News from Reading Neighbourhood Network
News compiled on 13 November 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
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News articles
  • Celebrating Friendship Volunteers

    7 November 2019

    News from Reading Voluntary Action (RVA)

    Fifty volunteers and support staff from twenty of Reading’s community groups enjoyed an evening of celebration, sharing and learning on 1 November.

    The Crowne Plaza by Caversham Bridge hosted the first-of-its-kind event, which brought together volunteers who are helping local people facing loneliness and social isolation, all year round. The purpose of the evening was to celebrate the fantastic and essential contribution that volunteers make to the lives of people who are among the most vulnerable in our town, and hear about the positive impact they have.

    Councillor Rachel Eden, keynote speaker, highlighted the serious impact that loneliness and social isolation can have on anyone in our community and referred to Jo Cox, MP who, before her murder in 2016, campaigned tirelessly for action on this issue and stressed that “loneliness doesn’t discriminate”.

    The event was also a chance to meet volunteers in other roles, hearing about the different kinds of activity available to help reduce loneliness and social isolation – and dates were fixed-up on the night between groups to find out more about each other and explore opportunities for working together.

    Loneliness and social isolation are increasing, and cut across all communities in Reading. It’s getting harder for local community groups and charities to recruit volunteers to take action in a variety of roles. A greater diversity is needed in the pool of people willing to become friendship volunteers – the communities they represent and the times when they can volunteer.

    Anyone interested in volunteering in a friendship role can find the latest volunteering opportunities from RVA.
    -Phone: 01189 372273

    Continue reading →
  • Reading’s First ‘Lamp Post’ Electrical Charging Points Now Live

    5 November 2019 Reading’s First ‘Lamp Post’ Electrical Charging Points Now Live

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    Powered using the existing electrical supply to lamp posts, a total of 15 charging points have been installed and are operational on Coventry Road, Filey Road, Manchester Road, St Bartholemews Road, East Street, Anstey Road, Caversham Road and Wantage Road.

    The locations were selected following the Council’s ‘Go Electric’ public consultation where Reading residents who either owned an electric vehicle, or had an interest in buying one in the future, were asked to register their interest in having an electric charging point on their street.

    While electric vehicles are an increasingly popular choice for drivers because of the obvious air quality and health benefits, people are very often put off by having nowhere to charge their vehicle overnight where they don’t have a private driveway.

    Reading has a higher than average percentage (33%) of its households living in terraced properties. An estimated 52,000 people live in terraced housing and a high proportion have no access to off-street parking, which makes charging an electric vehicle overnight very difficult. The Council successfully bid for Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Air Quality Grant of £100,000 to pay for the installation of electric vehicle charging points on residential streets where there is no off street parking.

    For more information on electric charging points in Reading go to

    Continue reading →
  • Police Property Act Fund – open until 22 November 2019

    31 October 2019

    The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld, and the Chief Constable, John Campbell, have opened a new grant round of the Police Property Act Fund. £170,000 is available to community and voluntary groups across the Thames Valley.

    The Fund, which is jointly managed by the PCC and the Chief Constable, is created from money recovered by the police and the proceeds from the sale of items that cannot be returned to identified owners, including seizures from criminals. Earlier this year, £106,733 was distributed to 27 different organisations addressing Police and Crime Plan priorities.

    Applications are now invited from local voluntary and community groups who can contribute towards two of the PCC’s strategic priorities in his Police and Crime Plan, which are:
    -Prevention and Early Intervention

    Some examples of projects that may be considered include those that aim to tackle elder abuse, hidden harm (such as stalking, honour based abuse and forced marriage), peer-on-peer abuse, hate crime and mental health issues. All applications will be required to submit clear evidence of how their project or activity will contribute towards achieving the key aim indicated.

    The closing date for this round of applications is 24:00 on  Friday 22 November 2019 and applications will be considered jointly by the PCC and the Chief Constable. More information can be found here and the online application form can be found at

    Continue reading →
  • Have you had your flu jab?

    29 October 2019

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    This winter, we want to help as many people as possible know about their entitlement to flu vaccination and know what they need to do. Please help us spread this important message to your family, friends and those you work with.

    You are entitled to a free flu vaccination if you:
    -Are aged 65 years and over.
    -Are aged under 65 with specific clinical conditions including diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, neurological disease or learning disability.
    -Are pregnant.
    -Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 and above.
    -Are a health and social care worker with direct patient contact.
    -Are an unpaid or paid carer.

    Why get vaccinated?
    Flu can be a serious illness, particularly for older people or those with other health conditions. Flu spreads easily and can be passed from one person to the other, even if the person carrying the virus has mild or no symptoms. This is why vaccination is important for all those working with people who are vulnerable either because they are in a clinical risk group or because they are aged 65 and over. Every year there are flu outbreaks. This is partly because as people age they do not produce as good an immune response to vaccination. Vaccination has been shown to be effective in reducing disease spread and patient mortality.

    Where to get vaccinated: Please visit your local GP or local pharmacy.

    If you are a service provider, these are some useful things to consider:
    -Have winter wellness plans in place, including a flu plan.
    -Support the Help Us Help You marketing campaign for this year, which encourages those eligible to get vaccinated. Order resources for your practice.
    -Ensure all staff, including agency staff and locums are aware of what to do if there is a suspect case of flu.

    Further information
    Public Health England – Help us Help You Stay Well – Flu Campaign Brochure.
    Information for people with learning disabilities and the flu injection (Easy-read).

    Continue reading →
  • Community space at Tutu’s Table in Palmer Park

    24 October 2019 Community space at Tutu’s Table in Palmer Park

    Tutu’s Ethiopian Table is located in Palmer Park (the old Chalkboard Cafe). Tutu wishes to make the space more available for local community groups and charities who are looking for a meeting space or if groups are looking for a local community setting to take their members or service users to.

