News

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

  • Job Retention Scheme extended to the end of June
    17 April 2020

    The government has today extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) until the end of June 2020. Intially, it was expected to be available backdated from 1 March until end of May 2020 (3 months). The Chancellor has extended this period to allow for the continuing social distancing measures announced yesterday, which will come as ...

  • Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund – applications open
    17 April 2020

    Voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations have a vital role working alongside NHS colleagues to support anyone who has a mental health problem. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, demand for mental health services is increasing. To help VCS organisations based in England continue to provide mental health services – or provide additional support – organisations ...

  • Government funding for charities – Q&A from ACEVO
    17 April 2020

    The government announced a package of support for charities last week. One week on, many charities still have questions about how this will work in practice, who can apply, when, and how quick the money will be distributed. ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives for the Voluntary Organisations) has helpfully produced a blog (last updated on 16 ...

  • Online safety when delivering digital services to children, young people and adults at risk
    16 April 2020

    This guide was updated on 16 April: added guidance to avoid ‘Zoom Bombing’ to help you keep your meetings free from uninvited guests. With many of us trying to work creatively with modern technology and social media  to keep in touch with many thousands of children, young people and adults at risk during the crisis, and ...

  • BCF coronavirus funding update – rolling funding round
    16 April 2020

    Berkshire Community Foundation’s coronavirus support fund is open on a rolling basis. This means that applications received by 5pm on a Wednesday are taken to the grants panel on the Friday each week. Successful groups will receive funding into their nominated account early the next week. Groups can apply for up to £5,000 under this ...

  • Do you need more volunteers? Team Reading is ready for action
    15 April 2020

    There has been a fantastic response to the call for coronavirus response volunteers in Reading Almost 2,000 people from across the town have registered to be part of Team Reading. Organisations who are currently registered with RVA can call upon this pool of volunteer support if you: face increased demand for your vital services as a result ...

  • Reading Place of Culture support to the arts and culture sector
    15 April 2020

    The Reading, Place of Culture team, which is made up of Reading Borough Council, the University of Reading and Reading UK, is reaching out during these unprecedented times to support Reading’s cultural sector. Culture helps people live rich and fulfilled lives and, in these difficult times, it will help sustain people, communities and our country. When ...

  • Government funding for the sector and NCVO analysis
    14 April 2020

    Last week the Chancellor announced a long-awaited package of financial support for the sector. £750 million pounds will be distributed to charities and this will be made available in three ways: £370 million will be distributed to small and medium charities providing local support such as delivering food, supplies and giving financial advice. This will be ...

  • Charity Commission – updated guidance for the sector
    14 April 2020

    The Charity Commission has updated its guidance for the sector, initially published in March. The format of the guidance has been updated and now contains these following sections: Charity objects: objects that allow you to support coronavirus response and when you might need to adapt your objects. The government financial support for charities, linking to the Chancellor’s ...

  • Public funding and furlough guidance for trustees, including ACAS template
    9 April 2020

    Following on from this article, there has been much discussion about furloughing staff under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) where the organisation receives public funding. This article explores this a little further and there are also further resources at the end, including access to a free webinar with Bates Wells, which explores this ...

  • Update on Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RBFT) services
    9 April 2020 Update on Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RBFT) services

    An update on RBFT services at 9 April 2020 Primary Care Hubs In light of the pressure coronavirus is placing on our local health care system two Primary Care Hubs have been opened for local people with coronavirus symptoms who require clinical assessment in the community. One is at the Walk in Centre in Reading’s Broad Street ...

  • Coronavirus – services and support from Autism Berkshire
    9 April 2020

    Autism Berkshire is launching online autism advice workshops and support groups from 20 April, to help parents and carers and their families in a different way during the coronavirus shutdown. The workshops will be bite-sized versions of normal sessions about Meeting Sensory Needs and Managing Anger, provided using video conferencing links. Anyone who would like to register ...

  • Free fast-track volunteer befriender training launched
    9 April 2020

    In response to the changing needs of befriending organisations at this time, Befriending Networks has developed a new Interim Volunteer Training programme to help organisations train their volunteers to provide telephone/distance befriending and/or to provide a fast track training method for new volunteers coming forward during the pandemic. Befriending Networks has developed this training to help ...

  • GPs across Berkshire West will open on Good Friday and Easter Monday
    9 April 2020

    GPs across Berkshire West will be open this Good Friday and Easter Monday as the NHS steps up its work around the coronavirus outbreak. The majority of the 47 practices in the area will be operating as usual giving patients telephone access to medical care and advice. They will also be coordinating care with neighbouring surgeries ...

  • Claiming Gift Aid on cancelled events
    8 April 2020

    The government has confirmed that charities can claim gift aid on the value of tickets from cancelled events as a result of the impact of coronavirus, if the purchasers of the tickets have: agreed they do not wish to be refunded for the cost of the ticket and for it to be effectively be treated as ...

  • Government announces increase in Working Tax Credits and Child Benefit
    8 April 2020

    The government has announced it will increase the basic element of Working Tax Credit from £1,045 to £3,040 from 6 April 2020 until 5 April 2021. It is also uprating Child Benefit, other tax credits rates and thresholds, and Guardian’s Allowance by 1.7% with effect from 6 April 2020. You can read the full list of Rates and ...

  • Government announces extra support for schools and parents
    8 April 2020

    The Government has announced the following today: It will make extra funding available for schools, who are continuing to care for vulnerable children and those of critical workers. It will also extend the free school meals to children over the Easter break. It has published online educational resources for parents and schools to continue to educate pupils at ...

  • What if home is not a safe place? Free online domestic abuse seminar with the Ann Craft Trust
    8 April 2020

    The Ann Craft Trust is a national charity that provides guidance and training for organisations working with adults at risk and disabled children. They are launching a series of free online seminars on key topics that have been raised by organisations as a result of the pandemic. The first session will cover the topic: What if ...

  • Clothworkers’ Emergency Capital Programme
    7 April 2020

    The Clothworkers’ Emergency Capital Programme (CECP) will award small capital grants of up to £5,000 for essential capital items to adapt or increase services in response to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Priority will be given to organisations supporting vulnerable and ‘at risk’ groups within the following key programme areas: Alcohol and substance misuse Disadvantaged minority communities Disadvantaged ...

  • Now is the time to get online
    7 April 2020

    With everyone now advised to stay at home, it can be particularly difficult for those that are not online. The internet can be a vital lifeline for people that are unable to get out, and with more services going online it is becoming increasingly important for everyone to have internet access and the skills to ...

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