RVA highlights of 2018

Primary interest
Voluntary sector

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Here are some of the RVA team’s highlights from another busy year…
9: New look RVA News launched

We launched a fresh new look for RVA News in October this year, making all the content we know you value even more accessible – including sector job vacancies, funding opportunities, events and training. With new Community Journalists joining the RVA team, 2019 will see more features showcasing the amazing work of organisations and individuals in Reading. If you’re reading this, you probably already subscribe to RVA News, but if not you can subscribe here.

8: Your social action stories

For our AGM publication this year we asked lots of people we work with: what does social action mean to you? It was such a pleasure to collect together all the responses and stories which demonstrate the richness and diversity of the voluntary sector in Reading. Email info@rva.org.uk or pop into the RVA office if you’d like a copy of the Social Action in Reading poster.

7: Research by RVA’s summer intern

RVA have been lucky to welcome lots of great summer interns through the University of Reading scheme, and this year was no exception. Catherine McClane produced a report on youth isolation and loneliness in Reading. Catherine spent the summer talking to young people and stakeholder organisations, to investigate the causes and impacts of loneliness for 11 to 25 year olds living in the town. Read more here.

6: Second annual Disability Awareness Day at the Weller Centre

Disability Awareness Day has now established itself as an annual event for Reading. It’s an opportunity for disabled people to obtain information and support and generally meet one another. This year’s took place in August at the Weller Centre, an accessible community space on Amersham Road. Themed around culture, wellbeing and leisure, the event celebrated the diversity of Reading residents and visitors who may have a physical disability, sensory need or neurological condition. An estimated 120 members of the public attended. Read a report on the day by RVA’s Community Journalist and new Trustee, Simone Illger.

5: Let’s Make Reading Friendlier!

2018 got off to a brilliant start with hundreds of people attending the Let’s Make Reading Friendlier! event at Reading Town Hall, organised by Rachel Goater. Rachel left RVA to move to Scotland this year, but with Rhiannon Stocking-Williams now in post as Ready Friends Coordinator, look out for exciting new developments in 2019!

4: Supporting RBH over the winter

NHS England is funding some additional voluntary sector services at the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) over the winter period to support patients and staff. The A&E Delivery Group (a partnership board which includes Berkshire West CCG, RBH, Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, the ambulance service and the three local authorities) received Urgent and Emergency Care Transformation Monies and this is funding four pilot services to be delivered by voluntary organisations, including RVA. Read more about the pilots here.

3: New trustees join the RVA board

Four new trustees were appointed to the RVA board at the AGM in October – Simone Illger, Julie Roberts, Sarah Stevens and Gillian Thomas – bringing with them a wealth of skills and experience. You can read more about RVA’s trustees here.

2: Second annual Reading Volunteer Awards

The second annual Reading Volunteer Awards 2018 took place in June with over 150 representatives of a wide range of voluntary sector organisations in attendance. The night was a celebration of volunteers and volunteering and the difference that it makes to our town. Read more about this year’s wards here and look out for details of Reading Volunteer Awards 2019 early in the New Year!

1: Safe + Sound! Seven more organisations awarded the RVA governance mark

Congratulations to the 7 organisations who gained the RVA Safe + Sound governance mark this year!

  • Elizabeth Fry Charity
  • Reading Advice Network
  • Dingley’s Promise
  • Reading Rep
  • Reading Samaritans
  • RISC
  • Reading Refugee Support Group

That makes 17 Safe + Sound organisations in total, with many more starting the process. If you want to make 2019 the year that your organisation works towards this locally relevant, credible and achievable award you can find out more here.