News from Reading Neighbourhood Network
News compiled on 17 September 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
  • Battle Library Community Hub Opens

    12 September 2019 Battle Library Community Hub Opens

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    Battle Library will reopen to the public as a multi-use community hub for west Reading on Tuesday 17 September, following major building improvement work over the summer.

    Local residents can visit the library from 13:00 on Tuesday 17 September. Battle Library has been transformed over the summer, so that more people can enjoy what it has to offer. The much loved library will continue to provide all of its popular library services, as well as Children’s Centre activities, adult learning and community activities.

    Work on the £400K project, funded through developer contributions from nearby housing schemes, got underway in May. The transformation has created a new single storey rear extension alongside internal reorganisation and improvements. The extension has an office space and houses the adult library, which opens up to an outside deck area. An eco-friendly green roof of hardy alpines plants has been installed on the extension.

    The internal reorganisation provides a new flexible community space, available for community groups to use outside of library opening hours. This also includes a kitchenette and additional toilet facility. Other improvements include a new library reception desk and general redecoration.

    Groups and organisations benefiting from the transformation include: Brighter Future for Children Children’s Centre activities, West Reading Together, New Directions adult learning and Craft & Chat.

    Continue reading →
  • Opening Date Announced for the Pantry Café and Kitchen

    11 September 2019 Opening Date Announced for the Pantry Café and Kitchen

    News from: Reading Borough Council

    The Pantry Café & Kitchen, Reading Town Hall’s new café, will open to the public this month. The modern new café will sit in the heart of Reading’s vibrant town centre, forming an integral part of the beautiful 18th Century Grade II listed Town Hall and Museum building.

    The Pantry will offer a fresh exciting place for breakfast, brunch or lunch and a great place to meet and eat. It will be open to the public from Monday 16 September.

    The café’s Executive Chef, Daniel Pink, combines his passion for fresh local produce with a desire to provide customers with a scrumptious and inventive menu. Delicious food on offer will range from savoury breakfast waffles & pancakes, handmade pork sausage rolls, and vegetarian scotch eggs to the Pantry’s signature chocolate brownies.

    The Pantry will be open Monday to Saturday from 8:00 to 17:00.‘The Pantry Café & Kitchen’ name is a historical nod to the popular People’s Pantry restaurant that once stood opposite the town hall.

    Continue reading →
  • Have your say – RBC’s Homelessness Strategy consultation open until 29 September 2019

    5 September 2019 Have your say – RBC’s Homelessness Strategy consultation open until 29 September 2019

    Reading Borough Council are looking for your views on proposed priorities for Reading’s next Homelessness Strategy. Your feedback will shape and inform their approach and strategic direction regarding homelessness over the next five years.

    The proposed priorities for the next Homelessness Strategy are:
    -Priority 1: Intervening early to prevent and reduce homelessness in Reading
    -Priority 2: Increasing access to decent, suitable accommodation
    -Priority 3: Supporting people who are vulnerable to recurring homelessness

    RBC are asking for your views on the three proposed priorities for the borough’s next Homelessness Strategy to see whether or not you agree with them and to determine if there are any gaps they haven’t identified.

    Find out more on the RBC website at If you have any questions, or would like a hard copy of the consultation questionnaire, phone 01189 373580 or email The consultation closes on Sunday 29 September 2019.

    Complete the online survey here

    Continue reading →
  • Friendship volunteering survey

    27 August 2019 Friendship volunteering survey

    News from Reading Voluntary Action (RVA)
    by Rhiannon Stocking-Williams.

    At RVA, we often hear that it’s getting harder to attract new volunteers to take action on loneliness and social isolation in Reading. Demand is increasing for volunteers who represent the diversity of Reading and who are free at times when people need them.

    During August and September, RVA is conducting a survey of local voluntary and community groups with volunteers in roles such as befrienders, buddies and other one to one support roles. Information from this survey will help RVA support local groups to recruit new volunteers and will give us a clearer picture of the current scope, capacity and level of vacancies in ‘friendship volunteering’ roles in the town.

    We’ve kept it short, so it won’t take up too much of your time. Please click on this link, grab a cuppa, fill it in, and send it back to us at RVA. We’ll then report on it later in the year.

    Continue reading →
  • Free online healthy eating advice from Reading University’s nutritionists

    27 August 2019 Free online healthy eating advice from Reading University’s nutritionists

    Free online healthy eating advice is being offered by nutritionists as part of a new trial being run by the University of Reading. The EatWellUK study is testing a new easy-to-use web app, which provides advice on how you can eat more healthily.

    Participating in this nutrition study involves using the eNutri web app ( to complete a food and drink questionnaire on two occasions that are 12 weeks apart. Each interaction takes approximately 25-30 minutes and healthy eating advice is provided via the app each time.

    We would like to hear from you if you are 18 years or older, living in the UK, without any food allergies or intolerances, not diabetic or pregnant, not following a specialised diet, e.g. vegan, weight-loss or sports nutrition (vegetarians can take part), and not receiving diet advice from a dietitian, nutritionist or medical professional.

