News

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

  • Telephone befriending – hints and tips for positive conversations
    29 April 2020

    Befriending Networks have produced a handy guide for keeping conversations between befrienders and befriendees positive and effective in promoting good mental and physical health. This short guide provides ideas for positive conversations between volunteer distance befrienders and befriendees, from checking in about general welfare/wellbeing, to going beyond the Covid-19 situation to find things in common, learn more ...

  • Get Berkshire Active physical activity survey
    29 April 2020

    All of our lives have changed significantly over the past few weeks and this includes our physical activity habits. Get Berkshire Active have put together a short survey to understand how to provide better opportunities for physical activity to keep everyone active now, and when the Covid-19 pandemic is over. Please help us shape the present ...

  • Reading Community Learning Centre services during lockdown
    29 April 2020

    Since Reading Community Learning Centre (RCLC) closed the centre to the public on 18 April 2020, we have had to make lots of changes in the delivery of our core programme of courses, as well start to develop extra support in response to the needs of the community. It has been a challenging time for staff ...

  • Protecting your charity from fraud and cyber attacks during the pandemic
    28 April 2020

    Most of us are now spending a significant amount of time online, both for work purposes and to connect with family and friends. Unfortunately this has also led to more unsolicited online contact, fraud and cyber attacks against individuals and charities. What can you do to protect your organisation, service users and yourselves online? The government has ...

  • Update on furlough and parental leave entitlement
    28 April 2020

    If your charity has, or is considering, furloughing staff, please note this latest update from the government on 24 April 2020 confirming that furloughed workers planning to take paid parental or adoption leave will be entitled to pay based on their usual earnings rather than a furloughed pay rate. Full earnings for furlough will apply ...

  • Support for those working or volunteering on the frontline
    28 April 2020

    Our Frontline is a partnership between Shout, Samaritans, Mind, Hospice UK, and the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It offers resources and support for those working on the frontline during the pandemic, such as health and social care staff, emergency and key workers. Charity workers and volunteers are also classed as key ...

  • #Coping guides for children, young people and families
    28 April 2020

    #Coping is a new guide offering support to families struggling during the coronavirus lockdown It has been produced by a group of leading local health and social care organisations and it signposts people to a range of information, and to groups in Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire who are experts in dealing with mental health, anxiety, ...

  • Is your charity experiencing financial difficulties?
    28 April 2020

    We appreciate that many charities are currently experiencing financial difficulties, and this can be a stressful time for trustees, who may need to make some difficult decisions. Here are some resources to help guide you during this time. Charity Commission updated guidance The Charity Commission has updated its guidance about coronavirus related financial difficulties in charities and ...

  • Online training for charity trustees, staff and volunteers
    27 April 2020

    Thank you to all those who have completed this survey to help the Advice Service identify the the legal and governance support that Reading charities most need assistance with over the coming months. We will use this information to pull together further resources and support for your charity for the next six months, so if ...

  • Charity Commission guidance: how to hold remote trustee meetings
    27 April 2020

    Over the last month, charities have adapted to holding trustee meetings remotely. This may be a new process for many charities, whose trustees would normally meet in person. The Charity Commission has therefore issued a timely reminder of its guidance – CC48: Charities and Meetings – to help trustees to review the requirements of a ...

  • Calling all trustees and managers: how can we help you?
    23 April 2020

    First of all, a big thank you to all those involved in social action in Reading! Not only those kindly volunteering on the front line, but also everyone behind the scenes: trustees, managers, ‘office’ staff, volunteer managers, fundraisers, treasurers, bookkeepers and more. We might not be able to see you in your home offices, but we ...

  • Words for wellbeing – online workshops
    23 April 2020

    Envision Counselling are making their therapeutic writing workshops available online We use words all the time – speaking, texting, social media updates, emails etc. How often do your words relate to your life and how you feel? Could words help you connect to your life journey so far? Therapeutic writing can help to explore this and support ...

  • Hardship grant will keep the music playing
    23 April 2020

    Berkshire-based music education charity Berkshire Maestros has launched an appeal for funding for a new hardship fund to support families who are experiencing financial difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This fund aims to support them financially to continue their children’s music lessons during the current crisis. The fund has received a fantastic start thanks ...

  • Adopting an equitable approach in responding to coronavirus
    23 April 2020

    A number of national articles this week have highlighted the importance, more than ever, of applying an equitable approach when we as a sector, and across sectors, are responding to the needs of individuals and communities arising from the impact of coronavirus. Inequity is not a new concept in our society and addressing this is ...

  • The PACT challenge: Move Every Day In May
    23 April 2020

    Move Every Day in May challenges you to do some form of physical activity every day during the month of May in support of our work. It’s completely up to you how you do it, either by running, walking, cycling or, as outdoor exercise may not be possible at this time, an indoor workout, treadmill ...

  • Bookkeeping support from Holy Brook Associates – available for charities during Covid-19
    23 April 2020

    During the coronavirus period, the qualified bookkeepers and accountants at Holy Brook Associates are volunteering to help small charities or community groups with defined projects to update or improve their financial record keeping. Examples of possible projects (not a definitive list): advice around implementing a new accounts system (e.g. Xero or Quickbooks), reviewing bookkeeping processes, training staff, trustees or ...

  • Key issues for charities in public service delivery – procurement and contracts
    22 April 2020

    NCVO and Bates Wells hosted another excellent webinar today on the key issues for charities in public service delivery: procurement and contracts. The webinar consists of 3 elements: NCVO update on policy work around procurement. Bates Wells Charities Partner update on the government’s Procurement Policy Notes (PPN’s) and how they apply to charities. In particular PPN 02/20 ...

  • Alpkit Foundation – Covid-19 response funding for grassroots groups
    22 April 2020

    Alpkit Foundation are now prioritising their funds to support projects that demonstrate an immediate impact on those affected by the Covid-19 virus crisis. Examples of projects they will consider: Being active in your local community to help elderly or vulnerable people. Minimising the impact of self-isolation for those in quarantine and need access to food, medicines or social ...

  • Free Red Cross online training for volunteers who are responding to Covid-19
    20 April 2020

    The British Red Cross has made available a free short online training course for volunteers in charities and community groups who are responding to Covid-19, such as shopping volunteers. The course takes under 30 minutes to complete and includes a short quiz at the end. Community groups and charities may like to use this as ...

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – HMRC portal opens for applications
    20 April 2020

    The HMRC portal for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now open for applications, and payments will be received by eligible employers within six working days of making applications. The government also announced on Friday 17 April that the temporary scheme will last until at least end of June 2020 in view of the continued ...

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