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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.

RVA AGM 2021
November 18, 1-3pm

We would be delighted if you can join us for our Members’ Meeting and AGM – we are back at our usual venue at last. At the start of the event there will be a Covid safe lunch. We’ll be looking back at achievements in the last year, sharing RVA’s plans for the winter and hearing from members and partners about the support you need over the coming months. We look forward to welcoming you.  
Click on this link t o find out more, to nominate someone to join our board and to book.


Reading’s Wild Being Project hits the national news!
Click here for The Guardian article. 
Click here for more information on the Wild Being project.

New look Thank You cards for volunteers
There's still time to order a FREE batch (up to 30 cards per community group) for you to send to your volunteers - just email me with the number you'd like and a postal address and I'll send them to you.
Take care support for ourselves and others

Chatty Café at The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL)
An informal drop-in for caregivers and loved ones to socialise in The MERL Café. Meet our staff and volunteers and share thoughts and reflections inspired
by the museum collections and sensory resources.
• Buy a drink and get free cake!
• Companion tours available.
Click here for more information

New sessions at Frazzled Café!
After much demand, starting Tuesday 12th October at 7.45am we are bringing to you a weekly mindfulness session! Not a Frazzled Café, so no sharing, just 20 minutes of mindfulness, breathing, being present and getting you ready for the day and week ahead with one of our superb Facilitators, Alex. If this time doesn’t suit you - no problem - just let us know via and we can look at introducing another time slot
Click here for more information.

John Sykes Foundation offers support for Reading based community groups and charities.
Click here for more information.

Arnold Clark Community Fund
Introducing the Arnold Clark Community Fund! If you’re a UK registered charity or local community group and you’ve been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we can provide financial help. Applications are now open, and we’ll draw 500 applications at the end of each month.
Click here for more information.
Resources for groups and practitioners
Black History Month 2021
There’s still time to be a part of Black History Month and here’s where to find resources for your group to use. You and your organisation have a wonderful opportunity to be part of the national celebrations and events to honour the too-often unheralded accomplishments of Black Britons in every area of endeavour throughout our history.  
Click here to access the resources.

A Warm Welcome - the toolkit
Those of you who were at the June Befriending Forum will remember the Warm Welcome approach, as presented by Lydia from Ageing Better in Camden.  We are delighted to share with you their new Warm Welcome toolkit: A free guide to running activities with older people.  It includes a few of the ideas we shared with them at the event, too!
Click here for the toolkit.

End of Life Conversation tool
This guided conversation tool aims to help you talk with people who are approaching the end of their lives and are thinking about preparing for their final goodbyes.  It can also be used to help those facing the death of someone close to them no matter how far ahead or uncertain this may be.
Click here for the guided conversation tool.
Training, Webinars and Best Practice Updates

Calling all faith organisations!
A mental health awareness course running for all faith organisations across Berkshire.
This FREE course is funded by Health Education England and is aimed at paid staff or volunteers working in faith based organisations across Berkshire (West Berks, Bracknell, Reading, Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham).
Deadline to book a place is Friday 5/11/2021 by 3pm
Click here for more information and how to book.

Reports, consultations and surveys

Why leveling up means creating more socially connected Britain.
A new paper by The Cares Family and Power to Change outlines how a deficit of social capital – or connections between people – is compounding many of the issues which the governments 'leveling up' agenda is intended to address, from long-running cycles of economic decline to regional inequalities  in health and wellbeing and the feelings of dislocation and disempowerment which have upended our politics in recent years.
Click here for the report.

Meetings and events coming up

29 October, 10-11.30am The Voluntary Sector Prevention Forum is an opportunity to engage with Reading Borough Council and health colleagues. This forum is for any charity or community group that supports people to live well at home.
Click on this link for more information and how to book.

Ideas and Innovations outside Reading

The New Village Green?
A short film about a green community project in Liverpool, helping to be a place where isolated people can meet up, now that their local shops and libraries have gone.  
Click here for the video.

Articles and Webinars

Author and teacher Stephen Batchelor discusses his book 'The Art of Solitude' with On Being host Krista Tippet. Listen to the podcast or read more here. 
Click here for the podcast.

Life after loneliness: ‘I was homeless, hungry, skint and isolated. Then I found the secret of reconnection’ The Guardian
Click here for the article.

Take care, everyone, Rhiannon
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