Here you can keep up with the latest from Reading’s 900+ voluntary organisations and other voluntary sector news from around the area.

  • ESFA Community Training Grants available – applications open until 24 August 2020
    29 July 2020

    Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) Community Training Grants, which are available to apply for on a rolling basis, are grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 for projects that will support unemployed and economically inactive people on their journey towards paid employment. In light of the economic impact of the pandemic, funding such as this, ...

  • Free topical Zoom talks with the Directory of Social Change
    29 July 2020

    The Directory of Social Change (DSC) are hosting a series FREE of Zoom talks on a range of very topical subjects in August. These sessions may be of interest to charity trustees and managers.  Please register directly with DSC through the links below. Racism: Not in our sector? 12 Aug, 5-6pm Campaigns such as #CharitySoWhite have challenged the ...

  • Celebrating Volunteering – Share your volunteering stories with us!
    29 July 2020

    As many of you will know the Covid-19 outbreak forced us to postpone this year’s Reading Volunteer Awards scheduled to have taken place in June. Whilst we don’t know if, when and in what form the Awards will take place we do know that volunteers have been at the forefront of the community response to ...

  • Reading Family Aid launch Summer Toy Project
    28 July 2020

    Article updated on 22 July with further instructions on the donation process – see below Most children have been away from school for many, many weeks and parents are running out of things for them to do. For many disadvantaged families in Reading this has been particularly stressful and it isn’t likely to improve soon. In ...

  • Handling Personal Data Training – 5 Aug
    23 July 2020

    Time: 1pm – 2pm All organisations, including charities and community groups, have a responsibility to safeguard the personal data of service users, staff, volunteers, contractors and anyone whose personal data they collect or use in the delivery of their services. What this course will cover This 1 hour online course will explain the basics of data protection, ...

  • How to support staff wellbeing during coronavirus
    22 July 2020

    If your charity or community group is thinking about how the impact of coronavirus is affecting your staff and volunteers, NCVO’s mental health and wellbeing group has written a useful blog on supporting staff wellbeing during coronavirus and looks at the following themes: Compassionate leadership Understanding how employees are affected and offering sources of support Creating new ways ...

  • Utulivu Annual Conference 2020
    22 July 2020

    All are invited to join the Utulivu Annual Conference 2020 Theme: The Empowered 21st Century Woman and Man Through Covid-19. Download a leaflet here. Further information Phone:  or 01189 510 279 Email: or Zoom link: Meeting ID: 767 479 2806, passcode: 2804

  • Find out about the work of Trust House Reading
    22 July 2020

    Trust House Reading provides specialist support to women, men and children living in Thames Valley who have been affected by rape or sexual abuse either recently or in the past. They also support friends and families of survivors. Read on to find out more about their work, including their confidential helpline. Tell us about the work ...

  • GSK Impact Awards 2021– core funding and free training for health charities – applications open until 24 September 2020
    21 July 2020

    Charities are facing significant challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, while continuing to provide vital services to keep people healthy and connected. This year, more than ever, The King’s Fund are pleased to announce that applications are now open for the 2021 GSK IMPACT Awards. Winning organisations will receive core funding of up ...

  • The benefits of volunteering in retirement – by Brian Walker, RVA volunteer
    16 July 2020

    Brian Walker is a longstanding admin volunteer for RVA and has also helped with the Get Online Reading project Brian was already carrying out his volunteering remotely when lockdown started, so was perfectly placed to carry on supporting the RVA team. If you have ever submitted a form via the RVA website, chances are it is ...

  • ABC To Read defies lockdown to report improvement in children’s reading confidence
    16 July 2020

    Despite lockdown completely transforming children’s schooling, local charity ABC to Read have announced outstanding results in their most recent annual report, with 98% of the local Berkshire children who benefit from a one-to-one ABC to Read mentor improving in their reading confidence. The report also highlights that 98% of the youngsters working with them have ...

  • Kooth: new online counselling service for young people in our area
    16 July 2020

    Berkshire West CCG, Wokingham LA, West Berkshire LA and Brighter Futures for Children have jointly commissioned the online counselling service Kooth, a service delivered by XenZone. Kooth will now be an integral component of Berkshire West’s mental health provision offering digital counselling and emotional wellbeing service for young people and young adults. For a brief video ...

  • Digital skills for the Covid-19 economy: free Microsoft training via LinkedIn
    16 July 2020

    Microsoft has launched an initiative to provide free training to provide 25 million people with the digital skills required in the Covid-19 economy. The worldwide project provides free access to content in LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn and the GitHub Learning Lab. Training is offered in 10 areas, ranging from software developer to digital marketer or graphic designer ...

  • Health Equalities Annual Conference 2020
    16 July 2020

    Join ACRE, Utulivu Women, Women with Vision and other grassroot communities in West Berkshire, with the support of Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, in the communities’ annual conference. This year’s theme is Potentializing the Communities Assets In Filling The Gaps For Sustainable Equity(All for our wellbeing). Please join to share and hear how we can collectively work ...

  • The Job Retention Bonus and the Government’s Plan for Jobs
    15 July 2020

    Last week the government announced a new Job Retention Bonus (JRB), which would see a £1,000 bonus paid to employers who keep on their furloughed employees beyond the end of the furlough scheme in October. If employers wish to rely on the JRB, they will need to consider the following: furloughed employees will need to be ...

  • Coronavirus information packs from RBC
    15 July 2020

    RBC Adult Care and Health Services have produced an information pack on useful information around staying safe during the pandemic. This may be useful for charities and community groups too. It includes guidance on: latest government guidance (as at July 2020) test and trace playgrounds, libraries and museums staying well: mental health and well-being; support for families and carers staying ...

  • How to complete Covid-19 Risk Assessments
    14 July 2020

    If your charity or community group is thinking about re-opening services or premises due to the easing of lockdown, you will need to complete a Covid-19 Risk Assessment. If you weren’t able to attend the session last week, here are some resources to help you: Presentation Slides on how to complete a Covid-19 Risk Assessment and ...

  • Detached Youth Team summer programme
    14 July 2020

    Detached Youth Team summer programme The Detached Youth Work Team from Brighter Futures for Children will be out and about across Reading from Monday 20 July to Friday 4 September 2020. Download a leaflet with further details here. Further information If you have any questions  please contact the Youth Service on 0118 937 6545 or email

  • Local Authority Discretionary Grants feedback
    13 July 2020

    The recent business grant schemes have left a hole for charities who have found themselves ineligible for support. The Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund sought to address this and was made available to four priority business types including ‘Charitable businesses in receipt of Charitable Business Rates Relief’. However, it only applied to charities that would otherwise ...

  • Compass Recovery College – outdoor activities this summer
    8 July 2020

    Compass Recovery College are pleased to be able to offer a range of outdoor activities over July and August which they hope will encourage people to come out into the community and do something enjoyable in a relaxed and safe space. They will be starting with the following and will post further sessions on their ...

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