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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.

“Like Xmas in July!” – a first trip out for senior lunch club members

A group of 23 senior Reading people, who had been regulars at The Globe Lunch Club before the pandemic, enjoyed a picnic, songs and poems at Caversham Court Gardens recently thanks to a collaboration between The Globe Lunch Club, Readibus and Reading Association for the Blind (RAB).
Click here for the article and more photos

Take care support for ourselves and others


Reading Compass Recovery College

Gardening; yoga; coffee and chat; Pilates?  Click on this link to check out what Compass is offering over this summer:



Deadline 13 August, Association of Mental Health Providers – Mental Health Sustainability Fund

The Mental Health Sustainability Programme is pleased to be able to provide small grants, from a pot of £100,000, to support sustainability in small-medium sized mental health voluntary, community, and social enterprise organisations.
Click here for more information.

Deadline 20 August, Local Connections Fund - Round 2
This is the second round of the Local Connections Fund, a £4 million investment designed to help small charities and community groups working to reduce loneliness by building community connections across England.  This will be used to fund hundreds of ‘microgrants’ between £300 and £2,500, so small, local organisations (with an annual income of £50,000 or less) can bring people and communities together.
Click here for more information.
Resources for groups and practitioners
New resources from Sense tackling loneliness among disabled people
As part of their Left Out of Life campaign tackling loneliness among disabled people, Sense have published a new research report and series of films, encouraging communities to become more inclusive. The pandemic has been really tough for disabled people, with two thirds of disabled people now chronically lonely.
Sense’s Think, Ask, Include film highlights the small things we can all do to make our communities more inclusive.
Click here for more information.

Loneliness Advice WhatsApp chatbot messaging service
The Jo Cox Foundation and the Connection Coalition have partnered with WhatsApp on a new Loneliness Advice chatbot messaging service, which gives people experiencing loneliness easy and secure access to advice, support and information.

The WhatsApp messaging chatbot is simple to use. Just add 07902 922 908 to your WhatsApp contacts, and then send a message saying ‘hi’ to bring up a menu featuring information and resources from Connection Coalition member organisations including Marmalade Trust, the Campaign to End Loneliness, Age UK, The Mix, The British Red Cross and the #LetsTalkLoneliness campaign.  

Please try it out and pass it on to your networks and people you work with.
Training, Webinars and Best Practice Updates

7 October, Mental health in the workplace

For people in the voluntary sector and community groups, provided by Earley CResCent Community Association.  A one day course for people in the voluntary sector and community groups.  The intended outcome of this course is increased awareness of mental health and knowledge of how to support and manage it in the workplace.
Click here for details.

Reports, consultations and surveys

Loneliness beyond Covid-19 Report

The Campaign to End Loneliness have just published a new report. Drawing on evidence including insights from organisations working on the frontline. It looks at how Covid-19 impacted people differently and what we can learn from the pandemic in addressing loneliness in the future. 

Click here for the report.

Employers and loneliness, HM Government guide for employers on how they can tackle loneliness.
Click here for details.

The neuroscience behind why your brain needs time to ‘un-social distance’
If you don’t feel ready to get straight back out there, this is why
Click here for the report.

Academic research paper:‘Guid times wi the bad times’: The meanings and experiences of befriending for people living alone with dementia
lick here for the research paper.


Ideas and Innovations outside Reading

GPs prescribe coffee at Hartlepool café to combat loneliness
Click here for details.

Growing Together While Apart
The GreenUP and Nourish Project's 'Growing Together While Apart' project in Peterborough, Australia highlights the value of participating in collective gardening work.
Click here for details.

Vienna starts new loneliness hotline
Click here for details.


Lonely Not Alone - Youth Loneliness
Shining a light out of loneliness in 2021 
The Lonely Not Alone campaign to tackle the stigma of youth loneliness will be back - bigger and better than ever - this autumn.
Lonely Not Alone is co-ordinated by Co-op's charity, the Co-op Foundation, and Effervescent. “We co-design every aspect of the campaign with young people from the creative ideas through to the films and the website. This is what helps us to make it as authentic as possible. A new blog series from Ellie at Effervescent explains why we think co-design and lived experience is vital for campaigning.”
Click here for more information.

Vision for Volunteering is a collaboration across the voluntary and community sector, led by NAVCA, NCVO, Volunteering Matters and the Association of Volunteer Managers.

Our purpose is to bring together people and organisations across England, collaborating and creating a long-term vision and shorter-term objectives, to change our communities for good. We'll work together to set out the ambition for volunteering over the next decade, with a clear and optimistic plan for the future.”
Click here for details.

Articles and Webinars

The Kindness Experiment, a feel good series about the kindness of strangers and the generosity of the human spirit. BBC Radio 4
Click here for the podcasts.

Webinar: Addressing loneliness in emerging adulthood (16-25 years): What do we know and what do we need to know?
Click here for webinar.

Revealed: rise in stress among those working from home, The Guardian  
Click here for the article.

Wellbeing in decline in England as loneliness rises, report shows, The Guardian
Click here for the article.

Take care, everyone, Rhiannon
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