News from Reading Neighbourhood Network – 19 October 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
  • Job vacancy: Fundraising and Communications Manager

    11 October 2018

    News from: Reading Refugee Support Group

    Reading Refugee Support Group is a small charity with aspirations to do so much more for our client group – asylum seekers and refugees. We are passionate about telling the stories of our amazing clients, volunteers and staff team.

    We are 25 years old but still have much to do to raise our profile and build understanding of the stories we have to tell. This is your challenge!

    You will share our vision of an inclusive society for refugees and asylum seekers. We don’t have all the answers and we don’t expect you to have, but we need you to be energetic, creative, optimistic, determined and willing to try new things.

    Location: Reading based but may periodically travel around Berkshire.
    Hours of work: 3 days – 21 hours a week.
    Salary: £28,221 pa (pro rata)
    How to apply: Please download the job description, application form and equal ops form from the website listed below.
    Complete and return them to by 09:00 Monday 5 November 2018.
    Open for applications from: 8 October 2018
    Interview date: 16 November 2018

  • Passionate about community? Join RVA’s Social Action Mentors

    4 October 2018

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    Are you passionate about a cause in Reading, have links to particular community group and skills to share? Would you like to help a community group to improve their governance and how they operate, without becoming a trustee?

    Volunteer with RVA as a Social Action Mentor
    -Free governance training with RVA
    -Put this into practice by mentoring a grass roots community group in good governance
    -Resources and guidance from the RVA Advice Worker
    -Be part of a network of Social Action Mentors in Reading
    -Clearly defined projects
    -Reasonable travel expenses paid

    Why we’re recruiting volunteer Social Action Mentors at RVA:
    RVA champions and strengthens the local voluntary sector in Reading. We currently support over 900 groups from small unincorporated community groups to larger charities. To increase our reach, RVA is recruiting Social Action Mentors to volunteer in the community, providing information and signposting grass roots community groups to help them develop good governance.

    The role in brief: Social Action Mentors will mentor a local community group to help the group achieve agreed actions in good governance. Activities will vary but may typically involve drafting procedures, helping with funding applications, attending and supporting at AGMs, and signposting groups to RVA for resources and training. Please note this is not an ‘advice giving’ role but a mentoring role to support groups to access agreed resources that are available through RVA to improve their capacity.

    To find out more and apply contact Herjeet on 01189 372273 or email

  • Jolly Anglers Public House – potential bidding opportunity

    1 October 2018

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    Reading Borough Council hereby gives notice that on 20 September 2018 it received a notification from the owner of an intention to dispose through a freehold sale the Jolly Anglers Public House (Kennet Side, Reading RG1 3EA), listed by the Council on 17 February 2015 as an Asset of Community Value under the Localism Act 2011.

    The Council invites any eligible community interest group to express an interest to be treated as a potential bidder for the asset by 1 November 2018.

    An eligible community interest group must have one or more of the following structures:
    -A charity
    -A community interest company
    -A company limited by guarantee that is non profit distributing
    -An industrial and provident society that is non-profit distributing

    The owner of the asset may not dispose of the asset during a 6 week period starting from the date the council received the notification from the owner of their intention to dispose of the asset (the interim moratorium period) and ending on 1 November 2018.

    During the interim moratorium period any eligible community interest group may request in writing to be treated as a potential bidder for the asset. If the council receives such a request, this will trigger the full moratorium period and the council must inform the owner who may not then dispose of the asset during this 6 month period unless it is to a community interest group. If no community interest group requests to be treated as a potential bidder during the 6 week interim moratorium period, the owner may proceed to dispose of the asset.

    Please send any request to be treated as a potential bidder to:

    By Post: B Tindall, Valuation Advisor, Reading Borough Council, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading RG1 2LU
    By Email:

    The council will, as soon as practical, notify the owner of any request it receives.

  • Black History Month 2018 – at venues across Reading throughout October

    27 September 2018

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    Black History Month returns to Reading this October, with a packed programme of special events coordinated by the council working with voluntary groups and organisations from across Reading. See below for a selection of events.

    On Wednesday 3 October at 19:00 in the Council Chamber at the Civic Offices, join an expert panel who will offer advice on starting up your own business, under the theme of ‘Self-Employment – the Real Deal.’ The panel will include members of Berkshire Black Business.

    Community celebrations
    The Bengali Cultural Society is marking the festival of Sharad Utsav on 15 to 18 October, with a host of workshops, music and dance. On Saturday 20 October, from 17:00 to 22:00, Reading celebrates the worldwide festival of Dusshera; one of the highlights of the Hindu calendar. This year’s cultural entertainment includes fun fair rides, fireworks, food stalls and lots more. Both events take place at Rivermead Leisure Centre.

