Reading Community Grants

Reading Community Energy Society – Community Grants 2021-22

Reading Voluntary Action is delighted to partner with Reading Community Energy Society in their 2021–22 Community Grants scheme. RVA will be promoting and managing the scheme on behalf of Reading Community Energy Society which aims to accelerate the uptake of community-owned renewable energy in Reading and the surrounding area.

Reading Community Energy Society comprises members from the local community, Reading Council and Energy 4 All, all of whom are passionate about increasing the amount of renewable energy in Reading. An important strand of their work is their Community Grants Programme. As a Community Benefit Society, they are committed to supporting sustainability locally, and offer grant funding between £100 and £5,000 to organisations to support a wide range of initiatives that deliver this aim.

Grant funding applications are invited for schemes which meet the following criteria:
  • It will improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions or support sustainability in the local community.
  • It is based within or near to the Greater Reading area – within an approximate 15 mile radius of Reading Town Hall.
  • Your organisation is not-for-profit, a charity, or an SME (Small or Medium Sized Enterprise).
  • The grant is between £100 – £5,000.

Applications can be submitted at any time and the panel will sit four times a year: in May, August, November and February. The deadline for the May Panel is 7 May 2021.

Examples of the kind of project they can fund include:
  • Contribution to replacing an inefficient boiler, with a modern, efficient one.
  • Replacing inefficient fluorescent lighting with efficient LEDs.
  • Room/equipment hire for a local energy awareness event.
  • Installing a cycle shelter to encourage cycling to your building.
  • Creating a vegetable garden for your organisation/visitors to use.
  • Installing a water fountain to enable visitors to refill bottles.
Further information
  • To see if your scheme is eligible, please see the Guidance Document and Application Form.
  • You can find examples of projects Reading Community Energy Society have already funded, plus more information about what they do on their website.
  • If you would like some support in applying or have any questions about a possible project, please contact Rhiannon at RVA by email: or phone: 07458 327958.

Reading Voluntary Action has led on two other local grants schemes in 2020–21

Winter mental health support for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and Refugee communities

Six voluntary and community organisations shared a £20,000 NHS England grant aimed at supporting the mental health of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and Refugee communities (BAMER) over the winter.

NHS Berkshire West CCG secured the funding and has worked closely with key partners to allocate the money through a grants scheme open to community groups and charities across Berkshire West. Reading Voluntary Action administered and hosted the grant scheme, working with Involve (Wokingham) and Volunteer Centre West Berkshire.

Grants were awarded to:
  • Reading Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality – to fund further outreach work, engagement and raise awareness.
  • Autism Berkshire and Alafia – for advice and support sessions for parents and carers.
  • Community United West Berkshire – to fund two online forums with small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) employers and their employees from BAMER communities on their mental well-being.
  • Reading Community Learning Centre – to expand capacity to support BAMER women with extreme mental health needs.
  • Time to Talk, (a West Berkshire group) – to fund culturally sensitive engagement and counselling for young BAMER adults.
  • Reading Refugee Support group – to support their work with people who are asylum seekers and in need of mental health support.
To read more, please click here. 
Reading Community Grants Programme

Eight projects received a share of the £10k funding that was made possible through a new partnership initiative with Berkshire Community Foundation (BCF). The purpose of the programme is to enable small community-based groups, mostly run entirely by volunteers, to support some of the most vulnerable people in Reading affected by Covid-19.  Schemes include telephone story-telling for older people who are still shielding; socially-distanced community gardening training; supporting older people to get online and cycling and walking sessions to engage and support young people.

Grants were awarded to:
  • British Islamic Gardens – Aisha Masjid Garden Project
  • Depression Xpression – Peer Support Groups
  • Greater Reading Nepalese Community Association – Vitality through Virtual Platform
  • Reading Refocus – Community Active Programme
  • Reading Sudanese Community – Reading Sudanese Community
  • South Reading Patient Voice – Oldies Online Too
  • Utulivu – Story Telling, Poems and Music Telephone Conversations for the senior members of the community
  • We Men – Community Engagement Project

To read more, please click here. 

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