News

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

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

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