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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.

Befriending Forum 25 March 1-2.30pm: The right services at the right time.

Reading is blessed with so many activities and services yet still many people don't know about them. Frontline volunteers can often spot the need but feel confused or anxious about the next steps. This forum will focus on supporting people to find the services and events that are just right for them. From starting the conversation to making the referral.

  • What is social prescribing and how do people access it? Hear from RVA's Social Prescribers about their work and the community groups and organisations they often refer and signpost people to. 

  • Useful service and event guides - RVA Directory; Reading Services Guide; using Google

  • What's the difference between signposting and referral?

  • What training do my volunteers need?

PLUS - all the usual news, funding updates and networking opportunities.

Here's your link to book on this free event: 

Service Updates
As we head towards the lifting of restrictions and a post-Covid-19 world, please help RVA to promote any changes to your service and events.  We’re updating our Coronavirus Community Action pages all the time - so please send info on new and updated services to 

Take care support for ourselves and others

Reengage - for older people

Re-engage exists to support older people who live alone and find it hard to get out in normal times. Older people who are feeling alone can receive a regular friendly phone call throughout the crisis and beyond, for as long as they want it.


Covid text scams

People who are isolated are likely to be more vulnerable to scams.  Cyber criminals are preying on fears of the coronavirus and sending ‘phishing’ text messages that try to trick users into clicking on a bad link. Messages are short and simple and often claim to be from a known entity.  Web links are harder to spot on a SMS as they are shortened so please encourage anyone you believe may be vulnerable to scams to apply caution clicking on links.


How to Feel Better Through Stormy Times

Award-winning author Liggy Webb has produced a short digital book containing mood-boosting ideas, to share.


Berkshire Vision’s virtual events are still going strong - check out the latest programme from this link.
NEW Reading Lions Club – Lion’s Den community grants scheme
Reading Lions Club is once again reaching out to small local community groups and small local charities to offer financial support. Many local community groups do not have access to grant funding or the resources to invest in significant fundraising and yet they continue to provide a valued service to our community even during these challenging times.
Click here for more info.

NEW The Volant Charitable Trust Covid-19 Response Fund – deadline 31 July 2021
The Volant Trust accepts applications from charities in the UK and internationally that demonstrate a strong focus on alleviating social deprivation and helping vulnerable groups who have been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Applications for medical equipment and the production or distribution of PPE will also be considered. They cannot cover costs already incurred or activities which have already taken place.
Click here for more info.

NEW The Ironmongers’ Company grants – deadline 31 July 2021
The Ironmongers’ Company wishes to support projects that provide opportunities for disadvantaged children and young people to fulfil their potential.
Click here for more info.


Staying safe
We’ll still be in lockdown for a while yet, so here’s a reminder on how to keep everyone as safe as possible - plus a handy infographic about managing volunteers during this time.
What Charities Need to Know
Volunteer Decision Tree

Loneliness and Reconnection guide
Download a brief, practical guide from Bath Uni for parents, teachers and practitioners about what loneliness is and what help can be found.
Information for Adults who Support Young People

Training, Webinars and Best Practice Updates

Reminiscence Training
Reading Museum is offering a free virtual training session about reminiscence on Tuesday April 6th at 3-4pm. 

This session is suitable for anyone who is interested in reminiscence using museum objects. The session will cover the use of museum objects (and what to use if you don’t have access to museum objects!). 

They will show you some museum objects – and tell you about how to use the memory box service once they are able to offer it again. The session will be led by Rebecca James who has 15 years’ experience of museum work and who runs Reading Museum’s memory box service. 

To book a place please contact Rebecca on this email:

Places will be limited so please contact us soon if you wish to book.

"We Provide The Tools - You Build The Volunteers"
Befriending Networks has a brand-new Volunteer Training Toolkit. This Toolkit provides befriending coordinators with a variety of resources to assist in training volunteer befrienders, including:

Ideas for interactive activities, both face-to-face and online
Training videos 
PowerPoint presentations
Audio recordings of training content
Reflective questions and exercises 
Reading materials for your volunteers 

They are also offering a series of Masterclasses in Befriending
Click here for more info in for on their training courses.

Ideas and Innovations from Outside Reading

Satellite-powered app to spot loneliness in hotspots in UK cities
A government-backed app that aims to tackle loneliness has been adopted by Leeds City Council.  Click here for more info.
Get Fit with Move the Masses
This York-based charity train volunteers to support people to get out and about on foot, but lockdown has kept them indoors, so they have produced a series of videos to help us keep mobile and active in our own homes.  Check out their houseworkouts Facebook page !

Articles and webinars

“To solve the problem of loneliness, society needs to look beyond the nuclear family” from Guardian writer, Eli Davies
Click here for the article. 

“Forget tough love. Adopting a positive mindset and being kind to yourself is a more effective way to make a change”
from tutor Dr Laurie Santos
Click here for the article

Take care, everyone, Rhiannon
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