News from Reading Neighbourhood Network – 15 October 2021

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

News articles

  • Black Lives Matter – a virtual gallery

    14 October 2021Black Lives Matter – a virtual gallery

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    To celebrate this year’s Black History Month, Black Lives Matter UK has launched its Virtual Exhibition 2021 which includes pieces from 20 Black artists.

    Take a tour round the exhibition – as well as being able to look at the art you can hear from the artist by clicking on each artwork.

    You can tour the exhibit from the comfort of your home by clicking here.

  • BCF launches voluntary sector survey

    14 October 2021

    News from: Berkshire Community Foundation

    Berkshire Community Foundation (BCF) has just launched a new survey to help find out what’s in store for Berkshire’s voluntary sector and what it needs to focus on.

    Have your say about what your charity or community group needs and how BCF can best support you. You can also use the survey to identify what needs are emerging in your local community right now.

    It only takes 5 minutes. Please complete BCF’s Community Impact and Needs survey before 15 December 2021.

    The survey can be completed here.

  • A Warm Welcome Toolkit

    13 October 2021

    News from: Ageing Better in Camden

    We are delighted to share with you the Warm Welcome toolkit: A free guide to running activities with older people.

    Throughout the past six years, older people have continually told us that being offered a Warm Welcome is essential when encouraging them to take part in activities and remain connected in their communities. This sort of ‘pull’ is even more important if an older person has faced loneliness or social isolation.

    We worked with our older members, delivery agencies and Ageing Better friends around England to produce the Warm Welcome Toolkit. It offers activity providers information and resources which will support them to run welcoming activities.

    -You can download the Warm Welcome toolkit on the website at
    -You can also download the Warm Welcome toolkit summary document
    -and here’s the video.

    Please spread the word with anyone who runs activities aimed at tackling loneliness!

  • Volunteer School Street Marshals required

    7 October 2021Volunteer School Street Marshals required

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    We are looking for volunteer School Street Marshals for a new School Street opening in east Reading in November.

    The new School Street is due to open on Crescent Road, benefiting Maiden Erlegh School, UTC and Alfred Sutton Primary School.

    Crescent Road School Street will run from 08:15 to 09:00 and 14:45 to 15:30, Monday to Friday in term time only. You can sign up for as many shifts as suits you.

    We also currently have three School Streets at Park Lane Junior School, Wilson Primary and Thameside Primary.

    More volunteer marshals are needed – could you help? No experience necessary – training will be provided.

    For more information visit:

  • The Parent Employment Wellbeing project

    5 October 2021The Parent Employment Wellbeing project

    News from Reading Voluntary Action (RVA)

    Reading Voluntary Action is excited to share that the Parent Employment Wellbeing project started on Monday 4 October, and will be delivered until September 2022 by Anna Chapman, RVA’s Schools and Parent Engagement Officer. This project first ran from July 2020 to July 2021 where 39% of the people on the project gained paid employment, 43% started accredited courses or unaccredited training, 21% started volunteering, 86% improved their confidence, 69% engaged in searching and applying for suitable paid work, and 52% received invitations to attend interviews.

    The focus of the project is to support parents towards and into training, courses, voluntary work and paid employment while considering improving their wellbeing. Anna listens to individual parents and discusses their needs, ability and aspirations with them. She offers non-judgemental, confidential information, advice and support to explore their options and opportunities including signposting to organisations and websites providing other services.

    Objectives are agreed with parents to help improve confidence, independence, social inclusion and employability. Assistance with constructing and updating CVs, cover and speculative letters, application forms, and letters of disclosure as well as help with sourcing suitable courses, training, volunteering opportunities, vacancies and career paths is also available. Please follow this link for more information: and share with anyone who would like to know more.

    All support is free and provided on a one-to-one basis with Anna. To be eligible for the project parents need to:
    -Be over 16 years old
    -Have the right to live and work in the UK
    -Have a National Insurance number
    -Not be in any kind of paid employment.

