News

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

  • Changes to the DBS service during the coronavirus pandemic
    25 March 2020

    The DBS service has temporarily changed its checking guidelines to enable organisations to continue to submit DBS applications during the coronavirus pandemic. It is important to remember that the rules regarding ‘regulated activity’, ‘work with adults’ and ‘work with children’ still apply. It is only the method for checking of evidence that has changed to ...

  • Governance, solvency, contracts and employment update – Bates Wells
    25 March 2020

    This morning Bates Wells Solicitors, in partnership with NCVO, hosted a very helpful webinar for charities on the impact of coronavirus. They have generously shared their slides, which can be found at the bottom of this article. What follows are the main points for trustees to consider. Governance and solvency The legal form of your charity will ...

  • Call for support – coronavirus response
    24 March 2020

    Over the past week RVA has been working with partners to coordinate support in response to the coronavirus crisis. There has been an overwhelming response from the community – people want to help and over 500 volunteers have registered – but we still face huge challenges and need your help. Thousands of people will be ...

  • Chartered Trading Standards Institute issues warning over COVID-19 ‘home-testing’ scams
    24 March 2020

    The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is warning the public not to open their doors to bogus healthcare workers claiming to be offering ‘home-testing’ for the COVID-19 coronavirus. The alert comes as part of CTSI’s ongoing advice to the public about scams and rogue practices relating to the spread of the disease. Suspicious callers are said ...

  • Stop Loan Sharks helpline service remains open
    24 March 2020

    The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) recognise that this period may be one of increased financial pressure for some people. The team is fully committed to ensuring that illegal money lenders (loan sharks) do not take advantage and profit from other people’s hardship. The Stop Loan Sharks helpline service (0300 555 2222) remains open and fully ...

  • Coronavirus – guidance for trustee boards on governance and employment
    24 March 2020

    Financial support for Employers from the Government On Friday 20 March the Government announced new financial support for employers. Here is some preliminary guidance from the government and also some helpful updates from other sources: Government guidance: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Government guidance: Furloughed Workers Civil Society Guidance: Job Retention Scheme and employment FAQ’s due to Coronavirus UPDATED ACAS guidance ...

  • Coronavirus Response Volunteers ready for action
    24 March 2020

    People from across our town have answered the call to join the ranks of 1000s of existing volunteers and be part of Team Reading in response to the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak. Organisations who are currently registered with Reading Voluntary Action can call upon this ever-growing pool of volunteer support to help if they: Face increased ...

  • Safeguarding resources during the coronavirus pandemic
    23 March 2020

    Whether you’re wishing to train up new volunteers or adapting your services to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to continue delivering safe activities. To help you deliver training remotely to your staff and volunteers, we have collected some free and heavily subsidised online resources: Download SAFE CIC’s top tips for safeguarding during the coronavirus ...

  • Guidance for befriending services transitioning to ‘distance befriending’
    20 March 2020

    Befriending Networks are offering new guides for befriending schemes, who are currently transitioning to ‘distance befriending’ Distance befriending can describe any befriending relationship which can be conducted from a distance using some form of communication technology. A befriending match which is established through distance befriending means the two people involved, the service user and befriender, may ...

  • New funding available for local coronavirus action – deadline 25 March 2020
    20 March 2020

    If you are looking for funding sources to help tackle the current crisis,  Martin Lewis from Money Saving Expert, has set up a new fund. Local groups can apply for funding of between £5k and £20k.  Be quick – deadline for the fund is 25 March 2020. Martin Lewis says: “Examples could include foodbanks, charities engaged in ...

  • Project Linus – handmade quilts to comfort children and teenagers
    19 March 2020

    Do you know of a child, or teenager up to the age of 19, who might benefit from the security and comfort of a handmade quilt during this difficult time? Project Linus Berkshire distribute new, homemade, washable quilts, lovingly made by volunteers. The aim is to provide a sense of love, security, warmth and comfort to ...

  • National Emergencies Trust – coronavirus fundraising appeal and grants
    19 March 2020

    The National Emergencies Trust (NET) have launched an appeal to raise funds for local charities. The appeal donations will be managed by the British Red Cross and grants will be distributed through local Community Foundations. Charities should not apply direct to NET. RVA is currently sourcing further information about the local provision and how charities will ...

  • Charity Commission – filing extensions available if you need one
    19 March 2020

    The Charity Commission has issued a helpful notice to say that they will be flexible in their approach to charities during this coronovirus pandemic. Therefore if you are struggling to organise your AGM or if you have staff shortages, then you can contact the Charity Commission for an extension to file your Annual Return and ...

  • Great response to call for Team Reading volunteers
    19 March 2020

    Since posting our Team Reading: Coronavirus Response Volunteers opportunity on Tuesday, we have had hundreds of responses from individuals across the town and from groups looking to liaise and coordinate with RVA. In common with places across the country the community of Reading is very much stepping-up to the challenge. Local IT firm Oracle have approached ...

  • Telephone befriending service – start-up guidance
    18 March 2020

    With the current situation regarding Covid-19 (Coronavirus) changing daily, Befriending Networks have been updating their advice and guidelines in relation to befriending on their website and via their social media. It’s likely that by now, most of you will have contacted your befrienders and befriendees and implemented alternative arrangements to stay in touch with people to ...

  • Coronavirus – updated guidance for groups and charities
    18 March 2020

    Both NCVO and ACAS have updated their guidance recently, which contains really helpful information for organisations managing their services, volunteers and staff through the Coronavirus. The guidance from NCVO for charities was last updated on 18 March and now contains sections on: updates on sick leave and reducing social contact in line with the government’s current recommendations updates ...

  • RVA office closed – the team will continue to work remotely
    17 March 2020

    Following the latest government advice about coronavirus, Reading Central Library is closed to the public from today, 17 March 2020. This means the Reading Voluntary Action offices are also closed. The RVA team will continue to work remotely, and the best way to contact us at the moment is by email. You can find our email ...

  • The Spring Budget and what it means for Charities – NCVO update
    12 March 2020

    Yesterday the chancellor delivered his spring budget. NCVO has prepared this helpful guide on what it may mean for charities, including:- managing the coronovirus outbreak discontinuing tampon tax NHS and social care rough sleeping increase in the national insurance threshold the Changing Places Fund support for veterans preventing domestic violence  

  • SEND short breaks provision consultation
    12 March 2020

    Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) is seeking service provider views on proposals to change its SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Non-Residential Targeted Short Break Service. The request for feedback closes at 12 noon on 17 of April 2020. Why your views are important This request for your views will help inform the future of Reading’s Non-Residential ...

  • POSTPONED: Southcote Youth Cafe and Sports Club
    12 March 2020

    Southcote Youth Cafe and Sports Club is postponed until further notice Are you looking for somewhere safe and engaging to signpost young people to? If so, Southcote Youth Cafe and Sports Club has recently opened. Hosted at the Southcote Community Centre we run a youth cafe and sports based youth club every Tuesday from 4pm – 6pm. ...

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