News from Reading Neighbourhood Network – 24 March 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
  • The NHS turns 70 – celebrate the contribution of volunteers

    20 March 2018

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    NHS England and NHS Improvement are working on plans to celebrate the NHS’s 70th birthday in July. The celebrations will include a programme of national, regional and local events across the whole health and social care system, including the voluntary sector.

    The Health and Wellbeing Alliance is looking for specific case studies about volunteering and the voluntary sector that could be used for some short films to be created by NHS England. If your services and activities contribute to the health and wellbeing of people in Reading, send an outline to

    RVA will work with Berkshire West CCG to promote examples of how voluntary organisations are helping to improve the health and wellbeing of local people. RVA will call for good news stories during June for a news item in July

    FaithAction has launched the FaithAction Awards to celebrate the contribution that volunteers and faith communities play in supporting the NHS and improving health and wellbeing in their communities.

    Continue reading →
  • Reading Central Club – Bidding Opportunity

    8 March 2018

    Reading Central Club is currently vacant and the council has decided to dispose of a 999 year leasehold interest. In accordance with the Third Sector Premises Policy Statement agreed on the 16 February 2016, voluntary sector organisations have until noon on Friday 11 May 2018 to submit a bid for the property.

    The property, known as the Central Club, comprises a substantial single and part two storey building, on a plot of approx. 0.055 hectares (0.14 acres) fronting on to London Street and backing on to Crossland Road. The property’s northern flank wall overlooking Mill Lane was decorated in 1990 with a large mural. The mural remains of huge importance to the black community, the wider community and the Council itself.

    The accommodation comprises a large open area at ground floor level with a raised stage plus a series of offices, stores, meeting rooms, kitchens and toilets over the remainder of the ground floor and a first floor with similar accommodation. The total area is approx. 582 sq metres (6,265 sq feet), measured on a GIA basis.

    For a Third Sector application form, guidance, scoring and accompanying information, please contact Clare Muir, Policy and Voluntary Sector Manager at Reading Borough Council by emailing or phoning 01189 372119.

    Continue reading →
  • Reading Carnival 2018: The Rebirth

    7 March 2018

    News from: Reading Caribbean Cultural Group

    Reading Carnival returns to mark its 41st Anniversary on the 28 May in Prospect Park. We had an amazing year last year and this year we want to make Carnival even better by aiming to getting EVERYONE in the community involved!

    If you’ve previously been involved in Carnival over the years or your community group would like to join us for the first time this year, please get in touch – everyone is welcome to participate. Here’s a few examples of how you could get involved:
    -Procession and floats
    -Creatives and workshops
    -Volunteering and stewarding
    -Social media
    -Performers and musicians
    -Street team

    We also have a limited number of stalls for local charities and community interest available on a first come, first serve basis. If you would like to register your interest or find out in more detail about how to get involved, please contact and a member of the team will be in touch.

    Come and join the festivities by lining the streets for the parade and enjoy some delicious cuisine from the Caribbean and across the world! There will be entertainment at the park for all ages until 19:00.

    Continue reading →
  • Have your say: parking charges to be introduced in West Reading

    23 February 2018

    Reading Borough Council is proposing to introduce Pay & Display parking on many streets around the Oxford Road and Caversham Road areas of Reading.

    The area covered will be much of Oxford Road, some streets in the Great Knollys Street area and Northfield Road, off Caversham Road. Parking meters are also proposed for part of Wokingham Road in East Reading.

    There is very little time remaining to comment on the proposals – the deadline is Thursday 1 March 2018. Details of the proposal and how to give feedback are at

    Continue reading →
  • Got a project that needs paint?

    22 February 2018

    News from: The Green Machine

    The Green Machine has an amazing selection of paint colours, finishes, woodstains and masonry paints to supply to community groups, charities, sports club and individuals for £1.20 per litre. We provide employment and volunteering opportunities to disabled and disadvantaged individuals. We also help the environment by diverting reusable unwanted paint from landfill or incineration.

    So if you’ve got the skills (or maybe just the willing labour!) you can approach Green Machine for the paint and get the job done. Contact Dawn Cannon on 01344 457940 or by email at for more information.

