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Dear Readers
Happy New Year! 2016 is over, which means it's a fresh new start for us all. We're hoping the voluntary and community sector will get even bigger and better throughout 2017, but we'll need your continued help and support to make it happen!
Last month we released this newsletter with it's new design in this new format, and the results were very promising, so we're going to continue sending out all the news we can find about our local charitable sector to make sure everyone stays updated and can find the information they need in one convenient place.
We hope you enjoy!
From all of us here at involve Community Services

If you wish to send us information to be featured in the next edition of the Chain, please email reception with your submissions for the end of Feb/March by no later than 12th 
This is due to the Chain being written and sent out by a different person as of 2017.
Thank you!


 ·Community News -Our Community Awareness Event, Talking Cancer, is coming up & an active and  successful New Year
·Training & Workshops–A great way to enhance your skills for the new year
·Events – Important events & campaigns to help local people
·Opportunities–New paid and voluntary positions available
·Available Funding–grants for voluntary and charitable groups



Talking Cancer • 24th January • Coppid Beech Hotel

Our Community awareness event, advertised above, has been set up to promote cancer awareness & support through local voluntary groups. There will be light refreshments and multiple stalls set up by local organisations giving information about a wide range of cancer related topics including various screening pathways and smoking cessation. The event is free for all, so be sure to come along; you never know what you could learn!


Involve's Website Updates
This month our website will be updated! We’re going to change the staff structure, as lots of people have moved around in their roles, and change the overall design and layout of the site. Be sure to keep checking to see when it goes live!

Dry January

Dry January is Alcohol Concern’s annual campaign to encourage people to stop drinking alcohol in January. The campaign will see members of the community encouraged to sign up to a pledge to abstain from drinking for the month of January. CCG's in Berkshire West will be working collaboratively with local councils on this important campaign and we'll be encouraging people to sign up or adopt this kind of lifestyle as well!

The Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West
Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP)

This is one of 44 local plans being developed across England, which will set out how affordable, good quality health and social care will be provided in the future. A Public Summary has been released to explain the plan in more detail, or you can click here to visit their website for more information.

Cold Weather Alert

The met Office have issued a level three cold weather alert for the area
covering Berkshire, meaning that the mean daily temperature is unlikely to be above 2
°C . Weather of this nature, exacerbated as it is with dense fog in places, may increase the health risks to vulnerable people and disrupt the delivery of services. To minimise these risks, WBC have issued advice to multiple organisations on how to heat your home safely & efficiently, how to keep it warm and how to look after yourself better. Visit their website for more information and advice.


Wokingham Car Park Closure
Due to the Wokingham Town Centre Regeneration, the Rose Street Carpark is no longer in use. Please follow this link for information about nearby alternatives.

New Local Criminal Scams to be Cautious Of
~ There have been a number of offences whereby offenders are using tools from attacked properties. These are occurring mostly in Wokingham and Winnersh during late afternoon/early evening.
~ As of April 2016, dog microchipping laws were changed. A local woman was fined nearly £1000 for not keeping her details accurate and updated, so be sure to check yours often.
~ Scam from "Greater Manchester Police" is an official looking email for a speeding offence. Here is an example of what the email looks like.
~ People have received visits from a Home
Maintenance company who claim they're doing work next door (when they're not) and that there is some kind of complex issue with their home. It is advised that you will get a second opinion; We do advise not to deal with doorstep traders.
~Ways to keep your home less of a target include:
  • Home security – not leaving your home looking unoccupied and in darkness
  • Leave a light on – be bright and invest in a light timer switch – don’t advertise that you’re out
  • Close and lock all your door and windows when going out or to bed
  • Keep valuables out of sight and register valuables with

Teresa Bell Appointed New Chair of the Safeguarding Adults Board

Teresa’s experience encompasses adult safeguarding work at an operational level, as well as strategic work at local, regional and at national levels.  Many of you will know her from her management roles in Wokingham BC and her role as Corporate Director at West Berkshire Council.  She was National Safeguarding Policy Lead for ADASS and has recent experience of designing and leading transformational change programmes in adult social care. She has also recently been appointed as the Independent Chair for the London Borough of Merton Safeguarding Adults Board. The outgoing and new chair will begin the handover process towards the end of this month, with Teresa taking on the post from 1 March.  