    Reading Central Library is holding an exhibition from 15 to 31 October, celebrating 70 years of the arrival of The Empire Windrush, showcasing stories from local residents about their own journeys from overseas and how they came to live in Reading. The library is also offering an Anansi Story Animation Workshop on Tuesday 23 October, suitable for ages 6-12. Tickets are available from Reading Central Library.

    Windrush – A Reading Perspective
    On 18 October, as part of Anti-Slavery Awareness Day, the Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality is exploring the topic of Commonwealth Citizens leading to the recent Windrush Scandal and Reading Museum is hosting a talk by Bafa Reading on Saturday 27 October, 14:00 – 15:00 under the theme of ‘Windrush – A Reading Perspective.’

    Find the full programme for Black History Month 2018 on the website at

  • East Reading Festival 2019 needs you!

    20 September 2018

    The East Reading Festival is organised by a small committee that meets once a month in the town centre. We are about to start organising our 11th annual Festival that will be bigger and better than ever! The 2019 Festival is a FREE festival, and we invite all East Reading communities and residents to come together for this event on a Sunday late in June.

    We need to expand our committee to bring in fresh ideas of what our community festival should offer our residents. We are seeking around three new members who have an interest in East Reading to join us.

    The first meeting of our new committee will be on Monday 8 October 2018, 19:00 at 10 Duke Street, Reading RG1 4RU. Please contact Matthew Foster by email at if you are interested in joining us.

  • Job vacancy: Citizens Advice Reading, Housing Debt Caseworker

    20 September 2018

    Citizens Advice Reading are being funded to deliver a service for the next three years to support clients at risk of homelessness by helping them prevent eviction and increase their financial capability to prevent future crises.

    They are looking for an additional two part-time caseworkers to join the existing team to deliver this service. The caseworkers will:
    -Support clients in taking steps to prevent homelessness.
    -Help clients achieve financial stability.
    -Work with clients to improve their financial literacy and digital skills.

    You will need a track record of benefits and debt advice, preferably as a caseworker. You will be aware of the legal process of possession action and the consequences of falling into mortgage and rent arrears. You will have excellent interpersonal skills and be able to work with a range of clients, many of whom will have complex needs.

    As a good communicator, you will be able to quickly analyse and interpret complex information and be comfortable supporting your client in the County Court (although experience of this is not essential).

    Location: Central Reading
    Salary: £21,000 pro rata
    How to apply: Please email for an application pack
    Closing date for applications: Friday 28 September 2018

    All applicants, successful or otherwise, can expect to receive a reply from Citizens Advice Reading in due course

  • Free fundraising tool for small charities and groups

    17 September 2018

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) have developed ‘Fundraising Fundamentals‘, a free fundraising tool to help small charities and groups to develop a fundraising strategy.

    It includes four sections:

    Getting started: Including where you are now and where you would like to get too, and a very simple SWOT analysis to help you.
    Know your donors: This covers knowing who to approach and to how to keep your fundraising closely linked to your vision, mission and purpose, as well as tips on demonstrating impact.
    Multi-channel fundraising: The most effective fundraising strategies are those that rely on more than one method or “channel” of fundraising. This section highlights online and offline methods for an integrated approach to fundraising.
    Retaining donors: This section includes advice on how to keep existing donors and relationship building.

    Funders will also often want to see evidence of good governance, this will include having the right constituion for your group, how you look after your volunteers and service users, and having transparent financial procedures in place.

    If you need any help in this area, contact RVA’s Advice Service either by phone at 0118 937 2273 or by email at

  • RVA’s report on Youth Isolation and Loneliness in Reading

    13 September 2018

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    RVA’s summer intern Catherine McClane has produced a report on youth isolation and loneliness in Reading. Catherine spent the summer talking to young people and stakeholder organisations, to investigate the causes and impacts of loneliness for 11 to 25 year olds living in the town.

    Catherine’s report was inspired by national research into the prevalence of loneliness among young people, as well as RVA’s 2017 report on Loneliness and Social Isolation in Reading which found that 22% of 18 to 29 year olds were lonely often or all of the time.

    Her main findings were that:
    -A third of young people aged 11 to 25 interviewed reported feeling lonely often or always.
    -The main causes of loneliness identified by young people were strained relationships with family and friends, a lack of confidence, and mental health difficulties.
    -Young people have identified there is a lack of things for them to do in Reading, particularly on weekends.

    The report includes case studies of Smart Works Reading, Starting Point and Reside Dance, all of whom are working to provide improved opportunities for young people, as well as reduce loneliness and isolation.

    You can read the full report and download it here.

  • Grants of up to £10k up for grabs

    12 September 2018

    News from: Berkshire Community Foundation

    Grants of up to £10k are available to support Berkshire. Charities and groups are being invited to apply for funds by local granting charity Berkshire Community Foundation (BCF).

    Seven funds are now receiving applications which cover a huge range of issues and projects in Berkshire. The money will support people of all ages struggling with disadvantage.

