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

Ready Friends Befriending Forum Dec 3

On 3 December, we were joined by Dr Kalpa Kharicha from The Campaign to End Loneliness who presented on her research into The Psychology of Loneliness, followed by members of the RBC Adult Social Care Team talking us through the Winter Wellness campaign.  You can access the report and the slides from the Ready Friends webpage:
Take care support for ourselves and others

Reading’s Winter Wellness campaign

Reading Borough Council's Adult Social Care Team is leading this campaign that provides information, videos and tips on how to stay fit and healthy over winter.  Find out more from here


Winter wellness online sessions for volunteers - free places still available, so please spread the word to your volunteers!


StrikeUp Theatre’s Creative Christmas Party on Wednesday 23rd December, on Zoom from 10.30AM - 12PM.

* ‘Classical Christmas’ themed team quiz

* Festive hat competition

* A toast to the silliest moments of 2020
To book your place, please contact by Wednesday 16th December


Guidance on managing youth sector activities and spaces during Covid-19

The National Youth Agency (NYA), the Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body for youth work in England, has, in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive, developed youth sector specific advice and guidance. 


Government guidance: local restriction tiers from 2 December 2020 

National Lottery Community Fund Re-Opens Regular Funding Programmes for England
After being paused due to the coronavirus crisis, the National Lottery Awards for All, Reaching Communities, and Partnerships funding programmes are open for applications again. 

Friends of the Elderly (FotE) provide grants of up to £400 to older people living on low incomes.


One Reading Hub: 0808 189 4325

If you know someone struggling to cope, they can contact the Hub for help with urgent food needs or other issues such as debt, loneliness, stress and anxiety. 

Reading Community Grants projects
eading Voluntary Action (RVA) is working with the 8 successful applicants to the Reading Community Grants programme, who each 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.  Find out more about these projects and how to get in touch with them from here: 


Working and engaging with older men – learning from Ageing Better 
This paper focuses on learning from Ageing Better on working and engaging with older men and brings together and summarises the learning produced by a number of partnerships. 

Training, Webinars and Best Practice Updates

Living through the COVID-19 and Lockdown, Friday 11 December, 10:00 - 13:00

Learning Disability England with the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities and SeeAbility is convening a virtual roundtable on Friday 11th December from 10-1pm. This is to explore the experiences of people with learning disabilities from black and minority ethnic communities during the Covid 19 pandemic. 

The recording from The Connection Coalition’s recent webinar on “The circle of loneliness, polarization and marginalisation” is now available, exploring the links between loneliness, polarization and marginalisation. Speakers included: Andy Fearn, Co-Executive Director, Protection Approaches; Tim Dixon, Co-founder of More in Common Global; Kimi Jolly, Co-Founder of East and South-East Asian Scotland. 

And don't for get to check out our Social Action and Volunteering Training Hub for updates!
Research & Surveys

The impact of Covid-19 on mental health as told by young people
Following many reports from national organisations about the impact of Covid-19 on young people No5 wanted to give our Young Ambassadors the opportunity to share their experiences of the pandemic and how the lockdown impacted their lives, relationships and their mental health. 

Campaigns and consultations

Have your say on the Berkshire West Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy 

The Jo Cox Foundation’s The Great Winter Get Together Dec 14 - Jan 18 

Hollywood star Michael Sheen and the Archbishop of Canterbury are backing the #ChristmasTogether initiative calling for people to contact anyone who might be living alone or shielding, as a survey finds  22% worry they will not see anyone over Christmas and 16% are 'dreading' the period 

Ideas and Innovations from Outside Reading

Cirencester: Town's kindness project puts smiles on faces 

Take care, everyone, Rhiannon
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