Clothes Bank •  8th Feb, 10:15am-1pm •  at St. Joseph's Church

Donations of seasonal adult and children’s clothing, of all sizes, will be sorted by a team of volunteers to ensure the clothes are of a good quality and the volunteers distributing the clothing at the Giving Event will work from a set list of garments per client to ensure that the clothing is distributed fairly. 
The ClothesBank operates a voucher system, similar to the Foodbank, so if you would like to distribute vouchers for the next Giving Event then please could you let us know no later than Wednesday 1st February 2017, with a contact name and postal address for us to send the vouchers to. Contact us by email at or by telephone on 01344 421079, for more information.


Involve Wokingham Training • Jan-May 2017 •
We have lots of great training set up ready for you all to apply for in the New Year: Health & Safety, DBS, Lone Working, Adult Safeguarding and much more! Visit our website or contact Claire for more information:

T:01344 383524 or

re3 & Love Food Hate Waste free training•Jan 2017          

These training sessions are about how we can all get more out of our food, save money on our grocery bills and help keep food waste out of landfill. One course takes place at Bracknell Open Learning Centre on Thursday 26th January, 9.30 – 12.30am. Click here to sign up via
 The second is at Rainbow Park Community Centre on
Saturday 28th January, 9.30am – 12.30pm. Click here to sign up via Eventbrite. Or you can visit their website for more information.

How can we prevent Tuberculosis? • Free Training Event •
25th Jan, 1:00-4:30pm • Copthorne Hotel, Slough

TB incidences in Reading and Slough have remained stubbornly high over the past decade. This training will support Nurse revalidation but will also be suitable for the general public, especially anyone who works or volunteers with people who have come from a country with a high rate of Tuberculosis in the last five years. Contact Linda Dobraszczyk for more info:  

T:07899 023 369   or

PREVENT 31st Jan, 10am-12noon • at Council Chambers, WBC
This course is suitable for anyone in any role who may be vulnerable to abuse and aims to introduce and raise awareness of what PREVENT is and the local authorities role in the PREVENT strategy. This course is free so to book your place visit:

Making Safeguarding Personal • 8th Feb, 9:30am-12:30pm
or 1:00pm-4:00pm• at Woodley Hill House

This is an introductory course for managers and senior staff with a responsibility for the training and development of the workforce within the health & social sector. It will enable you to cascade the learning in your workplace and apply personal safeguarding principles to practice.

Henley Conference: Implementing change for hidden young carers •22nd Feb, 10am-5pm at University of Reading
A conference for practitioners, directors of services and commissioners to provide updates on the current national picture for young carers, share models of effective identification and whole family support for young carers and their families. In particular the afternoon will focus on families affected by stigmatised illness and those often hidden from support.
The afternoon will consist of a series of interactive ‘mini-lectures’ showcasing national and local implementation models from across England.
In order to secure your place please sign up via Eventbrite.

Introduction to English Language & Culture  5 week course starting 24th Jan - 28th Feb, 9:30am - 12:00noon • at the Earley Crescent Resource Centre
This free course is for adults who have recently arrived in the UK and want to improve their English and learn about British Culture. Topics include introductions and meeting new people, daily life in the UK, out and about in town, housing and asking for help and healthcare and visiting the doctor.

Accredited Paediatric First Aid Course • 25th Jan, 9:30am-4pm •
at St Mary & St. John's Parish Centre • £2 fee

This is a practical course where you will gain knowledge and experience to administer first aid to a sick or injured child 8 years or under. You will receive a recognised certificate on completion. For an application form contact Sandra Lockyer on 01344 766640 or email


Let’s Talk
Clinical commissioning groups in Berkshire West hosted some public ‘Let’s Talk’ meetings in June 2016 to discuss changes to GP practices following the publication of the Berkshire West Primary Care Strategy earlier in the year. The meetings also heard how NHS and local authority staff are working together to support older people to live well for longer.
A report for each Let’s Talk events is now available on the relevant CCG website:

Age UK Lively Living Lunch Club • Every Friday, 11-13:30 •  at Alexandra Place
This £15 per club, 2-course meal includes fun activities in a safe ~& friendly environment. Help can be provided with arranging transport. Please contact 0118 950 2480 or email to book a place or get more information.