    The BCF campaign fund Vital for Berkshire is one of those included. This fund is raising money to support those with issues that prevent them from having a safe home, good health and secure employment. Applications are open now until 5 October.

    Another, Give a Child a Chance, funds children living in Berkshire facing disadvantage and those living with disabilities. This is an ongoing funding opportunity with no fixed application deadline – contact BCF for details.

    To apply for funding please visit the BCF’s website at

Upcoming events
  • Sun
    15:00 - 17:30Reading Quakers Meeting House

    2 Church Street, Reading RG1 2SB

    Can silence be a vehicle for social change?

    Join Reading Quakers as they ask “What can we do in these uncertain times?” We will wait together in expectant silence to see what emerges from the stillness.

    Followed by conversation and afternoon tea.

  • Mon
    10:00 - 16:00Weller Centre

    110 Amersham Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 5NA

    Reading Voluntary Action is pleased to be working with Berkshire Youth to offer the training ‘How to Run a Successful Youth Club – For Volunteer Groups’ as our young people are our priority and more volunteer groups across town have taken an interest in hosting local youth clubs and activities.

    This course will cover:

    • Basic overview of how to run a youth club and set rules
    • How to measure success of a youth club
    • Guidance on good practice, quality and safety
    • Understanding and managing young people’s challenging behaviour

    By the end of the course, you will:

    • Understand how to run a youth club and set rules
    • Be able to define roles of volunteers
    • Be able to engage youth in club activities and operations (when appropriate)
    • Know tools available to measure success
    • Understand how to identify issues faced by young people
    • Know how club rules can help manage challenging behaviours
    • Practise working with volunteers as a united front to provide a supportive, firm model for young people

    Who should attend? Volunteers from small community groups working in neighbourhood settings across Reading that have been or would like to offer youth club/ activities to children that are primary and secondary school age.

    The Weller Centre can be reached via bus route 27 and 29 from town centre – Amersham Road stop. There is parking and the building is wheel chair accessible.

    The course is free but please register at in advance to confirm your place. If you are unable to attend, kindly contact RVA on 01189 372273 or email as soon as possible.

  • Tue
    18:30 - 20:30Rivers Ibis Sports Club

    Scours Lane, Reading RG30 6AY

    Reading Lions will be holding their next Lion’s Den community grant event on the 23 October 2018. The aim is to reach out to small community groups and charities in Reading and award grants for local community projects. They will be distributing small grants of up to £500 each. If you are involved in a local community project here in Reading or are a small local charity then this could be your opportunity to obtain one of the grants.

    Important notes
    First stage: Written applications to be submitted by post or email no later than 8 October 2018. Visit the website at for an application form.

    Second stage: Successful first stage applicants will be notified by email. You will then be asked to talk in more detail to a small group of Reading Lions on the evening of 23 October 2018. The event will be held at a local venue and take place between 18:30 and 20:30. Each group will be allocated a ten minute time slot. A maximum of 2 persons may attend to represent each group.

    Third Stage: Successful applicants will be notified by email and the grants will be distributed by 29 November 2018. Please also note that, if you are a winner, you will be expected to provide feedback to Reading Lions Club once the grant has been used.

  • Sun
    11:30 - 16:00Great Expectations Hotel

    33 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS

    Come along and find out about LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) Come and meet LETS members over a cuppa. We trade with each other for "Readies" - for instance someone may need their computer fixing or you may need your lawn mowing. You will need to have offers and wants ready for joining!

    Well we all have things we want don't we? We all have things to offer - our skills, sewing, gardening, material things we don't need; we could feed a cat, water a garden, take away rubbish, offer transport - the list is endless.  LETS is about supporting each other without money and socialising and working together.

    So do join us on Sunday 28 October in The Christmas room at The Great Expectations Hotel, we look forward to meeting you!

    For details please contact Annemarie on 07542 405383.

  • Wed
    17:50 - 19:30Royal Berkshire Hospital

    1st floor reception, Craven Road, Reading RG1 5LF

    Andrew Statham, Director of Strategy at the Royal Berkshire Hospital Trust, and David Mossop, Associate Medical Director, will present the strategy for the hospital trust for the next 7 years and then answer questions about the strategy.

    There will then be a brief news round up from Patient Participation Groups, Reading Healthwatch and South Reading Patient Voice members.

    All patients registered with GP practices in the Reading localities (South Reading and North and West Reading) are welcome.

  • Fri
    13:00 - 16:001a Rupert Square

    Reading RG1 3HE

    The Self Management Group is open to people who have experienced, or are experiencing, mental health difficulties. The group will provide a safe and supportive environment where people will support each other.

    People attending can learn from each other to develop techniques and skills to manage their wellbeing. The group topics run over four weeks and then the group can continue to meet together on a weekly basis to support each other.

