News from Reading Neighbourhood Network – 22 October 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

  • Have your say on NHS plans for our area

    17 October 2019 Have your say on NHS plans for our area

    News from: NHS Berkshire West CCG

    A wide spread engagement process on the future arrangements for NHS commissioning in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West was launched this week.

    It will last until 1 December and there are full details on the Berkshire West CCG website at You can download the survey at Fact sheets giving details of the proposals are also going to be sent to all surgeries in Berkshire West so patients can get involved.

    The website information outlines proposals for a single Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) covering Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB)

    Dr Abid Irfan, Chair of Berkshire West CCG said: “Over the past year, we have been exploring how we can work more effectively and efficiently across the BOB healthcare system to achieve our shared ambition.

    “We all have a responsibility to make sure valuable resources are used wisely and in the best way to support people in living longer, happier, healthier and more independently into their old age. We want to make sure people have access to quality healthcare whilst also cutting the health inequalities that exist today.”

    Your views will be fully considered by health leaders and will help inform any recommendations to CCG Governing Bodies.

  • Donate your old clean duvet covers to help Reading Family Aid reduce their reliance on single use plastic

    10 October 2019 Donate your old clean duvet covers to help Reading Family Aid reduce their reliance on single use plastic

    News from: Reading Family Aid

    Reading Family Aid organises an Annual Christmas Toy Project, with support from the Reading Chronicle. We collect and distribute gifts to disadvantaged families in the Reading area. Last year we provided gifts for 1,500 children.

    We use large black plastic sacks to pack the gifts for delivery to the families. We have been looking for alternatives to these single use plastic bags, but found that the cost of buying fabric or paper bags would be prohibitive. A suggestion was made that we could ask for old clean duvet covers to be donated, then recycled into bags. Each double duvet cover can be converted into 4 bags.

    We have already received some, and begun cutting and sewing them to make a colourful and strong replacement for plastic, but we do need some more.

    Donate a duvet cover
    -If you have an old clean duvet cover that you could donate, Reading Voluntary Action will be acting as a donation point between 7 and 18 October 2019.
    -You can drop off your duvets at the Community Place reception area, Third Floor Reading Central Library, Abbey Square, RG1 3BQ.

    Thank you!

  • Community Safety Survey

    9 October 2019

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    It has now been 2 years since Reading Borough Council last asked for your views on Community Safety in Reading. The Community Safety Partnership asks us to consult every 2 years so that we can identify the issues that residents in Reading see as a problem. The Neighbourhood Initiatives Team would therefore like to hear about issues that affect you in your neighbourhood. Your responses will help to identify priorities for our local Safer Neighbourhood Forums across Reading.

    The survey opened on the Monday 7 October 2019 and will be available for completion until Friday 15 November 2019. For more information and to take part in the survey online see

  • Free ILM accredited management training for voluntary and community groups

    3 October 2019 Free ILM accredited management training for voluntary and community groups

    Alan Hester Associates is delivering free management training for junior to middle managers of voluntary and community organisations. The training is accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management and fully funded by the European Social Fund and the Thames Valley LEP as part of the Skills for the Workforce project.

    Course dates
    Day 1: 23 October 2019
    Day 2: 12 November 2019
    Day 3: 12 December 2019
    Day 4: 16 January 2020

    -All sessions will take place at RISC, 35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS.
    -The accreditation includes coursework on specific topics.
    -More information about the course can be downloaded at

    To find out more or to apply for your free place, contact Alan Hester on 07970 522760 or email

  • Befriending Week – are you ready?

    2 October 2019 Befriending Week – are you ready?

    News from: Befriending Networks

    Countdown to Befriending Week 2019! Only 1 month to go. This year the theme puts a spotlight on Health and Wellbeing. To help you prepare for this year’s celebrations, visit the Befriending Week Resources section of the website at to download the free Resource Pack. This includes social media posts, facebook cover, Twitter Banner, Certificates and more.

