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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.

Tour de Thanks - stops (for an hour!) in Reading

As part of National Volunteers Week (1-7 June) Paul Reddish, CEO at Volunteering Matters, is undertaking a 1,000km cycle thank you tour, from Edinburgh to London and many places in between, thanking lots of incredible Covid volunteers of all kinds with some special edition #PinYourThanks pins.
Paul and Tim will be cycling through Reading in the afternoon of Sunday 6 June (the current schedule has an arrival time of around 12.30-1.15pm). They are looking to schedule a stop in Reading of about 15-20 minutes, to deliver some thank you pins to local volunteers and spotlight their incredible work over the past year.   Click here for more information. 


Launch of Reading's Social Prescribing Forum

15 July - Please save the date and time for our first Social Prescribing Forum!
We hope this will be an outdoor, in person event. More details, including the venue, to follow soon. This will be a chance to find out more about:
RVA’s expanded Social Prescribing service and meet the team.
Wild Being – a project by RVA and partners to boost the local Social Prescribing offer – awarded £50K from the Thriving Communities Fund.
The range of community activities and support available across Reading, and how your organisation can feature in our directories for each area.
Click here for more information. 

Ready Friends Befriending Forum

Next Forum - 24 June “A Warm Welcome” 
As we start to reopen our services and activities, June's Befriending Forum looks at how to offer "A Warm Welcome" with 
Ageing Better in Camden  - creating the best experience for everyone, which keeps them coming back for more. Click to sign up to this free event.
Click here to book


Take care support for ourselves and others

Dementia Walks
Join Age UK Berkshire for their monthly Dementia Walks. "Our walks are short, flat and safe, and as such are suitable for people with dementia and their carers. Each month we’ll be starting in a different place." Walks start at 10.00am and last about 30-35 minutes.

For details and to register please contact Victoria Rowland at Age UK Berkshire –

Carers Week activities
The latest TuVida newsletter includes local activities and information on National Carers Week, next week.  You’ll probably see a few familiar faces here!
Click here for the newsletter. 

Care for Carers from Reading’s Compass Recovery College
WRAP stands for Wellness Recovery Action Plan, which is a prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to monitor their wellness and cope with challenges.
Click here for more information. 

Woodward Charitable Trust
Provides core funding for small organisations that help families and young people and that are aiming to improve the life chances of the beneficiaries. The Trustees favour small-scale, locally based initiatives and most grants are only for one year.
Opened: 24th May 2021
Next deadline: 30th Jul 2021
Click here for more information.

And there's lots more on our Funding Page. Just a click away!

Resources for groups and practitioners

Factsheet from Let's Talk Loneliness with stats and other content useful in campaigns and funding applications.
Click here for the factsheet. 

It’s not too late to plan your Great Get Together on 18-20 June 2021
Searching for ways to get back together after the past year? Itching to meet new people? Over 18-20 June, join the UK-wide movement of the Great Get Together: bringing people together to celebrate new connections and Jo Cox's #MoreInCommon message - now more important than ever. Sign up here to get their resource pack for organisations which will has everything to help you host your Great Get Together.
Click here for more information and resource packs. 

Training, Webinars and Best Practice Updates

Addressing loneliness in emerging adulthood (16-25 years)
What do we know and what do we need to know? Online workshop 2-4pm on 9th June 2021

Click here for details.

Are you a maker and a sharer? 

(Free) workshops to oganise your own Fun Palaces 2021.  Click here for details.

17 June, 1.30-2.30pm Inclusion Training
If you are thinking about inclusion in your organisation, have started the journey or would like to know where to go next, this training can support you. This session provides some key demographic information for Reading when planning for needs and services and introduces how we can all all contribute to inclusion personally and in our organisations.
Click here for more information.


Loneliness Awareness Week will take place from 14 - 18 June.
Hosted by Marmalade Trust, it's a campaign that raises awareness of loneliness and gets people talking about it.  “This Loneliness Awareness Week, we're encouraging people to see loneliness as an experience, not as a condition. It doesn't define us. By building a greater awareness and acceptance of loneliness, we can help ourselves and others to manage the feeling.”

Ready Friends will be showcasing the phenomenal impact that our local community groups and their volunteers have in reducing and preventing loneliness.  We'd love to receive your photos (with permission) and service user quotes.  Please email them to Rhiannon at


Small Charity Week will take place from 14 - 19 June.
There are only a few weeks left until the start of this year's Small Charity Week campaign. The activities have been designed with you in mind so we hope there is something for every small charity to get involved in.  From free downloadable badges for your social channels to fundraising competitions, you can get involved as heavily or lightly as capacity allows!

Reports, consultations and surveys

Townscapes: The Value of Social Infrastructure
Central government should work with local and devolved authorities to better focus, fund and devise a coherent social infrastructure strategy that establishes support for community facilities as a key pillar of the post-Covid recovery agenda.
Click here for details. 

Rekindling Social Connections 
Grapevine Coventry and Warwickshire have released this report on rekindling connections lost over the course of the pandemic. They focussed on two key questions: 1. How can our high street businesses build more confidence as spaces to connect, meet, spend time - where people can come together and feel like they belong? 2. How can we make sure connection sociability and belonging are hard wired into reimagining the futures of our high streets?
Click here for the report.

Ideas and Innovations outside Reading

Evidence from Australia that loneliness can be reduced by a whole-of-community intervention to increase neighbourhood identification

Click here for more information.

Articles and Webinars

A million over-65s ‘still at risk of loneliness as UK lockdown eases’ - The Guardian
Click here for the article. 

This article explores the challenges of working from home and the important role of the office environment for social connection. 
Click here for the article.

Take care, everyone, Rhiannon
Ready Friends Toolkit
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