News from Reading Neighbourhood Network – 18 November 2017

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
  • Foster carers needed in Reading

    16 November 2017

    Reading Borough Council has made an urgent call for more foster carers, to keep Reading children living locally. RBC is asking for more people from all walks of life to explore the possibility of foster caring, so that children currently in care can enjoy the support, guidance and stability of a family life while continuing to live in Reading.

    Finding more local carers is crucial, as all too often a shortage leads to a child being fostered outside of the area. This can disrupt their lives by cutting them off from their birth family, if they are still retaining ties, and lead to them having to change schools or nursery.

    You’ll need to be over 21 and have a spare bedroom, but your marital status and gender are irrelevant. You certainly aren’t required to own your own home and you can carry on working alongside fostering. It’s what you can offer a child that matters.

    Finding out more about fostering couldn’t be easier. Simply call RBC on 0118 469 3020, go to or email You can find out more and if you are still interested make an application.

  • Join the RVA team in a new role – School and Parent Engagement

    15 November 2017

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    Interested in joining RVA and becoming part of a small, supportive team, passionate about Reading and our communities?

    We are looking for a new team player to engage with parents, and support them to make the most of growing opportunities to return to education, training, employment or self-employment. The role will involve building strong relationships with parents, partners and stakeholders, supporting individuals to access support, organising creative and engaging events, and producing flyers and newsletters.

    This part-time post is funded by the Big Lottery and the European Social Fund as part of the Stronger Together partnership. For more information, see the listing on the RVA jobs page and the job description.

    To apply please complete and return the application form by 17:00 on 5 December 2017. Questions about the role can be emailed to


  • Community Safety Survey

    14 November 2017

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    The purpose of this survey is to ask residents their views about issues such as crime and disorder, litter, parking, and anti-social behaviour amongst other local issues, to help identify priorities across Reading. The Safer Neighbourhood Forums (formerly known as Neighbourhood Action Groups) are required to consult on priorities with a community safety focus every 2 years.

    This community safety survey is being carried out across Reading to inform our neighbourhood working and local safer neighbourhood forums to find out what issues residents consider to be their highest priority at present.

    Whilst we will consider all issues raised in this survey, these will be looked at in conjunction with the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) priorities for Reading and locally reported crime across the Borough alongside the British Crime Survey and prioriities identified by Thames Valley Police. Priorities will then be set accordingly.

    The survey opens from 6 November and closes on Friday 15 December. For more information and to take the survey online see

  • Get Berkshire Active Awards – get nominating!

    9 November 2017

    News from: Get Berkshire Active

    The 6th annual Get Berkshire Active Awards will take place on Friday 23 February 2018. The awards will recognise the people that have excelled in a sport or physical activity setting throughout the last year.

    If you know a person, organisation or school who deserves recognition for their dedication to sport and/or physical activity, make sure to nominate them.

    The 12 award categories this year are:
    -Sports Personality of the Year
    -Junior Sports Personality of the Year
    -Lifetime Achievement Award
    -Workplace of the Year
    -Health Project of the Year
    -Volunteer of the Year
    -Coach of the Year
    -Community Club of the Year
    -Youth Engagement Project of the Year
    -Active Primary School
    -Active Secondary School
    -Team Performance of the Year

    The award criteria can be seen at and nominations can be made at Nominations close 10:00 Friday 1 December 2017.

  • Tilehurst Together – creating local connections

    8 November 2017

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    Tilehurst Together brings local people together to support each other, make new connections, and get involved in community life. The group meets fortnightly at St Mary Magdalene’s Hall to try various activities. Community groups often give us taster sessions, with members joining that group on a regular basis if they enjoy the activity.

    So far, we have tried mindfulness, an art class, windowsill gardening, a gentle stretching class, and a craft morning. Coming up, we have a relaxation session, an energy efficiency workshop, Christmas card making, and a sleep workshop.

    Tilehurst Together is open to anyone living in Tilehurst who would like to make new connections and get involved in community activities. We know that joining a new group can feel daunting, so Cat, the project co-ordinator, can visit potential members at their home so that they know a friendly face before they go to Tilehurst Together for the first time. Get in touch with Cat by emailing

Upcoming events
  • Sat
    12:00 – 16:30The Oasis Centre

    21 Baker St RG1 7XT

    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:
    -Computers (software and hardware problems)
    -Electronics and electrical items
    -Mechanical goods
    -Toys, furniture and other objects
    -Blunt and broken tools
    -Textiles and clothing

    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. There’s also tea, coffee and cake!

  • Sun
    10:30 - 12:30The Reading Irish Centre

    96 Chatham Street, Reading RG1 7HT

    We are delighted to welcome Anne Parry to this month’s Sunday Assembly Reading. Anne’s dance session at last year’s ‘A Field Called Wonder’ was one of the highlights of that weekend.

