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Ready Friends News
Happy New Year!! Hi all, I hope you and your loved ones are all keeping safe and well. Welcome to your regular Ready Friends update.

Befriending Forum on 9 December 

December’s Befriending Forum was one of the most popular and engaged forums we’ve had, with participants from over 20 Reading organisations.

"How to understand and manage professional boundaries around the mental health needs of service users, volunteers and staff in frontline voluntary and community organisations." 

Click on this link for the report. 

Click on this link for the slides.   
Take care support for ourselves and others

A message from Reading Museum – Memory Box Training
Reading Museum is holding another free memory box (Reminiscence) training session on 26 January 2022 at 3pm- 4pm. The session will give you an introduction to the museum’s memory boxes and to the topic of reminiscence. It is suitable for anyone interested in using reminiscence as part of their work. The session is free and will be held virtually via Zoom. If you are interested in attending please get in touch with Rebecca James at Reading Museum

Department of Transport funding to reduce loneliness
Public and charity sectors are invited to apply for grants of up to £500,000 to pilot projects that aim to reduce loneliness through transport schemes.  Expressions of interest must be submitted by 11.59pm on 28 January 2022, so not a big window.  Please contact Rhiannon at RVA if you would be interested in submitting an application:
Click on this link for more information. 
Resources for groups and practitioners
We live in a time where we quickly put people in boxes. Maybe we have more in common than what we think? Introducing All That We Share from Denmark, with English voiceover.
Click here for the short video, which would also be great for training staff and volunteers.

Animated short: Me and You and a Global Pandemic. The voices and stories of 10 people with lived experience of complex trauma, mental health difficulties and distress pre-Covid, our co-created film is a slice of life from lockdown Britain.
Click here for the animation.
Training, Webinars and Best Practice Updates

Compass Recovery College training for VCOs
With the holidays quickly approaching we’re excited to announce the first dates for our free voluntary sector training and support beginning in the new year. This free training is for all community sector volunteers and staff alike, to boost knowledge, understanding and self-resilience in their own mental health.
Click here for more information and how to book.

The Great Winter Get Together led by the Jo Cox Foundation
17th-30th January 2022
Inspired by Jo Cox, we will spreading the message that there is #NoShameInSharing and encouraging people to take action this January that normalises talking about loneliness.
We’ve made sure that anyone can take part in the Great Winter Get Together by including different ways to get involved depending on how comfortable you feel talking about loneliness, and of course keeping the options flexible in case of any changes to Covid-19 government guidance.
So whether that’s by sharing your experience of loneliness, reaching out to someone in your life who may be lonely, or by bringing people together with a Great Get Together event - you can make a real difference.
Head to our website for all the details, where you can also download our No Shame in Sharing toolkit - full of interesting insights about loneliness, practical advice on how to talk about it, and tips for encouraging people to connect at events.
Click here for more information and the toolkit.

Reports, consultations and surveys

Lockdown on Loneliness - impact on people living with a learning disability
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a common experience of loneliness, however for many people with a learning disability, this is not a new feeling simply linked to the pandemic.
Lockdown on Loneliness highlights the enduring loneliness experienced by many people with a learning disability and seeks action to tackle the barriers to friendship and connection that they face.  
Click on this link for more information.


Meetings and events coming up

Introduction to the new RVA Volunteer Connect platform for volunteer involving organisations
Reading Voluntary Action is pleased to announce that we will be launching a new platform to help connect volunteers with opportunities to get involved with local not-for-profit organisations.
Building on the experience gained during the pandemic, we will be launching a new system to replace our popular service. The Volunteer Connect platform will introduce a range of new features to enhance the volunteer search experience for the public.
For Volunteer Involving Organisations (VIOs) the new platform will provide greater control over volunteering adverts placed on the site and offer new ways to engage with potential volunteers.
These online sessions are designed to give you a preview of the new service ahead of its full public launch in early January 2022 as well as details of how to register and ensure your opportunity is on the new go-to place for volunteering in Reading!
Click on this link to register.
Click on this link for more information about the platform.

Ideas and Innovations outside Reading

Intergenerational projects
The California Department of Education is offering $2 million in grants to community organizations that partner with schools to provide programs that help students build healthy social connections.
Click here for more information.

‘Walk With Me’ offers one-to-one walking partners for refugees and asylum seekers in Bristol. The aim of the project is to promote regular exercise which will benefit physical and mental health, and provide an opportunity to practice spoken English, to meet someone new, and to explore the neighbourhood or new places.
Click here for more information.

Articles and Webinars

Catch up with the Loneliness Beyond Covid-19 International Conference
The Jo Cox Foundation partnered with the Campaign to End Loneliness, Astra Foundation and the University of Manchester to host the International Loneliness Conference on 18th November. 
Couldn’t make it or missed some of the sessions? There were more than 60 speakers plus 25 poster presentations, so even if you were there you may have missed one or two!
Videos and posters are still available - even if you were not registered to attend.
If you register for the event now, you can access the Conference platform and see the full programme. You can view recordings of all the sessions in the video library as well as look around the virtual exhibition.
Sessions include Transport; Young People; The Workplace; The Built Environment; Impact of Social Media

Click here to register.
Once registered, the conference platform is available from this link.


Take care everyone, Rhiannon
Ready Friends Toolkit
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