    Green Machine is a Community Interest Company which runs Community Repaint (East Berkshire) and has been giving volunteer and employment opportunities to disabled and disadvantaged people through its recycling and green space management operations since 2009.

    Continue reading →
  • Consultation on library services in Reading

    22 February 2018

    In 2016 Reading Borough Council consulted on changes to the library service. Many of these changes were introduced from 2017 and enabled savings of £290,000 from the library service budget. The council is now launching a further consultation.

    As a result of government cuts in funding and increasing demands for services every local council is having to make major savings. RBC therefore needs to prioritise the use of their resources across the Council, including those used to deliver library services in Reading.

    RBC has already made major savings by making the library services more efficient through making better use of technology such as the self-service kiosks and changing operating systems. Another way our libraries can contribute towards savings is to make the best possible use of available space and RBC has already consulted on some plans to bring libraries together with other services in new community centres or ‘hubs’.

    RBC wants to sustain an affordable but comprehensive library service. Your feedback is needed to help achieve that. The proposals here in total would save £220,000 of the library budget. The consultation survey is available online at – the closing date for responses is 21 March 2018.

    Continue reading →
  • A helping hand for your community projects from Wilko

    21 February 2018

    News from: Reading Borough Council – Funding Information Service

    Every Wilko store has a budget to give a little helping hand to local groups and community projects. They want to help local schools, playgroups and nurseries, parent or family groups, disabled groups, youth clubs, elderly groups, luncheon clubs, community and tenants’ associations, plus appeals from the local police, fire service and local councils and more.

    You could get Wilko gift cards, products, or volunteers to help with whatever you’re doing for our community – whether it’s a raffle prize to help with fundraising or tins of paint and extra helpers to do up a community centre.

    This is just one of the many grant and award programmes featured in the November 2017 edition of RBC’s Funding Digest. Visit the RBC website at for details about how to subscribe, free of charge, to this monthly publication, which is only available to Charities, Voluntary and Community organisations/groups working primarily for the benefit of residents and communities in the Borough of Reading.

    Continue reading →
  • Reading Borough Council announces street party dates

    15 February 2018

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    To ensure that everybody enjoys celebrating their Big Lunch and the Royal Wedding weekend, this year the council is giving you the opportunity to hold a street party on one of five weekends in the summer.

    The weekends are 19-20 May, 2-3 June, 16-17 June, 23-24 June or 30 June-1 July. The first weekend is the official Royal Wedding weekend, the second coincides with the official dates for this year’s Big Lunch, the third was recommended by the Big Lunch for those who want to celebrate outside of Ramadan and the last two weekends have been added by popular demand for the Great Get-Together.

    To help celebrate the Big Lunch the council will be waiving the usual road closure fee for any approved street party taking place over those weekends – so that residents can celebrate without any extra costs.

    To apply to hold a street party for the Big Lunch on any of the above dates, please download the application form from and send it via post to Street Parties, Communications Department, Reading Borough Council, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU or by emailing the completed form to The deadline for applications this year is 20 April 2018.

    For further ideas or help in planning your street party please visit the Big Lunch or Street Party official websites at and

    Continue reading →

Upcoming events
  • Mon
    09:30 - 13:00Gateley PLC

    The Blade, Reading RG1 3BE

    Making Every Contact Count (MECC) is an approach to behaviour change that utilises the millions of day-to-day interactions that organisations and individuals have with other people to support them in making positive changes to their physical and mental health and wellbeing. If you or your team works directly with members of the public, MECC could help you make a bigger difference to the residents you serve.

    Reading Borough Council are offering a free training session on MECC, specifically for voluntary sector partners and volunteers who are in contact with members of the public. This interactive session will help you to develop practical skills to reduce loneliness, support people to stay well and to enjoy healthier, happier lives.

    Please arrive 15 minutes before the start time for registration and refreshments. RSVP to or to secure your place. A maximum of 18 places are available.

  • Thu
    10:00 - 15:00Reading International Solidarity Centre

    35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS

    ACRE’s fourth pan-equality conference will be on the topic of ‘Exploring Exploitation’.
    Discussion points will include:
    -What is exploitation?
    -How does it start?
    -Who can be exploited?
    -Where can they get help?
    -How can we stop exploitation in our communities?