    As always, there will be some great songs to sing, poems to hear, the odd game to play and lovely people to meet. Doors open at 10:30 with the Assembly starting at 11:00. The best way to meet new people is to come early.

    Sunday Assembly Reading is free to attend and runs entirely on donations. The Sunday Assembly is a secular congregation that celebrates life, meeting once a month at The Reading Irish Centre. Members of Sunday Assembly believe in Living Better, Helping Often and Wondering More, for no other reason than to make the most of the one life we know we have. The Sunday Assembly welcomes all – of all ages and of all backgrounds.

    There is a lot of free parking on Sundays on the streets north of the Irish Centre. Try Weldale Street, North Street and Great Knollys Street. There is a footpath that leads from Weldal Street to Chatham Street, and then the Irish Centre will be on your right.

  • Mon
    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

  • Mon

    35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS

    Reading is uniquely placed to decarbonise its heat demand by virtue of its unique underlying geology.  The water flowing in the fractured chalk layers between 20 and 200 metres beneath the surface provides a shallow geothermal resource whose heat could be concentrated using ground source heat pumps to provide space and water heating for all Reading’s dwellings.

    In this talk Dr Rayner Mayer will describe: what are heat pumps, how they work, and how their large scale deployment could benefit both Reading’s citizens and reduce the production of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming.

    The talk will be followed by a discussion about the desirability of undertaking a monitored trial in Reading by retrofitting a group of dwellings with higher levels of insulation and providing geothermal heating via a small district heating scheme.

    Note: if Global Cafe is closed access to the main hall is via side passage to rear of the building, or from East Street.

  • Wed
    11:30 - 13:30Reading Community Learning Centre

    94 London Street, Reading RG1 4SJ

    Please come along and celebrate Reading Community Learning Centre’s Women’s Day by indulging in some of our delicious world foods or by pampering yourself in one of our beauty rooms, with truly relaxing treatments from our amazing students. All the money raised from the sale of the treatments and food will go towards the continued great work of Reading Community Learning Centre.

    Contact details
    Phone: 01189 595455

  • Thu
    11:00 - 13:00The Weller Centre

    110 Amersham Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 5NA

    All 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 with little or no paid staff, it is important that volunteers receive basic safeguarding training.

    RVA are hosting this mini workshop, which has been designed with volunteers of community groups in mind.

    By the end of the course volunteers will be able to:
    -Describe circumstances that can make adults vulnerable to abuse
    -Recognise possible indicators of abuse
    -Respond in line with the safeguarding procedures if abuse is found or suspected
    -Report and record appropriately
    -Recognise your duty of care to safeguard adults
    -Understand the importance of professional boundaries and the consequences of breach

    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.

  • Fri
    10:00 - 12:30Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

    280 The Meadway, Reading RG30 4PE

    Carers Rights Day is an annual event aimed at helping carers in their local community and to know their rights and find out how to get the help and support they are entitled to.

    In celebration of Carers Rights Day, the Reading and West Berkshire Carers Hub is hosting free information sessions in support of unpaid carers, including

    -My Care My Home – future care in your own home and in supported living
    -Boyes Turner solicitors – mental capacity and powers of attorney
    -Citizens Advice Reading – Changes in benefits.

    The event will include information from a wide range of local organisations

  • Sun
    13:00 - 15:30Reading Mencap

    21 Alexandra Road, Reading RG1 5PE

    Everyone is welcome to join Reading Mencap at their Christmas Fair, where there will be lots of fun for all the family:

    -Gifts and crafts made by members of Reading Mencap
    -Cakes and refreshments
    -Lucky dip

    Entry is just 50p, with free parking available at 25 Erleigh Road. All proceeds in aid of Reading Mencap. We look forward to seeing you!

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

    94 London Street, Reading RG1 4SJ

    You are warmly invited to our 10th Annual General Meeting on 28 November 2017 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.

    Members of Reading Community Learning Centre will be able to vote in the Trustee elections and other formal business. Membership is open to everyone. If you’re interested in becoming a member, please contact Aisha (details below).

    Please confirm your attendance at our AGM by Friday 24 November 2017. You can reserve your place and find out more details by contacting Aisha Malik, Centre Manager or call 0118 959 9009.

  • Thu
    10:00 - 13:00Reading Voluntary Action

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

    Whether you are a new organisation, have recently grown, changed committee members or are in the process of change this practical session will help you understand and improve your budgeting process. This will be useful to trustees, including chairs and treasurers as well as Chief Execs. The session highlights the key roles in setting and benefiting from a sound budget.

    Aims of the workshop:
    -To build understanding of the importance of budgeting
    -To build confidence and ability to build a budget
    -To leave the workshop having started the work to ensure a sound budget for the coming financial year.