Healthy Lifestyle Activities
The Wokingham BME Forum has continued it's free Healthy Lifestyle Activities this year for anyone over the age of 16. Contact Ashwani Gupta, the Social Inclusion Officer &
Community Development Worker for Wokingham Borough Council, for more information:

M: 07825195503 E:

    Ladies Zumba  every Tuesday from Jan 10th, 6-7pm •
    at the Crescent Resource Centre

    Ladies Zumba  every Friday from Jan 13th, 6:15-7:15pm • 
    at the Norris Road

                                 Ladies AquaFit • every Sunday from Jan 15th,
5:30-6:30pm • at Bulmershe Leisure Centre

                                 Ladies Swimming • every Saturday from Jan 28th,
                                3:30-4:30pm • at Academy Leisure

                                 Zumba Gold • every Tuesdays from Jan 10th,
                                 11am-12noon• at Alexandra Place

Beyond Profit
• 1st Feb, 11am-2pm • at the University of Reading's Student Union

This event could help you to develop new contacts and present the opportunity to network in a market place environment. Take the time to celebrate the non-profit sector, raise awareness of your mission and showcase your companies work and achievements for a future generation of ambassadors. Previous activities have included panel discussions, presentations and a market place. Register your interest for this free event now. If you have any questions or need further information, please

Reading Internship Scheme Launch Event • 24th Jan 6:30-8pm• 1st  at the Meadow Suite, University of Reading

To find out more about the Reading Internship Scheme, this launch event is a must-see. Contact for more information

Agenda for the Wokingham Adult Safeguarding Partnership Forum• 25th Jan, 10:30am-12:30pm • at the Bradbury Centre

WASPF is a group of professionals (and non-professionals) that meet quarterly to raise awareness of adult safeguarding with the aim of listening to people and promoting best practice. If you would like to know more about the forum or how to join please do contact Johan Baker, the Adult safeguarding Prevention Advisor and Forum Co-ordinator:

T: 0118 974 6976

Hurst Bowling Club Quiz Night & Auction • 4th February,
7pm for 7:30pm start
at Hurst Village Hall
Hurst Bowling Club is having a night out! For only £12.50 per person you could join them for an evening of fun with a quiz, auction and light buffet supper. Proceeds go towards a New Club House. Maximum of 8 people per team, please bring your own drinks. Contact Ronnie for tickets: 0775 165 3613 or 01344 310 119

Carers Consultation Event• 30th Jan, 2-4pm•
in the David Hicks Room at the Wokingham Borough Council Offices

The purpose of this event is to gather intelligence in relation to our Carers Emergency and Health Related Respite Service Specification. It is envisioned that this service will provide both emergency respite and planned respite for carers who need to attend health related appointments. T: 0118 974 6322   M: 07809103112

Free Bike Marking Event • 28th Jan, 10am -12noon • at Montague Park
Bring along your bikes for some cycling skills games, activities and tips from Sustrans and My Journey Wokingham. Donate your old unwanted bikes - these will be used from the base at Finchampstead to teach young ones to learn to ride and help others achieve a healthy lifestyle. Community Wardens will be bike marking and the Police will be holding a 'Have your Say' session. Please contact the Community Wardens direct for more information. 

Local Jobs Fair • 16th February, 10am-2pm at Bracknell & Wokingham College


This event is aimed at providing unemployed people in Berkshire with direct access to a diverse range of current employment and learning opportunities. It will be showcasing current employment and apprenticeship vacancies, voluntary work,  experience opportunities, as well as careers/skills development support and services.

 This event will provide an excellent opportunity for organisations, who are looking to offer employment, employment with training or voluntary work experience, to meet hundreds of motivated local jobseekers. Attendance at this event is completely free and comes at no cost for exhibitors! Please confirm whether you wish to participate by return email as soon as possible.

Dementia Friendly Movement Sessions • a physical activity programme for people living with dementia and their care partners

These sessions are ideal for people living with dementia and their carers. Sessions are fun and engaging with the opportunity to enjoy social time. For more information contact Sports & Leisure:                                                T: 0118 974 3728

Dementia Friends Information Session • 26th Jan,
10:30am -11:30am • at Wokingham Library

This is run by volunteer Dementia Friends Champions, who are trained and supported by the Alzheimer's Society. You will learn more about what it's like to live with dementia and the small ways you can help. To book a free place, please call the library on 0118 978 1368.


