Ready Friends

Ready Friends

  • This project is all about supporting local people, communities and voluntary sector groups to reduce loneliness and social isolation in Reading.  A number of Ready Friends activities (like the Befriending Forums) are held regularly but we also undertake time-limited projects in response to the changing needs of the people who live in the town.
  • Ready Friends supports lots of existing local community groups and charities and works in partnership with public bodies like Reading Borough Council.  However, we are always interested in talking to new people who would like to take action on loneliness and have an idea they’d like to develop.  Ready Friends can help with information, advice, training and support around developing your idea; funding; finding a venue; recruiting volunteers; publicising your event or project and identifying potential partner organisations.
  • Got an idea? Get in touch! 
Ready Friends News

Sign up here for regular Ready Friends News and read the most recent issues below:

Ready Friends Befriending Forum
  • Ready Friends Befriending Forums meet quarterly (currently still on Zoom) and bring together local people who want to take action on loneliness and social isolation.  They could be from an existing charity or voluntary organisation or an emerging community group or someone who’d like to make a difference in their neighbourhood.
  • Each Forum event is themed and we welcome suggestions for items to include.  We always start with introductions and good news from groups around Reading, so it’s a great way to network, share your work and find partners for new projects.
The next Forum is on 9 December September 2021, 1-2.30pm.

Professional boundaries around the mental health needs of service users, volunteers and staff in frontline voluntary and community organisations.

Olga Zilberberg, therapist, will be running a workshop for VCOs who offer befriending and other support activities for people facing loneliness.

Ashley Hitchman from Compass Recovery College will tell us about their Mental Health small grants, forthcoming mental health peer support network and additional free training for staff and volunteers in VCOs which starts in January.

There will also be time for the regular items:

  • news and service updates
  • community need alerts
Please click on this link to book.
Reports and resources from previous forums
Coronavirus community action for befriending organisations
For existing befriending schemes
If you want to start up a telephone befriending service from scratch
Resources for your group or organisation
Resources for your volunteers
Ready Friends Toolkit

Ready Friends, in partnership with Reading Neighbourhoods Network, have a toolkit for anyone interested in taking action on loneliness and social isolation. Access the online toolkit where you can also download an 8-page booklet to share.

Other resources




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