News compiled on 29 July 2021
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 www.rgneighbours.net.
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Great news for anyone planning to hold a street party this year – Reading Borough Council has confirmed that it will waive its road closure fees for any weekend in September 2021. So if you are planning to hold a small street party and can arrange it for September you can close your road and it won’t cost you a penny!
A small street party means one held in only one or two streets and for neighbours only. You will need to consult with residents in the streets affected and get evidence such as signatures to show that the majority are happy with the street closure. Most streets can be closed, the chief exceptions being main roads and bus routes.
If your street is unsuitable for a party or you are unable to submit an application in time, there are plenty of other options. For example, there might be some communal space at the end of a cul-de-sac or off the road or a corner of a local park where you could hold a party.
Although Covid restrictions are mostly ending in July and August, please be aware that there will be neighbours that will have concerns about large gatherings, particularly those that are vulnerable to Covid. We advise planning your party to allow enough space tor social distancing, and it would be good practice to have hand sanitiser available and pay extra attention to hygiene if there are communal areas where people will gather such as around a barbecue.
Details and a road closure application form are are on the Reading Borough Council web site at www.reading.gov.uk/leisure/things-to-do/organising-an-event/street-parties-the-big-lunch. But you will need to hurry – the deadline for street closure applications is 2 August.Continue reading →
Berkshire Community Foundation has awarded local reading charity ABC to Read a grant of £5,000 to address the education gap caused by Covid-19. This is in addition to numerous previous grants awarded by the Foundation in ongoing support of the charity.
Addressing literacy in primary school aged children is essential to improving their future opportunities. One in four children left primary school in 2019 unable to read to the required standard, and low levels of literacy cost the UK an estimated £81 billion a year in lost earnings and increased welfare spending. Covid has only accentuated these trends.
Illiteracy persists in the UK today, so the support of one-to-one ABC to Read volunteer mentors is pivotal to help turn around the prospects of Berkshire children, particularly in this time of catch-up learning. While there are some very affluent areas in Berkshire where children are exceeding expectations, there are also some deprived areas such as Central Reading.
On average, 500 children are encouraged and mentored by an ABC to Read volunteer every year, with 12,000 hours invested into improving not only their reading ability but their enjoyment of the pastime as well as their general attitudes and confidence.
With many vacancies that could be filled with more volunteers and increasing numbers of children who need catch-up support as schools have re-opened, ABC to Read are actively looking for new volunteers to take part in training this year, likely to be September and November. Schools that are in need of additional reading support are also being actively encouraged to sign up for ABC to Read mentors. For more information about training days or joining the scheme as a school or volunteer mentor, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.Continue reading →
News from: Reading Borough Council
This is advance notice to the voluntary and community sector that the formal bidding process through the open market and also through the third sector process for the Caversham Court long leasehold or short-term lease will open on 21 July. Local voluntary organisations are invited to submit their proposals by 12:00 on 17 September 2021.
The application process:
-Applications and accompanying documents should be sent to RBC Voluntary and Community Sector Team at the email address: Alistair.Dowlman@reading.gov.uk
-Officers will assess bids on the basis of the value provided to Reading Borough Council of releasing the property in accordance with the council’s Third Sector Premises Policy Statement to a local voluntary organisation, based on the contribution to the council’s priorities as set out in the Corporate Plan.
-An application form and scoring system for bids are available from the contact listed below.
-All bids received from the voluntary sector will be reported to Policy Committee.
-The leasehold interest of the property (999 years or short term commercial lease) is being advertised on the open market by:
Vail Williams, 550 Thames Valley Park Drive, Earley, Reading, RG6 1PT
FAO: Charlie Nicholson
Telephone: 01189 097400
Download the marketing particulars here – Caversham Court.
Interested organisations should submit a bidding application form based on the following:
1. Proposal for use of the property: please provide an outline of your proposed use of the property and how this will benefit local council taxpayers, addressing the priorities of the Corporate Plan:
-Safeguarding and protecting those that are most vulnerable
-Providing the best life through education, early help and healthy living
-Providing homes for those in most need
-Keeping the town clean, safe, green and active
-Providing infrastructure to support the economy
-Remaining financially sustainable to deliver these service priorities
2. Basis of your offer: please state whether the offer is subject to any terms and conditions such as building survey, planning permission, third party funding etc.
3. Building summary: please set out a summary of the building in terms of current condition, potential opportunities and suitability for your proposed use. Please set out in sufficient detail a programme of any maintenance or improvement works you would wish to carry out at the property together with a cost summary and any related dependencies such as Listed status, Building Regulations, Planning Permission etc.
