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Hi all

I hope you and your loved ones are all keeping safe and well.

  • Ready Friends June Befriending Forum

More than 30 participants joined the first ever Zoom-hosted Befriending Forum on 18 June, from across the Reading voluntary and community sector, Reading Borough Council, Berkshire Healthcare (BFHT), local business and Bradford University.

The event was themed around the mental health needs of local people, especially during lockdown, and opened with a presentation from James Momoh from Talking Therapies at Berkshire Healthcare (BFHT), followed by a Q&A.

The event also included discussions around the needs of local communities and of the groups that support them plus information on new and existing services as well as forthcoming events.  For more info, slides and the full report, click here:

  • Take care - support for ourselves and others

Forbury Gardens Vigil
A Virtual Vigil will be held in honour of the victims of the Forbury Gardens attacks on Saturday 27 June – exactly one week on.  For more information of the vigil, and other support for people affected by the attacks, click here

Local support for individuals and families
Just a reminder about RVA’s resources page for individuals and familes that gets updated regularly: 

  • Funding
NEW! Reading Community Grants
Reading Voluntary Action is pleased to announce this new funding for small community groups in Reading, who are embedded in and providing grass roots support to their communities. We have received £10,000 from Berkshire Community Foundation to distribute in this way and qualifying groups can apply for up to £2,000 each.
RVA values and supports the vital role that small community groups play in our town and this funding is directly targeted to help such groups to strengthen what they are already doing to support those most vulnerable in our town. 
  • Resources and ideas for befrienders
Looking for ideas for volunteers to use when telephoning their befriendee? 
The Reading Agency’s Reading Friends (rather oddly - not specifically about our town of Reading!) have produced the following documents to help keep the conversations going.
Don’t Judge a Book by it’s Cover - This resource has been put together to help get everyone chatting, using books as a starting point 
Foraging - This resource by The Reading Agency’s Reading Friends has been put together to get people chatting, using foraging as a starting point for conversation 
Spring Resource Pack - This has been put together to help everyone get chatting, using the season and its connections to books, literature and stories as a starting point. 

Intergenerational project
The World Health Organisation has recommended that we make daily calls to self-isolating people. Why not make those calls easier by giving them a purpose and use this time to write an older person's biography. Until September 2020, family, friends and befriending volunteers can access our Life Stories Project materials for FREE
  • Training
Re-opening premises and risk assessing – for charities and community groups - free training on 2 July
In the third of our series of interactive Zoom sessions, we will be looking at how your charity or community group might go about re-opening your premises once the restrictions ease and what you might need to consider both now and in the longer term, as the situation around the pandemic continues. This session would be useful for Trustees or Managers of charities or community groups in Reading and will include an opportunity to discuss ideas with others in the sector.

Harnessing creativity for meaningful connections – free training event on 2 July

Intergenerational Music Making - online training session on 6 July

Online safety
This summer, Fix The Glitch will be offering several free one hour online workshops for women and non-binary people on digital self care, safety and security.

  • Volunteering opportunities
RVA's Volunteering Matching Service Relaunch
As many of you will be aware, Reading Voluntary Action has been supporting the local coronavirus response in a number of ways, including by supporting the recruitment of volunteers to support new and adapted services.  We suspended our regular volunteer matching service at the end of March in order to focus on the response. I’m pleased to say that we are now relaunching our service on Friday 5 June with a small number of opportunities not directed related to the coronavirus response.

A conversation for everyone.  chit-chat is a non-profit born during the peak of a global pandemic.  
“We are the go-to place for a chat and are proactive in tackling loneliness, isolation and promoting positive mental wellbeing. Any conversation is welcome, from the weather, favourite movies or music, to sport, culture and food! We’d love people to grab a brew, give us a call and join our social media community.  We are here to fill a gap in need in the UK, providing people with a place for human connections and interactions.”

  • Research and reports
Listening to experiences of loneliness and isolation in the lives of people affected by multiple sclerosis

  • Digital Inclusion
There are still spaces on the free RVA conference Let's Get Reading Online on 30 June
  • Surveys
Renew Normal is a national conversation about how the UK can rebuild after the COVID-19 crisis. They want to hear your stories about how life has changed, in your family, your community, and your workplace.

  • New and updated activities in Reading helping to reduce loneliness and isolation
Digital Quilt
The Rising Sun Arts Centre is creating a digital quilt documenting the story of Reading during the Covid-19 pandemic. Join them and other people across Reading to chronicle this unique moment in history. Share your experience of lockdown by adding a patch to the quilt.

Berkshire Vision’s July programme 

  • Covid-19 information for all
The Chief Executive of the Royal Berkshire Hospital put out a message to patients to reassure them it’s safe to attend for appointments and vital to keep the dates set for any planned surgery. 

Take care, everyone

Reading Voluntary Action
3rd Floor, Reading Library
Abbey Square
Reading RG1 3BQ
Main: 0118 937 2273 ⋄ All the Reading voluntary sector in one place
Copyright © 2020 Reading Voluntary Action, All rights reserved.

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