification headlines for the upcoming cycle.

    Please book your workshop place at

  • Sun
    09:30 - 10:30St Michael’s Church

    Routh Lane, Tilehurst, Reading RG30 4JX

    St Michael's Church annual Christingle service takes place on Sunday 16 December, the service is for all ages and the uniformed organisations take a special part. The proceeds for this service go to the Children’s Society.

  • Sun
    17:30 - 19:15The Reading Irish Centre

    96-104 Chatham Street, Reading, RG1 7HT

    December is a massive singalong and games fest for Sunday Assembly Reading EARLY EVENING party. Doors open at 17:00 and Assembly kicks into festive life at 17:30. Free.

    Over an hour of secular Christmas songs and other favourites, games and other funfulness, and as a special treat the Irish Centre will be opening its upstairs bar, plus our cakes and drinks as normal.

    We'll be dressing up in our party gear and we hope you do too.

    Sunday Assembly Reading is free to attend and runs entirely on donations and welcomes all - of all ages and of all backgrounds.

  • Mon
    18:15 - 20:30Caversham Court Gardens

    Church Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 7AD

    The Friends of Caversham Court Gardens invite you to their annual Carol Evening. The Salvation Army band and St Peter's Church choir will lead the singing of traditional Christmas carols in Caversham Court.

    The floodlit gardens will be open from 18:15 for mulled wine and mince pies from the Tea Kiosk. Singing of carols is to start at 19:30. Wrap up warm, bring a torch to read the words and come along to sing in the festive season.

    All are welcome for this community event. Free entry but there will be a collection.

  • Tue
    10:30 - 12:30RISC Global Café

    35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS

    A public event where you can find out more about the consultation on public health services in Reading, which is open until 6 January 2019.

    For more information or to take part in the consultation go to:

    To receive a hard copy of the questionnaire or for additional support to understand or complete the questionnaire, write to: Wellbeing Team, Level 2, Civic Centre, Reading RG1 2LU, call 01189 372383 or email:

  • Sat
    17:00 - 19:00Reading Minster

    Chain Street, Reading RG1 2HX

    Reading Male Voice Choir, Reading A440 Choir and Occasions Choir in a joint Christmas Concert raising funds for the homeless.

    A beautiful concert with many carols and songs and a chance for the audience to sing. Tickets on sale from Cards for Good Causes in the Reading Minster.

  • Wed
    13:00 - 15:00Elevate Hub

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

    Join us for our regular Volunteer Coordinators’ Network meeting facilitated by Reading Voluntary Action.

    You will have a chance to contribute to the agenda ahead of time so that we can make sure your issue or concern can be given some attention, as well as having the opportunity to seek peer support in a confidential space from others in a similar role.

    The format is pretty informal - RVA provides the tea and coffee, and feel free to bring your sandwich and eat with us if it helps your day along. You don’t need to stay for the whole event – we know everyone’s busy.

    Please register online at to confirm your place.

  • Fri
    13:00 - 15:30RISC

    35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS

    Brighter Futures For Children is improving support and accommodation for young people leaving care. Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) is a new independent organisation that is providing children’s services on behalf of Reading Borough Council.

    The main aim of BFfC is to protect and enhance the lives of Reading’s children. We help families find long term solutions to ensure children lead happy, healthy and successful lives.

    We are now looking for partners who will collaborate with us as we seek to improve the accommodation and support that we offer young people leaving care. As part of this we intend to commission a new framework that will include supported group living, supported tenancies and supported lodgings. We will also be interested in organisations who can provide support and accommodation for young parents.

    Consequently, we will be hosting a market engagement event on 11 January 2019 and would encourage all organisations interested in this opportunity to attend. At the event we will share our plans, explain how the tender process will work and invite potential providers to inform how we approach this activity.

    Refreshments will be provided. There is disabled parking available on site along with a small number of additional spaces that can be paid for by phone. If the RISC car park is full then there are other nearby options in the Oracle or Saxon Court public car parks.

    Please email to confirm your attendance.

  • Thu
    08:45 - 12:00The Green Park Conference Centre

    100 Longwater Avenue, Green Park, Reading RG2 6GP

    Please join us at our 2019 Employment Law Seminar to keep-up-to date with recent and emerging changes in Employment Law, to minimise risks to your business, and to network with fellow professionals.

    The is a free event, but please register at in advance to confirm your place or for more information contact by email.

  • Sun
    12:30 - 16:30rLab

    Unit C1, Weldale Street, Reading RG1 7BX

    Bring along your broken items and get help to repair them. The team of volunteers will be able to help repair a wide range of items including:

    • Electronics
    • Mechanical items
    • Computers (hardware/software)
    • Toys/Furniture
    • Clothing/textiles
    • Tool sharpening

    Additionally, if you have something you are making or a craft project you are stuck with, why not bring it along and one of the repairers can give you a hand to get on the right track!

    Repair Cafe is a free event but donations are welcome to help keep it going. As well as repairs, you can pop in for a cuppa and homemade cake.

    Email if you have any questions or would like to get involved.

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