4. Supporting information: please complete the application form with the following information to support your bid:
-Details of your bid offer
-Details of your organisational structure including legal status, constitution, terms of reference etc
-Audited accounts for the last 3 financial years
-Evidence of your experience in managing a property, including managing a Listed property
-Evidence of access to an experienced property manager on an ongoing basis
-A description of your current activity in Reading and how it has benefited local communities or added value to local services
-Business Plan and budget to support your proposal specifically addressing matters relating to the proposed use and the building condition
Viewings: All viewing should be arranged through the agents. Block viewing will be made available and advertised/updated on the agents site here.
For information and advice on the third sector bidding process and for a copy of the application form and scoring system, please contact Reading Voluntary Action’s Advice Service Manager, Herjeet Randhawa by emailing email@example.com.Continue reading →
News from: Reading Community Learning Centre
A great opportunity to rent office space in central Reading from October 2021.
Reading Community Learning Centre, based at 94 London Street, is looking for tenants to share its Grade 2 listed building, and is also offering classrooms and meeting spaces for hire.
-Top floor of 875 square feet, which consists of a very large room, a medium sized room and a smaller office, plus 2 toilets
-Shared basement kitchen and 2 car park spaces
-Option of renting classrooms on weekdays from 15:30 and at weekends
-Rent is £1620 per month which includes utility bills but excludes rates and phone/broadband bills. We are open to offers and discussion on the rent.
The Centre already works with men and although most of our core classes will remain women only, our building will be open to appropriate organisations working with men.
If you are interested in exploring sharing our building, please email Aisha Malik, Centre Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone her on 01189 595455 or call Sarah Del Tufo on 07747 667469.Continue reading →
Here are a number of activities and events taking place over the summer holidays, for young people, families and adults.
In many cases, see the attached fliers for full details but links are also provided below.
Youth Team Activities: Download the flier highlighting activities for young people in your local area run by Brighter Futures For Children’s Youth team. Note there are some special events taking place towards the end of the summer which the wider community is also being invited to participate in.
Holiday Activity Fund (HAF): Children in receipt of free school meals are eligible to take part in a number of activities across Reading – details can be found here: Children’s social care, child welfare, looked after children and children in care (brighterfuturesforchildren.org).
In addition to this, a HAF activity is taking place at Southcote Children’s Centre on Mondays for 7-17 year olds.
Yoga and Pilates with Compass: Compass Recovery College will be offering Yoga and Pilates classes suitable for complete beginners and old hands and offer the chance to stretch and relax in the open air. Through gentle movement, breathing and concentration, these sessions will leave you feeling relaxed, stretched out and in a positive frame of mind.
6 weekly sessions, starting Wednesday 7 July, 13:15-14:00 (Prospect Park, Reading RG30 2ND) Download the flyer.
Reading For Health with Compass and MERL: A brand new free course with Compass and MERL bringing students together to simply enjoy great stories and relate them to objects in the museum.
Meeting in the beautiful surroundings of The MERL garden, the short stories are read aloud by a trained facilitator.
6 weekly sessions, from Wednesday 21 July, 10:30-12:00. Download the flyer.Continue reading →
Thu05Aug202117:00 - 22:00Path Hill Farm House
Goring Heath, Reading RG8 7RE.
A solidarity fundraiser for Reading Red Kitchen and Growing Solidarity
A chance to spend time in nature and in community!
There will be music, games, talks, hemp burgers, foraged drinks and more!
We are raising funds to support our work in the city during the crisis. We aim to continue this work in the city and at the farm as lockdown eases. Your donations go towards transport costs, and materials and a little goes a long way!
Growing Solidarity is a collaborative project that aims to build resilience in and across communities.
Got a few extra coins rattling around your bank account? Growing Solidarity is our community outreach project, aiming to connect refugees and marginalised groups with nature through supporting them to grow their own food. So those extra coins could become seeds, planters, squash, cabbages… All those good things.
Please donate to www.hempen.co.uk/growing-solidarity. Buckets will also be jangling on the night! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions - email email@example.com or call us on 07720 541341.
Sat25Sep202112:00 - 16:00Forbury Gardens
Reading, RG1 3BB
The biggest ‘picnic in the park’ returns to Reading (Covid permitting). It brings together food, music, community stalls, workshops and local producers. It’s a fantastic celebration of local food sustainability.
You can be part of this by volunteering or growing produce (see details on the website). Or just come along to enjoy food prepared and served by Reading College catering students, made from locally grown fruit and vegetables.
Don’t miss out! Reading Town Meal helps to make Reading a special place.