    For further information and to register, please visit If you have any questions about the study or your eligibility to take part, please email us at

    Continue reading →

Upcoming events
  • Tue
    10:00 - 17:00Holy Brook Gallery

    Reading Central Library, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BQ

    This is an exhibition of artwork created by clients attending Churches in Reading Drop in Centre. Its purpose is to display to the general public the variety of drawings, paintings, sculpture and poetry that has been produced over a period of time by people experiencing hardship in the form of homelessness, unemployment, mental illness, addiction etc. It is a tribute to the talent and artistic abilities of those who may feel on the margins of society.

    The exhibition will run from 17 September to 28 September 2019, in Central Library’s Holy Brook Gallery, during the library’s normal opening hours.

  • Wed
    14:00 - 15:30Chimney Court

    Shilling Close, Tilehurst, Reading RG30 4EN

    This is a fully inclusive seated exercise group for older adults with a focus on keeping active and staying social. It is based within our extra care housing scheme, but open to members of the community. Sessions run term-time and include around 45-60 minutes of activities such as stretches, parachute activities and gentle movement games.

    The sessions are suitable for wheelchair users and those with limited mobility. We are wheelchair accessible with parking available and easy bus route access. The session finishes with tea and coffee and the chance to chat with others.

    Contact details
    Phone: 07932 188129

  • Thu
    15:00 - 18:00Ridgeline Trust Therapeutic Gardens

    25 Whiteknights Road, Reading RG6 7BY

    We believe that gardening is good for health and wellbeing. Come and find out about the gardening opportunities for you or your clients at our launch event at the Ridgeline Trust Therapeutic Gardens.

    Reading Gardening for Health and Wellbeing Network is a collaboration of over 10 community gardens and horticultural therapy groups in the Greater Reading area.

    For more information about this event please email

  • Sat
    14:00 - 17:00Caversham Court Gardens

    Church Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 7AD

    Guided tours of the beautiful riverside gardens and the listed 17th century summer house give a unique glimpse into the history of the house that once stood on the site, of the families who lived there, and of the history of Caversham and its links with Reading across the Thames.

    Sensory tours for visually or hearing impaired people are available on request, run by experienced guides from the Friends of Caversham Court Gardens.

    Families can also follow an architectural trail which takes them on a fascinating journey of exploration and discovery around the summer house. The activities along the trail will engage the youngest ones and even adults will look at the building in a different way.

    For further information please email

  • Tue
    17:30 - 20:30Reading 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.

    Outcomes of this training are:

    • To better understand your role and legal responsibilities as a trustee
    • To understand how this role fits with other roles in the charity
    • To understand your reporting responsibilities
    • To know where to go for help and support
    • To feel confident in being an active member of your Board/Committee and helping to achieve your charities purposes!

    To achieve this we will cover:

    • Introduction: ‘Trustee’, ‘Charity’ and legal structures
    • Trustee roles and responsibilities: 6 Main Legal Duties
    • Policies and Procedures: Which ones? Why do they matter?
    • Accounting & Reporting – the essentials
    • Essential resources and links to help you on your way (Tools)

    The training is suitable for new and existing trustees and will also give a valuable introduction to anyone thinking of taking on the role. In some small community groups you may refer to yourselves as the Comittee. If you have overall responsibility for your community group, then this course is for you.

    Please book online at The cost is £10, which includes materials. Refreshments are provided.

  • Wed
    18:00 - 19:45Friends Meeting House

    2 Church Street, Reading RG1 2SB

    Councillor Tony Jones will talk about the future of Social Care in Reading as we move to further integration of health and social care under the Berkshire West Integrated Care partnership. There will be opportunity for discussion and questions. We also discuss local healthcare news and reports from local GP practice Patient Participation Groups.

  • Thu
    12:30 - 16:15Community Place

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

    Anyone interested in reducing loneliness and social isolation is welcome at the next Befriending Forum on Thursday 26 September.

    The focus of this event is on how to show the impact of your work – to funders, the public, beneficiaries and to your own volunteers and staff.

    The agenda includes:

    • A networking lunch
    • A presentation by the national organisation Befriending Networks
    • Hearing local funders’ perspectives
    • A data visualisation workshop
    • A chance to get creative and develop your practice

    The event is for anyone from local communities, groups and organisations interested in helping reduce loneliness and social isolation in Reading.

    Free event but please register at to confirm your place.

  • Sat
    12:00 - 16:00Forbury Gardens

    Reading RG1 3BB

    Reading Town Meal is a truly community-powered event. First held in 2011, so far there have been five fantastic ‘picnics in the park’ celebrating the delicious fruit and veg that is grown in Reading. All the food is donated by the wonderful growers and allotment holders around Reading, cooked by Reading College students, and served free in Forbury Gardens.

    The meal is accompanied by music from local bands, family fun activities, plus the chance to learn more about growing your own food, shop with local producers and find out what local community and sustainability groups are doing in Reading.

    Find out more at

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