News from Reading Neighbourhood Network
News compiled on 17 April 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
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News articles
  • Do you need help with your census form?

    28 March 2021Do you need help with your census form?

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    Reading Voluntary Action is pleased to be working with the Office for National Statistics and the Good Things Foundation to offer the Census Support Service for Reading during March and April.

    Every 10 years a complete census is taken of the current UK population and this provides valuable information to help plan local services in the future. The date for this year’s census is 21 March 2021 and most households will complete the census on or just after that date.

    The census letter also has instructions for ordering a paper form for people without internet access, but did you know we can help householders without internet to fill in census forms too, to save time filling in the paper form? This can be done at the library, or our advisers can complete the census form over the phone.

    We can also help with general enquiries and tasks like generating an access code for your household if you don’t have your census letter, or generating an individual access code if you prefer to answer separately from your household questionnaire.

    Our census support line on 0118 334 1095 is open from Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:00. During the peak period of the census our support line is also open Saturdays 10:00 – 15:00. If there is no reply straight away please leave your contact details and we’ll call you back. You can use the helpline for general enquiries or to to book a face-to-face or telephone appointment to fill in the census with one of our advisers. If you can’t fill in the online form yourself we can fill in the form for you.

    We can also answer enquiries by email at Please allow up to 48 hours for a reply.

    If you have any general questions about the census you can also find a lot of information on the census website at

    As well as RVA’s census team, Communicare is also offering census support from their office in East Reading – they can be contacted on 0118  926 3941.

    Continue reading →

  • Spring courses from Food4Families

    26 March 2021Spring courses from Food4Families

    Food4Families are pleased to be offering two new courses starting this April:

    Growing Healthy Conversations – free eight week courses.
    Practise your conversational English whilst learning gardening skills at our local community gardens.
    -small groups and socially distanced
    -all equipment, tools, seeds etc provided
    -travel costs can be refunded.

    Growing Careers – free six week courses
    Practical, hands-on introduction to what you could be doing if you got a job in horticulture.
    -1.5 hour sessions, based outdoors in local Reading community gardens.
    -seed sowing and propagation
    -plant care
    -soil health
    -garden maintenance
    -sustainable growing techniques.

    Please download a flyer for dates and times:
    Growing Healthy Conversations flyer
    Growing Careers flyer.


    Continue reading →

  • Growing up in Reading: Key findings from a report by RVA’s Youth Social Action Team

    26 March 2021Growing up in Reading: Key findings from a report by RVA’s Youth Social Action Team

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    Reading Voluntary Action has published the key findings from research into what it’s like to grow up in Reading. The research was shaped and carried out by a Youth Social Action Team supported by RVA and the University of Reading Participation Lab. It was completed before the start of the pandemic, but the pandemic has made the priorities identified by the Youth Social Action Team – especially tackling loneliness among young people and supporting the diverse communities in Reading – even more urgent.

    702 young people (aged 11-18) – from across Reading’s schools, colleges and youth organisations – participated in the research by either completing a questionnaire designed by the Youth Social Action Team or taking part in a focus group.

    As a result of the research, the priorities identified by the Youth Social Action Team are:
    -Mental health and wellbeing, especially tackling loneliness
    -Being and feeling safe
    -Creating a sense of community
    -Widening the diversity of activities and opportunities available for young people

    Download the report below to read more about the key findings on: voice and self-expression, life satisfaction, the future, challenges and changes needed, community in Reading, and issues important to young people.

    Download a copy of Growing up in Reading here.

    Continue reading →

  • Catalyst have Community Connector opportunities in Reading – paid work for young people through Kickstart

    26 March 2021Catalyst have Community Connector opportunities in Reading – paid work for young people through Kickstart

    News from: Catalyst Housing

    Catalyst have created a ‘Kickstart in the Community’ project that offers young people paid work as ‘Community Connectors’: This is a new type of role within their Community Investment team that will help young people develop transferable skills, confidence and a local network. Working alongside Catalyst’s Community teams, Community Connectors will use their local knowledge to map local services, talk to residents, stay in touch with socially isolated older people and organise neighbourhood projects to boost community spirit and wellbeing.

    They currently have vacancies live with the Jobcentres in Southall, Broxbourne and Reading: This is our first cohort of six (two in each location) and we will be recruiting in further cohorts to these and other neighbourhoods throughout the year. If you know of any young people through your network who might be interested in working with us in these roles, please ask them to visit their work coach at the Jobcentre as soon as possible so that they can apply. Young people must be unemployed and in receipt of Universal Credit to be eligible for the roles.

    For further information please visit the Catalyst website (

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  • Voluntary sector vaccine support helpline opens

    25 March 2021Voluntary sector vaccine support helpline opens

    News from: Reading Voluntary Action

    Reading voluntary organisations are working together to support people to access their vaccine as they become eligible. RVA has opened a central helpline for carers, family, professionals and individuals in need of support: 0118 334 1091.

    Support includes:
    -Responding to a GP letter or confirming an appointment.
    -Registering with a GP if required.
    -Safe and friendly transport to and from a vaccine hub.
    -Buddy around the hub, with language support if required.

    Specific support may be available for:
    -People with learning disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder or physical disability
    -Fragile older people
    -People with dementia
    -People with communication impairments who are hard of hearing or have restricted sight
    -Those struggling with anxiety or mental illness
    -Refugees and asylum seekers
    -Anyone who is digitally excluded
    -People with potential language or cultural considerations.

    If you are a family carer of someone with a learning disability you can also contact Reading Mencap directly by calling 0118 966 2518 or emailing Download a leaflet with further information.

    Continue reading →

Upcoming events
  • Thu
    10:00 - 10:45Online event

    Berkshire Vision are a local charity who offer vital practical support and activities to adults and children with visual impairment.

    We are offering a training session on Sight Loss and Eye Health and this is now open to the general public. This takes the form of an informative video by our trustee Jane Veys, who is an optometrist, and an opportunity for comments afterwards.

    The training lasts approximately 45 minutes and is free. Anyone can book onto our sessions by emailing

    We look forward to welcoming you.

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