    This project is funded by the European Social Fund and The Education and Skills Funding Agency. To find out more, please contact Anna Chapman by emailing or telephoning 07485 327949.

  • Rediscover events and activities at Reading Libraries this October

    30 September 2021Rediscover events and activities at Reading Libraries this October

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    Reading is celebrating its much-loved Library Service during October, with a bumper line-up of free events, activities and services on offer.

    The celebration launches with a live performance at Reading Central Library, with Bernadette Russell performing her 366 days of Kindness tour on Friday 1 October at 19:00. Email or phone 01189 375950 to book a free ticket.

    During the first weekend in October, Reading Libraries will be bringing ‘Fun Palaces’ to Reading, with a range of great activities across library branches, including a fairy tale theme at Battle Library, with a giant pop-up book in the children’s library, treasure hunt and craft sessions. There will also be themed art and craft sessions at Central Library, Southcote and Caversham Libraries.

    During National Library Week (4 – 10 October), people are encouraged to ‘Rediscover’ Reading Libraries and everything the service is doing to support our local communities. Rediscover the great range of books, study material, free wiFi and computer access. Full details and opening times are available here:

    To celebrate Black History Month in October, there will be displays and book recommendations on offer at a number of library branches.

    Rhymetime: Book a session of Rhymetime at Central and Battle Libraries from the end of September, with the aim of adding more at other branches during October and November.

    -Central Library sessions will start from Thursday 30 September at 10:15 and 11:15.
    -Battle Library sessions will start from Friday 1 October at 10:00 and 11:15.

    All sessions last for 25 minutes and booking is essential. To book a place call Battle Library on 0118 937 5100 or the Central Library on 0118 937 5950.

    To keep everyone safe, the library service is still encouraging everyone to:

    -Stay away if you have coronavirus symptoms.
    -Wear a face covering, unless exempt.
    -Use the hand sanitiser provided and wash hands before and after a visit.
    -Help support everyone by maintaining social distance.
    -Ensure children are accompanied by an adult.
    -Scan in for NHS Test and Trace on entry.

Upcoming events

  • Wed
    09:30 - 12:30Online

    RVA is delighted to be co-hosting a free online Members’ Assembly with NCVO. This event is aimed at staff and trustees from NCVO members in and around Reading. Non-member organisations in the area are also welcome. Join us to:

    • Hear the latest on public policy and other current issues facing the sector, and how NCVO is working on these
    • Meet and network with other voluntary organisations in Reading and the surrounding area
    • Share best practice, experiences and ideas.

    There will be two short presentations, followed by opportunities for discussion.

    Rebalancing the relationship
    In 2018, NCVO, ACEVO and Lloyds Bank Foundation launched a project to address competition and collaboration, particularly between organisations of different sizes delivering public services. The findings from this project and considerations for practice are laid out within the Rebalancing the Relationship report. By building awareness and highlighting good practice, this report aims to encourage organisations to work in a more collaborative way. At our Members’ Assembly we will explore the findings of the Rebalancing the Relationship report with voluntary organisations in Reading and the surrounding area.
    Co-producing local knowledge to achieve change

    Reading Voluntary Action and local voluntary and community sector organisations currently work with the University of Reading’s Participation Lab on community-led research into a range of issues, including the impact of covid-19 on health inequalities, the experience of growing up in Reading and how Reading town centre can be made more inclusive. Dr Sally Lloyd-Evans, Leader of the Participation Lab and Public Engagement with Community Research Fellow, joins us to discuss the benefits of co-producing local knowledge to achieve change in any community and locality.

    Book your free place for this online event via the NCVO website here.

  • Thu
    18:00 - 20:30Reading Borough Council Chamber

    Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU

    The Equalities Alliance in partnership with Reading University Student’s Community Champions are hosting a conference on the theme “Do Black Lives Matter?”