    Topics covered are:
    Week 1: Introduction to Self Management
    Week 2: Goal setting, quick wins and tool kits
    Week 3: Problem solving and being kind to ourselves
    Week 4: Helpful resources/what is next?

    People that have attended previous groups have found the group useful. It can help you:

    • Feel more in control
    • Increase your confidence
    • Improve social networks
    • Feel more hopeful about the future
    • Increase independence
    • Make friends and meet people
    • Share your experiences to benefit others

    Contact details:
    Phone: 01189 660240

  • Tue
    19:45 - 21:45Thameside School

    Harley Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 8DB

    Open meeting held by the Caversham and District Residents Association (CADRA). It is open to all but we hope you will choose to support our work by joining as a member. It will include a talk on ‘The Changing River Thames’ from Terry Marsh, Honorary Fellow of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford.

    Terry has spent most of his working life on the Thames floodplain - successively at the Water Resources Board, the Department of the Environment, the Institute of Hydrology, and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology where he led the National Hydrological Programme for over 20 years.

    CADRA looks forward to welcoming you to what promises to be a fascinating and very topical evening.

  • Sat
    14:00 - 16:00Christ Church Centre

    Milman Road, Reading RG2 0AY

    Come along to the Autumn Fayre and enjoy crafts, games for children, a tombola and face painting! Entrance to the event is free. The Museum of English Rural Life will lead a historic activity. There will be various community groups that you can get to know and of course, snacks and drinks will be available. Also why not join the competition for the best autumnal cake?

    For more information and to enter the cake competition, contact the Katesgrove Community Association.

    Contact details:
    Phone: 01189 574778

  • Wed
    19:00 - 21:00Reading International Solidarity Centre

    Conference Hall, 35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS

    This annual event is hosted by the Mayor of Reading, Debs Edwards.

    Together, we will think about our theme ‘Breath of Life – How we pray and meditate.’ There will be an opportunity for networking and informal discussion around the theme, as well as some central exchanges and performances by the faith communities in Reading.

    Food will be provided, with Noah’s Pudding as the special desert. This desert is traditionally prepared and shared with neighbours during the Muslim Festival of Ashura.

    Everyone is welcome, we are looking forward to meeting you!

  • Sat
    09:30 - 12:30New Directions South Reading

    All charities, voluntary and community groups have a duty to keep their service users safe from harm. As most charities and community groups run through the hard work and dedication of volunteers, it is important that volunteers as well as paid staff receive basic safeguarding training. This course is for anyone whose work or volunteering brings them into contact with children or young people.

    This course will cover:

    • Basic information on Child Protection and Safeguarding
    • Types of abuse
    • Signs and symptons of abuse
    • The referral process
    • The multi-agency approach
    • Safe practice

    At the end of the session you will:

    • Understand the importance of Child Protection and your role within it.
    • Have improved understanding of signs and indicators of abuse.
    • Understand local Child Protection procedures and what to do if you are concerned about abuse.
    • Be clear about sharing information with others.
    • Have developed confidence in dealing with Child Protection issues appropriately.

    How to book: This course is free of charge.

    Please register online by completing the application form at to confirm your place.

  • Sun
    13:00 - 16:30Reading International Solidarity Centre

    35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS

    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.

  • Tue
    16:30 - 18:30Reading Community Learning Centre

    94 London Street, Reading RG1 4SJ

    Notice is hereby given that the 11th Annual General Meeting of Reading Community Learning Centre will be held on Tuesday 4 December 2018 at Reading Community Learning Centre.

    The AGM is a great opportunity to hear about our activities, see our premises and celebrate our achievements over the past 12 months. We’d also like to hear your views on our work as we plan for the year ahead.

    After the formal meeting, there will be a short presentations on the charity’s work by our learners, tutors and volunteers followed by a chance for everyone to meet and talk over some delicious food.

    Please confirm your attendance at our AGM by Friday 23 November 2018. You can reserve your place by contacting Aisha Malik, Centre Manager by email at or phone on 01189 599009.

  • Tue
    18:00 - 21:00Reading Voluntary Action

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

    RVA and Barnabas Fellowship of Churches are co-delivering this workshop for voluntary sector groups in Reading on the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS), previously CRB. This is a practical workshop and you will have the opportunity to apply what you have learnt.

    The workshop will cover:

    • Background and policy context
    • Regulated Activity and the role
    • Levels of DBS disclosure
    • Completing the DBS form
    • Organisational processes and the update service
    • Working with individuals with unspent convictions
    • Responsibilities and liabilities
    • Help, support and advice available

    Who should attend? This course is for anyone who works or volunteers for a voluntary and community group and is responsible for processing DBS checks, or supervises or manages others. It is also useful for Trustees and Managers of charity’s to gain an overview of the DBS system to inform their Safeguarding Procedures.

    Cost: Please book online at The cost is £10 per person.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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