  • Thu
    10:30 - 12:30Elevate 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. 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.

    Free registration at

  • Sat
    14:00 - 16:00Caversham Court Gardens

    Church Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 7AD

    Celebrate Easter at the Caversham Court Gardens, where the Friends of Caversham Court Gardens will be hosting an Easter Egg Trail on a nature theme in the lovely riverside gardens. All young competitors will win an Easter egg prize. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

    Entry is free, but donations to the Friends of Caversham Court Gardens will be appreciated. The Tea Kiosk will be open for refreshments all afternoon. For further information please email

  • Sat
    14:00 - 16:30Thames Lido (The Changing Room)

    Napier Road, Reading RG1 8FR

    The formal business will be completed within 30 minutes or less. After a break for tea and coffee, Matthew Williams, Reading Museum Manager, will give a talk on ‘Back to the Future – Reading’s Heritage and Reading’s Future’. As we work towards the re-opening of the Abbey ruins on 16 June this is a very timely presentation.

    Contact details
    Phone: 01189 598350

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

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

    RVA and Barnabas Fellowship of Churches are holding another workshop for voluntary sector groups in Reading on the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS).

    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 charitiss to gain an overview of the DBS system to inform their safeguarding procedures.

    Cost: The course is free but please register at to confirm your place. If you are unable to attend, please cancel within 5 working days to enable someone else to attend.

  • Sat
    10:00 - 12:30Reading Railway Station

    1 Station Hill, Reading RG1 1LZ

    Terry Dixon’s tours are hugely popular, scoring 5/5 on TripAdvisor and 4.9/5 on Facebook. He has kindly agreed to hold a Walkabout for Sadaka, a non-profit charity (operated wholly by non-salaried staff) which provides hot meals and a place to talk for the homeless in Reading.

    Sadaka serves meals twice weekly at Fairview Community Centre. Join in Terry’s Walkabout to raise money so we can continue to help our community!

    The cost is £5 a head (£2 for children), £12 for a family of four.

  • Sun
    13:00 – 16:30RISC Main Hall

    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:
    -Mechanical items
    -Computers (hardware/software)
    -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.

  • Wed
    19:00 - 21:00Reading Canoe Club

    The Warren, Caversham, Reading RG4 7TH

    You are invited to the Friends of Caversham Court Gardens AGM on Wednesday 25 April 2018.

    A brief business meeting will be followed by an illustrated talk by garden historian Kate Felus. Based on her book, The Secret Life of the Georgian Garden, Kate Felus will reveal the previously untold story of how great landscapes were used in the eighteenth century.

    Free event. Members and non-members are very welcome.

    Contact details
    Phone: 01189 545779

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

    Third Floor, 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.

    The areas covered will include:
    -Basic structure of a voluntary organisation
    -Trustee duties and liability
    -Trustee Roles
    -Choosing/understanding your organisation’s structure
    -Your constitution
    -Organisational policies

    The training is suitable for new and existing trustees and will also give a valuable introduction to anyone thinking of taking on the role. The session is free but please register at to confirm your place.

    Click here to register - it's free!

  • Wed
    11:00 - 16:15Green Park

    100 Longwater Avenue, Green Park, Reading RG2 6GP

    The Equality and Human Rights Framework is a free digital toolkit and learning programme for voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations. It’s been designed by the Equality and Diversity Forum (EDF) to help organisations explore how equality and human rights can help achieve your core purpose, and how you can integrate equality and human rights into your work.

    The learning programme combines three training workshops with online resources and a webinar to make it easy for you to participate. It aims to support community groups and organisations understand how to use the Equality and Human Rights Framework to make a difference. It provides topic overviews, addresses key themes identified by VCS organisations, and gives you the opportunity to explore how you could apply the learning to your own organisation’s work in a supportive context.

    The three learning programme workshops are coming to Green Park on 2 May (full day) and 11 June (2 half day workshops). The workshops are free (with a £50 refundable deposit) and the deadline for registration is 27 April 2018.