    The UK Government commissioned a report in response to BLM concerns which surmised “There was anecdotal evidence of racism, there was no proof there was “institutional racism” in Britain” – Chair, Commission on Race & Ethnic Disparities

    Join the debate on Thursday 21 October in Reading Borough Council Chamber. Spaces are limited to 50 but event will be broadcast live. Details to follow.

    Registration: To express interest please email

    Download a poster for this event here

  • Thu
    14:00 - 16:00Online via Zoom

    Volunteers and volunteering have been at the forefront of the emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The response has seen many taking up volunteering for the first time and has resulted in innovations in the ways that organisations have recruited, utilised and supported volunteers. However, for some, the pandemic has seen them unable to continue with the volunteering they had been doing before the outbreak whilst some organisations have seen a significant decline in volunteer engagement.

    As our town starts to move cautiously forward with the recovery from the economic, social, and health impacts of the pandemic it feels certain that volunteers and volunteering will continue to have a central role to play. This workshop seeks to build on the research work undertaken over the previous 4 months to explore the opportunities and challenges volunteer-involving organisations and volunteers may face in the coming years.

    In this online workshop, we are looking for inputs from all those with an interest in volunteering in our town to help shape a collaborative Volunteering Strategy for Reading’s Post-Covid Recovery. This includes staff and volunteers working within local not-for-profits, those involved in informal community action, those who benefit from the work of volunteers and anyone else with an interest in volunteering in our town.

    More details on the themes of the event will be sent in due course but please register via the button below now to let us know you would like to be involved and share with us any initial thoughts you might have.

    Register Here

  • Tue
    17:15 - 19:45Reading Voluntary Action

    Reading Central Library, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BQ

    Trustees play an essential role in our society, making our charity sector work. It’s a hugely rewarding role but it’s not always easy to get all the information you require to be sure you are carrying out your role as effectively as possible. This training will help give you an overview of what’s expected of trustees as well as providing a networking opportunity with your fellow trustees from the area.

    Outcomes of this training are:

    • To better understand your role and legal responsibilities as a trustee
    • To understand how this role fits with other roles in the charity
    • To understand your reporting responsibilities
    • To know where to go for help and support
    • To feel confident in being an active member of your Board/Committee and helping to achieve your charities purposes!

    To achieve this we will cover:

    • Introduction: ‘Trustee’, ‘Charity’ and legal structures
    • Trustee roles and responsibilities: 6 Main Legal Duties
    • Policies and Procedures: Which ones? Why do they matter?
    • Accounting & Reporting – the essentials
    • Essential resources and links to help you on your way (Tools)

    The training is suitable for new and existing trustees. In some small community groups you may refer to yourselves as the Committee. If you have overall responsibility for your community group, then this course is for you.

    Places are limited to a maximum of 4 people from one organisation to ensure you have the opportunity to interact with trustees from other organisations too. If you wish to book more than 4 places please contact us in advance. We hold these sessions quarterly.

    Our intention is to hold this training in person as detailed, but if circumstances prevent this we may look to hold the session online instead. There will be an option during booking to indicate if you would be able to attend an online session, and full refunds or transfer to future courses will be provided if not.

    Please book online at The cost is £10. Refreshments are provided.

    Contact details
    Phone: 01189 372273

  • Tue
    19:00 - 21:00Argyle Community Centre

    Argyle Road, Reading, RG1 7YL

    Redeeming Our Communities (ROC) is a national charity aiming to bring communities together to make them safer. Join us for a community engagement conversation to celebrate good work and address social needs.

    This is an opportunity for local people and voluntary organisations to come together. Local organisations can feature their work. There will be round table discussions to come up with new ways of working together.

    Everyone welcome. Come and meet others to celebrate your community.

    Free tickets from

  • Thu
    12:30 - 16:30Community Place

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

    The theme of this event will be announced shortly, but it will include:

    • News and service updates
    • Community need alerts
    • Plenty of networking opportunities

    The event is for anyone from local communities, groups and organisations interested in helping reduce loneliness and social isolation in Reading.

    Free event, but please register using the link below to confirm your place:

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