Ready Friends

Friendship Volunteering Survey

At RVA, we often hear that it’s getting harder to attract new volunteers to take action on loneliness and social isolation in Reading. Demand is increasing for volunteers who represent the diversity of Reading and who are free at times when people need them.

During August and September, RVA is conducting a survey of local voluntary and community groups with volunteers in roles such as befrienders, buddies and other one to one support roles.  Information from this survey will help RVA support local groups to recruit new volunteers and will give us a clearer picture of the current scope, capacity and level of vacancies in ‘friendship volunteering’ roles in the town.

We’ve kept it short, so it won’t take up too much of your time.  Please click on this link, grab a cuppa, fill it in and send to back to us at RVA.  We’ll then report back on it later in the year.


New! Ready Friends Toolkit.
Ready Friends, in partnership with Reading Neighbourhoods Network, have launched a new toolkit for anyone interested in taking action on loneliness and social isolation.  Click here for access to the online toolkit where you can also download an 8-page booklet to share.
Befriending Forum September 2019

Anyone interested in reducing loneliness and social isolation is welcome at the next Befriending Forum on Thursday 26th September 2019 from 12.30 until 4.15pm at Community Place, 3rd floor, Reading Central Library.

The focus of this event is on how to show the impact of your work – to funders, the public, beneficiaries and to your own volunteers and staff.

The agenda includes

  • a networking lunch
  • a presentation by the national organisation Befriending Networks
  • hearing local funders’ perspectives
  • a data visualisation workshop
  • a chance to get creative and develop your practice

The event is for anyone from local communities, groups and organisations interested in helping reduce loneliness and social isolation in Reading.

You can book directly from here:

You can read the full Befriending Forum report for February 2019  here and for May 2019 here

Social Isolation and Loneliness in Reading: Full Report

Throughout March and April 2017, 437 people filled out a questionnaire so we could understand more about loneliness and social isolation in Reading. The report will help to inform local organisations how they can respond to these issues.

The survey has highlighted who is most likely to be experiencing loneliness and social isolation, how it impacts on different groups of people, what barriers they face to being more socially active and what they would like to be doing if those barriers could be overcome.

Read the full report here

Read Making Reading Friendlier, A Ready Friends Action Plan 2019-20
Befriending in Reading

See current befriending opportunities.

Look at the range of befriending schemes in Reading.



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