    Palmer Park is a beautiful green space to the east of Reading town centre and is easily accessible by No.17 bus services. Car Parking is also available next to the Sports Centre in the park.

    The offer to community groups and charities:
    -Meeting space available with no charge for community groups.
    -Free wi-fi.
    -The whole space can accommodate 48 people.
    -There is a separate meeting room space off the main dining room, which can accommodate 20 people. This space is more private than the main area.
    -Community groups can use this space for free to hold meetings and events. As Tutu manages a small local and independent business, she simply asks you to order refreshments (tea/coffee) as a minimum for your group when you attend.
    -There is also a buffet option. The cuisine is Ethiopian, which Tutu has been providing for years in Reading and has proven popular.
    Menu and drinks prices.

    To book the community space, please contact Tutu on 07863 551097 or 01189 663938.

    Continue reading →

Upcoming events
  • 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.

  • Thu
    10:30 - 11:30Community Place

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

    Is your community group seeking to purchase a building?
    Reading Borough Council is currently marketing properties with the option for voluntary sector organisations to put in a bid. Current bidding opportunities:

    RVA are hosting a buildings meeting on 14 November 2019. The meeting aims to help voluntary organisations better understand the third sector bidding process on the above or similar properties, along with top tips, what you need to have in place in terms of your governance and support that is available from RVA.

    Who should attend: If you are a voluntary sector organisation based in Reading and in a financial position to put in a bid.

    Please confirm your attendance at

  • Thu
    19:00 - 21:00Reading Quaker Meeting House

    2 Church Street, Reading RG1 2SB

    On Thursday 14 November 2019, we would like to welcome you at the Interfaith Week Reception in Reading. This is an annual event where we celebrate the good relationships between people of all faiths in our town.

    Apart from sharing food, we would like to discuss what it means to live in a country and town that have declared a climate emergency. Rather than talking about technological solutions, we will dig deeper and ask ourselves: can our faith or spirituality bring us into a healthier relationship with the natural world?​​

    We will finish the evening with the traditional Noah’s pudding.

    ​This is a free event. If you can, please bring and share some vegetarian food for our finger buffet.​ We appreciate it if you can RSVP to​

    Organised by Reading Interfaith Group and Fellowship Educational Society.

  • Fri
    19:00 – 22:00Read College

    St Bart's Theatre, Saint Bartholomews Road, Reading RG1 3QA

    The Access to The Arts scheme is run by READ College and supports talented young people from under-represented backgrounds to train for a career in the Performing Arts.

    Our annual charity quiz night is a great way to support this local charity.

    • Pub-style Quiz - teams of 6-8 per table (bring your friends or make some new ones on the night!)
    • Ploughman's Supper included
    • Fully licensed cash bar with all proceeds going to the charity
    • Raffle with great prizes
    • Heads & Tails game and more.

    Pit your general knowledge against all the other teams to be crowned the winners! Enter a whole team (up to 8 people) or book individually, everyone is welcome.

    Tickets cost £11.37. Please book online at

  • 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
    14:00 - 18:00Wycliffe Baptist Church

    233 King's Road, Reading RG1 4SL

    Each year, Carers Rights Day brings organisations across the UK together to help unpaid carers in their local community know their rights and find out how to get the help and support they are entitled to. Unpaid carers provide voluntary support to a family or a friend while sometimes having to work to support themselves.

    In celebration of Carers Rights Day, the Reading and West Berkshire Carers Hub are hosting free information sessions in support of unpaid carers. A wide range of organisations supporting carers will be present to provide information and advice.


    • Health Checks: 15:45–16:00
    • Power of Attorney: 16:00–16:45
    • DWP: 16:50–17:20
    • My Care My Home: 17:20–17:35
    • Carer Assessment (Adults/Children): 17:35–18:00

    Appointments by booking only

    • National Careers Service: 14:00–18:00
    • My Care My Home: 14:00–18:00
    • Power of Attorney: 14:00–16:00
    • Health MOTs: 14:00– 15:30

    Download an information leaflet about Carers Rights Day 2019 in Reading. For further information, or to register your attendance, please call the hub on 01183 247333 or email

  • Fri
    09:30 - 17:00Beech Hill Memorial Hall

    Wood Lane, Beech Hill, Reading RG7 2BE

    Community organising is the work of bringing people together to take action around their common concerns and overcome social injustice. Community organisers reach out and listen, connect and motivate people to build their collective power. When people are organised, communities get heard and power begins to shift creating real change for good.

    This interactive, quality-assured course will help you to develop the skills and confidence to start listening to people to build relationships and activate people as part of a community organising strategy. Listening to people is the foundation of community organising because it builds trust and relationships, uncover issues and is an essential starting point for bringing people together to share stories, ideas and action. The course will focus on:

    • ‘Relational’ listening and its importance in community organising.
    • How to plan a listening campaign to kick-start your organising work.
    • Practical listening tools you can use to engage people, build relationships and find leaders.
    • How asking powerful questions helps people to tell their stories.
    • How community organisers reflect to improve their work.

    Places are available on a first come, first served basis and cost £10 for CCB members, £15 for non-members. To book your place please complete the online form at

  • Sun
    14:00 - 16:3021 Alexandra Road

    Reading, RG1 5PE

    Please come and support local families this Christmas by attending our Xmas Market in aid of Reading Mencap. Fun for all the family.

    • Local business stall holders
    • Gifts
    • Raffle
    • Tombola
    • Cakes and jams
    • Refreshments
    • Santa’s Grotto (£2 extra charge)

    £1 Entry or 50p for Reading Mencap members. All welcome.

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