Homestart Wokingham • Scheme Manager • applications close 3rd February

Homestart are seeking a Scheme Manager to be responsible for ensuring high standards of practice in supporting families within the Home-Start model in the Wokingham Borough. You will be required to provide leadership and management to a team of staff & volunteers, and be responsible for the day to day operation of the scheme. Knowledge of the voluntary sector, safeguarding children and the ability to project manage is required.  Experience in delivering training and securing funding is essential. DBS (enhanced level) check will be required. To receive an application pack please contact: 
                         T: 0118 9888025 E:

Marriage Care Head of Centre Volunteer

Marriage Care are looking for a 'people person' who thrives on motivating teams and building networks, while sharing their passion for healthy couple relationships. They are looking for someone who can provide a long term commitment which would be around a minimum of 6 to 8 hours a week. To apply please email or visit their website for more information. 


Wokingham Volunteer Centre Administrator • 12 hours/week
9.30am – 1.30pm, 3 days per week • £9.46/hour = £5,903 annual

Wokingham Volunteer Centre needs to recruit a highly organised and IT literate Centre Administrator, with
excellent communication & interpersonal skills and a good understanding of the needs of older people, to take on this varied and rewarding role in a busy office. Closing date 25th Jan at 5pm; interviews start 2nd Feb from 9.30am. For an application pack, please contact The Wokingham Volunteer Centre:

P: 0118 977 0749  E:

Cross Roads Care Treasurer Required Urgently
Could you help to support unpaid carers? Do you have experience/interest in finance? Have you got a couple of hours to spare every other month? Cross Roads Care are a registered local charity providing respite breaks to support unpaid carers in their own homes. For more information, please contact Catherina Tam on 0118 979 5324  or


Available Funding:

Carers Grant

Involve is administering these grants on behalf of Wokingham Borough Council in order to develop a community based service for carers or for carers and the person they care for.

  • This funding is for one year from the date the project application is approved..

  • The project start date should be between 1st Jan and 28th Feb 2017.

  • Projects must meet one or more of the four principles set out below:-  
               1. Enabling Carers to keep healthy.
               2. Addressing social isolation.
               3. Supporting Carers’ to self-help and empowerment.
               4. Promoting community based approaches to support.

  • Project proposals must be community based and in Wokingham Borough.

  • Project proposals must demonstrate their sustainability long term without additional funding or funding with pilot projects with proposals for further funding from another source.

  • Project proposals must demonstrate a need for the service which is not currently available in Wokingham Borough.

  • Funding of £500 - £5000 to be allocated per project and only one project per organisation. 

For a grant application form and further details please contact Rita Woolford at involve Community Services on 01344 304404/383523 or email

Postcode Local Trust
Postcode Local Trust (PLT) seeks to fund projects that make a positive impact on the planet: both environmentally and by enhancing a community’s cultural heritage and, thus, pride in their local area. 
 Postcode Local Trust provides funding which supports activities such as Enhancing outdoor spaces, Local, biodiversity improvements or habitat restoration and outdoor education projects delivered with local communities by environmental charities.

You can apply to Postcode Local Trust if you are a:
     - Constituted Voluntary and Community Organisation

     - Registered Charity
     - Community Interest Company
     - Charitable Incorporated Organisation

Applicants that are not formally registered as a charity can apply for £500 - £2,000 in funding. You must express an interest between 23 January–10 February. Applicants will hear back within 4 weeks of closing date. For more information please visit their website.

Sport England Wants to Support Inactive Older People
Sport England have put tackling inactivity right at the heart of their new strategy Towards an Active Nation – which means over the next four years, they are going to triple the amount they invest in helping inactive people become active.
As a first step, they will be investing up to £10 million into projects that help inactive older people get active through their Active Ageing Fund.
The first part of the process involves the submission of an expression of interest form, where they will need to know a little about your organisation, your understanding of the audience you want to work with and your initi
al ideas on how you might tackle inactivity.
If your project is fully worked up and ready to start, then they still want to hear from you as your application can be fast-tracked to a full project award.
The deadline for applying is 13th Feb.
Visit their website for more information.

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