    For more information about the learning programme workshops see the EDF website at

    Click here to Register

  • Sat
    08:30 - 17:30Circle Hospital Reading

    100 Drake Way, Reading RG2 0NE

    Reading Lions Club invites all local men over 45 or those who are younger and have a family history of prostate cancer to come along to the Circle Hospital Reading on Saturday 12 May to learn more about prostate cancer and take a simple PSA blood test. It is well proven that early detection and treatment may vastly increase your chances of survival.

    The test involves a simple blood sample taken on the day. The samples are sent to a specialist laboratory for analysis and a letter is sent to every man taking part with their own individual results.

    Please allow 30 to 45 minutes for registration and the test although this may take longer at busy times. Bring your completed consent form, which you can download from the website at

    There is no parking available at the hospital. Please park at the Madejski Stadium and use the complimentary shuttle bus to and from the hospital.

    If you have suffered flu-like symptoms, diarrhoea, or vomiting within 48 hours prior to your visit, we ask you not to attend this event in order to reduce the risk of transmission to others.

  • Sat
    11:00 - 16:00The Forbury Gardens

    Forbury Road, Reading RG1 3HS

    The launch event of the ever popular Reading’s Children Festival returns to the Forbury. The festival starts on Saturday 12 May with Forbury Fiesta in Forbury Gardens. The Gardens are the perfect venue for a giant party with loads of fun activities including arts and craft, sport and music/dance workshops, as well as entertainment all day.

  • Mon
    12:00 - 19:00Prospect Park

    Liebenrood Road, Reading RG30 2ND

    Reading Carnival returns to mark its 41st Anniversary on 28 May 2018.

    We had an amazing year last year and this year we want to make the Carnival even better by aiming to getting EVERYONE in the community involved!

    Come and join the festivities by lining the streets for the parade and enjoy some delicious cuisine, drinks and entertainment from the Caribbean and around the world at Prospect Park until 19:00. Carnival is a truly inclusive and family-friendly event, so everyone is welcome!

  • Sat
    11:00 - 17:00Forbury Gardens, Riverside and Chestnut Walk - Reading

    Reading Borough Council and the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust come together to bring you Reading Water Fest.

    Family event that takes place in the Forbury Gardens, Abbey Ruins and along the Kennet, between Chestnut Walk and the Riverside Museum. The event includes live entertainment, children's activities and refreshments, water activities, narrow boats, craft and charity stalls.  

    This year's Reading Water Fest will coincide with the official reopening of Reading Abbey and the start of the Reading Abbey Revealed Festival.

    If you are a stallholder and would like to join us, please complete the online application form. There will be a fee of £50 for all commercial stalls and community/charity stalls are able to apply for a stall for free. The deadline for all applications is Friday 11 May 2018.

  • 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 - 16:30Forbury Gardens and Broad Street

    Reading Town Centre

    Reading pays tribute to the Armed Forces and its veterans with a host of family-friendly music and activities in the beautiful surroundings of Forbury Gardens, as well as Broad Street in the town centre.

    Enjoy an afternoon of live music from the bandstand in Forbury Gardens, culminating in an Armed Forces Veterans Badge presentation ceremony.

    Highlights will be performances from Diane James as Dame Vera Lynn and a military band who will be performing at both Broad Street and the bandstand at Forbury Gardens. There will also be activity stands in Broad Street where the Salvation Army will be performing.

    Entry to the gardens is free so bring a picnic, although refreshments will also available. For more information contact 01189 372771.

  • Fri
    09:00 - 18:00Hennerton Golf Club

    Crazies Hill Road, Wargrave RG10 8LT

    The Lions Club of Reading organises a Prostate Cancer Awareness Event each year at The Circle Hospital, Reading. On that day, men are tested free of charge for early signs of prostate cancer.

    Last year, 1500 men attended, 37 of whom underwent subsequent treatment. While the test is free, Reading Lions have to pay the NHS £20 for each blood sample to be tested.

    To help cover these significant costs, Reading Lions are organising their 4th charity golf day on 6 July at Hennerton Golf Club. A team entry is £220 and individuals can enter for £55. Full details and entry forms are available at

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