    The content covered will be tailored depending on the needs of delegates on the day. However typically attendees will:
    -Understand the basis on which budgets may be built
    -Understand how to identify fixed and variable costs
    -Be able to create a flexible budget
    -Consider the impact of uncertainty, risk and contingencies
    -Be able to explain their budget to key stakeholders.

    The workshop will be open to up to 8 delegates. Post-course support is available, with each organisation entitled to up to one hour’s email support to follow up issues covered on the course.

    The training is at our reduced rate of £40. 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

  • Thu
    17:30 - 19:30Battle Library

    420 Oxford Road, Reading RG30 1EE

    Loneliness is a national problem, considered to be at epidemic levels. Reading is no exception, but it needn’t be that way. Join us for an introductory workshop to find out more about how you can become a Champion to End Loneliness for Reading.

    Anyone can be a champion, supporting the cause of ending loneliness through a wide range of ways. As a champion, you will have the opportunity to:
    -Learn: from the very latest research and examples of good practice
    -Campaign: for change and encourage more people to take a role in ending loneliness in Reading
    -Connect: with like-minded people to share ideas and identify ways to work through challenges
    -Act: Become a befriender or get support to set up an initiative in your community

    The workshop is about enabling and informing you to be able to take action to tackle loneliness in a way that suits you. The workshop will cover:
    -Info about loneliness from recent national and Reading-specific research
    -Introduction to what some local charities are doing to reduce loneliness
    -Discussions: what are you doing/what can you do to help?
    -Opportunity to sign up to our pledges

    The workshop is free, but please register at so we know how many people to expect.

    Click here to register - it's free!

  • Sun
    09:30 - 12:30Starts at Forbury Gardens

    Reading RG1 3BB.

    The ROC Search Reading Santa Run is organised by the Rotary Club of Reading and is for all abilities. You can run, walk or jog.

    All ages welcome: 10 and under – 1km route (all under 10s must be accompanied by and adult). Adults – 5km. Outfits supplied free of charge. Route takes in the Forbury, Broad Street, Oracle Riverside returning to the Forbury. Raise a team and join in! You can raise money for your own charity – see website for details.

    The Mayor of Reading will start the races from the Forbury and present the medals to all participants. Medal and goodie bags for under 10s.

    Get registered now at

  • Wed
    09:30 - 12:30RISC

    35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS

    Seona Douglas, Director of Adult Care and Health Services at Reading Borough Council will be speaking at the next Wellbeing Forum on Wednesday 6 December.

    Seona’s presentation will focus on:
    -Improving and protecting Reading’s health and wellbeing – why we need to work together
    -The benefits and challenges of working together
    -Our next steps

    Seona is new to Reading and is looking forward to hearing more about Reading’s voluntary and community organisations. We will have plenty of time for networking as well as celebrating the great work of the sector.

    Please book your place via

  • Sat
    09:30 - 13:30Caversham Court

    Church Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 7AD


    Come and buy your sustainably grown Christmas tree! Locally grown Scots pine Christmas trees cut as part of heathland management.

    Also holly, mistletoe, pine cones, willow Christmas wreaths and other natural decorations from local sources.

    There will be BBOWT, RSPB and Fairtrade stalls with cards and a wide variety of gifts. Locally produced honey and beeswax products from Reading & District Beekeepers.

    Contact details:

  • Mon
    19:30 - 20:30Caversham Court Gardens

    Church Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 7AD

    The Friends of Caversham Court Gardens invite you to their annual Carol Evening. The choir of St Peter’s Church will be leading the singing of traditional Christmas carols in Caversham Court. Members of the Salvation Army Band will add to the festive music.

    The floodlit gardens will be open from 18:15 and mulled wine, hot chocolate and mince pies will be on sale in the tea kiosk in aid of local charities. The church bells will ring out from 19:15.

    Wrap up warm, bring a torch to read the words and come along to sing in the festive season. By kind permission of the rector, the event will take place in St Peter’s church next door if the weather is wet.

    All welcome. Free entry but there will be a collection.

  • Tue
    14:00 - 17:00Reading Voluntary Action

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

    The purpose of this session is to prepare a group of volunteer focus group facilitators to run focus groups so we can gain a greater understanding into how people experience loneliness. The information will help us work with local voluntary sector organisations to meet the needs of residents in Reading who are lonely and socially isolated.

    If you would like to take part as a volunteer focus group facilitator then the training is free. If you are interested in the training but do not want to help out with the focus groups, we can keep you on a waiting list and offer spaces that are available closer to the time.

    The training will cover
    -What is a focus group and what can it be used for?
    -Structure of focus groups
    -Types of questions
    -Creating an environment that encourages people to speak
    -Flexibility and structure – when to stick to plan and when to deviate
    -Set up and administration of your focus group

    The training is targeted at people who are used to working with groups and leading group activity and we will ask participants to demonstrate a level of experience before offering a place on the training.

    Please email to express interest in the workshop.

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