    Each day during Befriending Week, Befriending Networks will be sharing stories of how befriending is making a difference. In the past, stories have received significant coverage by the media, so if you want your service featured, email and with a story about a befriendee, a volunteer, a match, an organisational milestone or a staff member going the extra mile along with a photo or video. Don’t wait, send us your stories today.

    Make sure to let us know about your Befriending Week plans and tag Befriending Networks on your social media posts, @BefriendingNetworks for Facebook & @Befriendingnet for Twitter, so we can like & share them.

    Let’s make 2019 the best Befriending Week yet!

  • Coach Core apprenticeships – opportunity for 16 to 24 year olds

    26 September 2019 Coach Core apprenticeships – opportunity for 16 to 24 year olds

    News from: Get Berkshire Active

    Get Berkshire Active are are about to launch a sports apprenticeship programme working with Coach Core by The Royal Foundation. Coach Core is an innovative and exciting sports coaching apprenticeship targeting young people who wish to gain further education and employment in sport. Coach Core apprentices will be employed by organisations for 15 months for 30 hours per week which includes one day in education.

    Applications for the programme close on 30 September 2019 with a recruitment event at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre on 2 and 3 October 2019.

    For more information download a leaflet about the recruitment event or to make an application see the website at

Upcoming events

  • Tue
    18:30 - 20:30Reading Town Hall

    Victoria Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading RG1 1QH

    The Reading Climate Change Partnership commissioned a first Adaptation Plan for Reading. This will help us to understand some of the climate-related risks that we face in our town. It will also give us some guidance about how we should respond to prepare for these changes.

    There will be a 1 hr presentation followed by 30 mins Q&A

    • Chris Beales (Chair of the RCCP) will introduce the work.
    • Jason Lowe (Met Office) will talk about climate projections for Reading.
    • Lisa Horrocks (Mott MacDonald) will talk about what is in the plan and some of the key lessons for us.

    This is a free, public event. But please book your ticket at to register your place.

  • Tue
    11:00 - 13:00Community Place

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

    The september VCN has been postponed and rearranged for Tuesday 29 October 2019.

    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. 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.

    Click here to register

  • Wed
    18:00 - 19:45Friends Meeting House

    2 Church Street, Reading RG1 2SB

    Leading Reading GP's Dr Bu Thava and Dr Aman Bindra will be introducing their vision of Primary Care Networks. There will be opportunity for questions and discussion. We will also hear and discuss local healthcare news and reports from GP practice Patient Participation Groups.

    About Primary Care Networks
    The formation of Primary Care Networks – groupings of GP practices serving from 30,000 to 50,000 patients – is probably the most significant change to NHS services in several years.

    The networks will be able to employ a broader range of health professionals and deploy more technical and administrative skills to apply to care of patients.

    At the 30,000 to 50,000 grouping, there will be an opportunity to consider population health management and the wisest application of the resources available. Along with these changes goes a more collaborative approach across the NHS.

    Contact details
    Mobile: 07963 815599

  • Fri
    17:30 - 21:00Crowne Plaza

    Caversham Bridge, Richfield Ave, Reading RG1 8BD

    Reading volunteers and service coordinators who help local people reduce loneliness and social isolation are warmly invited to a free evening event at The Crowne Plaza on 1 November.

    Join us as our guest to:

    • Celebrate and highlight the fantastic contribution of Reading’s volunteers in reducing loneliness and social isolation,
    • Hear from fellow-volunteers and the people they support, about the range of exciting activities people are involved in.
    • Learn from each other about the practical experience of being a friendship volunteer.

    The event will help raise awareness in Reading, of the benefits of friendship volunteering and support local groups to recruit new volunteers. We will be filming at the event, including interviewing volunteers – for a forthcoming promotional film that all community groups can use in recruitment campaigns. If you, or someone you know at the event, would like to be interviewed, please get in touch with Rhiannon at RVA:

    Please note that tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and each organisation has been allocated 3 tickets for volunteers and 1 for a staff member who coordinates their activity. Book soon online at

  • Mon
    19:00 - 22:00Concert Hall, Reading Town Hall

    Blagrave Street, Reading RG1 1QH.

    We would love you to save the date for our very special evening event on Monday 4 November at Reading Concert Hall. This promises to be an event to remember with stories, music, theatre and fashion, plus a real insight into the charity’s progress and achievements during the past 25 years.

    We will be advertising more details about this event in due course, but in the mean time put the date in the diary and we really hope you can be there!

    Best wishes,
    Everyone at Reading Refugee Support Group

  • Tue
    10:15 - 13:15The Community Place

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

    Are you new to the role of treasurer of a voluntary and community group, or in need of a refresher session? If so, this training is for you.

    Aims of the workshop

    • To build an understanding of the role of a treasurer in a small voluntary organisation
    • To ensure the ability to deal with the specifics of the finances of a small voluntary organisation
    • To give confidence about the issues that are likely to be faced by a treasurer of a small voluntary organisation

    Learning outcomes: The content covered will be tailored depending on the needs of delegates on the day. However typically attendees will:

    • Understand their financial responsibilities as trustees
    • Understand the particular requirements for the accounts of a small voluntary organisation
    • Be aware of governance issues facing small voluntary organisations
    • Be ready to resolve issues with record keeping and know where to get help if they need it
    • Be able to determine if the organisation they volunteer with needs an audit or independent examination of their accounts

    The workshop will be open to up to 12 delegates. It will be aimed primarily at new volunteers who wish to act as treasurers in Reading’s voluntary sector.

    The course is at our reduced rate of £50 for Reading based charities and community groups. There are a limited number of FREE places for RNN members using the usual promotional code - please contact us at if you need this code.

    Please register at

  • Fri
    10:00 - 12:00The Warehouse

    1A Cumberland Road, Reading RG1 3LB

    Come along to the Macmillan coffee morning on Friday 8 November.

    Everyone is welcome – please feel free to drop in at any time during the morning.

  • Wed
    13:30 - 15:30The Latter-day Saint Chapel

    280 The Meadway, Tilehurst, Reading RG30 4PE

    A support group for stroke survivors and their families/carers.

    The Latter-day Saint Chapel is at the junction with Church End Lane.

    To find out more about attending or volunteering to help at the group, please contact Diane Robson or Dave Riley on 01183 219349.

  • Mon
    12:00 - 17:00Reading Town Hall

    Blagrave Street, Reading RG1 1QH

    One Reading is a multi-agency partnership committed to delivering better outcomes for children, young people and families. As well as developing a local consensus on how to work together. One year in, this conference is a chance to:

    • Network, ask questions, give your feedback
    • Find out about the local consensus
    • Find out how Reading is becoming a trauma-informed town
    • Hear from inspirational speakers and take part in workshops on young people’s voice and political engagement, social media and more

    This conference is for anyone working with children, young people and families in Reading. The full line-up of speakers and workshops will be announced soon. For now, save the date and book your free place at

  • Thu
    10:00 - 13:00Reading International Solidarity Centre

    35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS

    The next Voluntary Sector Wellbeing Forum will be on Thursday 12 December at RISC on the theme of workplace wellbeing (Bookings will open soon).

    The programme will include a presentation and discussions about “Berkshire – a good place to work” the Director of Public Health’s annual report for 2019. The annual report focuses on the mental wellbeing and musculoskeletal health of the workforce.

    If you have suggestions for other topics that can be include around workplace wellbeing, Please email then in to As the forum is only a couple of weeks before Christmas, it would be great if some fun activities can be included.

  • 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 service held quite early this year. The choir of St Peter's Church will lead the singing, accompanied by the Salvation Army Band.

    Mulled wine and mince pies will be sold from the Tea Kiosk from 18.15. 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.

  • 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 local charities.

    A beautiful concert with many carols and songs and a chance for the audience to sing. £5 entry.

  • Wed
    19:00 - 21:00Salvation Army

    522 Oxford Road, Reading RG30 1EG

    The Oxford Road Safer Neighbourhood Forum brings together voluntary organisations and partners including residents, the neighbourhood police, local authorities, businesses and schools, and assists in planning local neighbourhood policing tasks, based on priorities identified by the community.

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