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December 2019

Wokingham Chain Newsletter Issue 66

Hi everyone,

Welcome to the last Wokingham Chain newsletter of 2019.  Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun… It feels strange writing a newsletter at the end of the year, and equally after the Election that took place yesterday!
Our main message to all of our friends, contacts, colleagues and supporters today is that we wish everyone a very happy Christmas and an enjoyable new year!  Christmas is a time of family, friends, positivity and good community spirit so I hope all can benefit from this and reach out to those that may not have this luxury or network.
As a reminder to all specifically for involve – we close between Christmas and New year so the staff team won’t be contactable from 25th December to 1st January 2020. Services will resume as normal on Thursday 2nd January.
A couple of other bits quickly to mention regarding our January events ( we have our Growth Club on the 7th – a great chance to plan for your organisation’s year ahead.  We have training taking place including: lone working training, Fire safety, first aid, stress awareness and a new course on Enabling Change – a course based on Motivational Interviewing and then on the 20th we are holding an event with Berkshire West CCG focusing on Mental Health crisis pathway planning.  All course and events can be found in the above link.
Thanks everyone and once again: Seasons Greetings from all of us here to all of you out there.
Best wishes,

Philip Cook
General Manager
T: 01344 304404

Local Voluntary Sector News

inVOLVe Community Services are pleased to announce the winner of our “Win a trustee competition”.  Congratulations to Berkshire Youth, who have got access to the inTRUSTed trustee recruitment service to find an additional trustee for their board. We will be working alongside them in 2020 as they review their board’s skills.
We will be in touch with the runners-up after the holiday period to help them take advantage of their 10% discount for our Subsidised trustee recruitment service.  And don’t forget, there’s still a free trustee recruitment service for any voluntary or community groups in Bracknell or Wokingham.

Do you provide emotional well-being or mental health support to children or young people within Wokingham Borough? 
If so, we want to hear from you!
In consultation with statutory partners, Involve Community Services is currently working to build an understanding of the landscape of support that is available to children and young people across Wokingham Borough who may present with an emotional and/or mental health need.  If your service offers such support, be sure to tell us about it.  To ensure that your service is accurately represented we will need to know:
-    Nature of support offered                           
-    Age demographic
-    Whether your service is free to the user (if fee is applicable any detail would be helpful)
-    Reach of the support you offer (within a specific community e.g. Woodley or Boroughwide)
Please ensure that you feedback your responses before 23rd December to ensure your service is featured to:

Wokingham Cancer Support Network
The Wokingham Cancer Support Network has been established to support people living in and around the Wokingham borough that are affected by cancer.  Meeting people with similar experiences can be invaluable.  Come along if you have any form of cancer.  Also, come along if you’re a carer/partner. We’re a friendly, informal group of local people and we have tea, coffee, cake and bananas! 🍌 🍰 ☕️  We have monthly meet-ups, why not come along to our Open Event’ in January?  Thursday 16th January – Wokingham Library – 2-4pm. Simply find details and book here
Other dates for your diary are:
Thursday 27th February – Finance and Benefits Advice.
Thursday 19th March –      Health and Nutrition.
Thursday 23rd April –         Gardening and Health.
Thursday 21st May –           Health & Wellbeing through holistic skills
                                                and awareness.
Thursday 18th June –          Creative Minds.
Please contact
Winter Pressures Pilot
Involve has secured some short term
funding to trial an expansion of the Community Navigation scheme. Community Navigation is all about signposting. We can provide information to people (professionals and the public) about services, charities, groups etc. that may have information,
advice, activities that can help them.
The Winter Pressures pilot is a short term project that will attempt to take Community Navigation a step further. Taking a more proactive approach, this pilot aims to keep Wokingham Borough residents safe and well over winter in their own homes. We can undertake Community Navigation and go further with a range of areas, such as heating, food, health issues and social isolation and link the client up to relevant help and support, encouraging them to be as independent as possible.
Winter can be a challenging time and we hope that by providing regular phone and face to face support, we can help reduce the stress on other statutory services.
If you know someone or are working with someone who would benefit from an additional helping hand over the winter period or to find out more about the Winter Pressures Pilot please contact:
Hannah Ellis: 01344 304404 or  (08:30—16:30 - Mon/Tue/Wed/Fri)
'Unprecedented' rise in infant mortality in England linked to poverty' An additional 570 infant deaths, compared to what would have been expected based on historical trends, were recorded in the country from 2014-2017.  About one-third of those deaths, which related to children under the age of one, were linked to rising poverty.
Rising infant mortality is unusual in high income countries, and international statistics show that infant mortality has continued to decline in most rich countries in recent years.  Read more here:

Connecting Communities in Berkshire (CCB)
A community development charity and unusual in the fact that we support communities from across the whole county of Berkshire, with a particular focus on reaching those people in rural areas. We have been operating as a county-wide charity for over 45 years and we are proud of the diverse range of projects we have been able to deliver to a wide variety of beneficiaries over this time.
Over Christmas and into 2020 our focus continues to be on providing low income families at risk of, or in, fuel poverty advice and support through our Family Home Energy Education & Advice Project.
local village hall or community buildings can access our Community Buildings Advice Service, it supports these community hubs by providing advice, support, training and a wealth of information to volunteer trustees that help keep these buildings open.
The CCB Rural Loneliness & Isolation Project provides an opportunity for communities to review what takes place and how activities are publicised. Our aim is to increase the awareness of what already takes place locally, as well as to identify gaps in provision and encourage the creation of new activities.  Sign up to our Action for All monthly e-bulletin – packed full of funding information, community news, events and much more.
How do you measure social impact?
Social impact is a term that's thrown around all over the place - about 1,710,000,000 search results on Google. But there's no one-size-fits-all definition for it.
This new short video from Good Finance provides some straightforward steps to help you identify your charity’s social impact, as well as identifying what social investors will want to see to demonstrate that you are using their money to deliver impact.
The video also shows a simple framework for you to measure your social impact, something that is useful for social investors, and your organisation too, keeping you focussed on your mission. Watch it now.
Important security alert from the Charity     
The Charity Commission has received several reports from charities who have been targeted by fraudsters impersonating members of staff via email, specifically attempting to change employees' bank details.
The Commission is warning charities to be vigilant and to look out for requests to your HR department, finance department or staff with authority to update employees' bank details, usually from a spoofed or similar email address to that of the subject being impersonated. The fraudster often states that they have changed their bank details or opened a new bank account.  Find out more about this scam and how you can protect your charity here.
A guide to using mass involvement to shape the future
Nesta has released a new guide, ‘Our Futures: By the people, for the people’ which looks at how mass involvement with shaping the future can solve complex problems.
Moving beyond citizen assemblies and traditional public engagement, participatory futures techniques help people to develop a collective image of the future they want, so that we can make better, more informed decisions.
Governments, city leaders, public institutions, funders, and civil society must be at the forefront of this approach, supporting it through funding, strategy and practice.
Nesta’s guide offers practical suggestion on how to do this, including carrying out publicly-funded, mission-orientated research and creating new legislation that requires UK Government departments to use these approaches to inform decision-making and strategies.
You can download the report here.


One hour phone call to talk digital
Charity leaders are invited to sign up for a free one hour phone call with a digital expert.
This initiative, launched by Platypus Digital, is designed to help charity leaders see how digital can be relevant and can help their organisation. Seventy digital experts have signed up and are ready to spend an hour on the phone to answer questions and talk about what they know.
 You can sign up for a phone call here.

Achieving integrated care: 15 best practice actions
The LGA and the Social Care Institute for Excellence have produced an accessible and practical resource that supports local systems in fulfilling their ambition of integration.  The 15 actions prioritised in this resource draw on evidence about what works from international research, emerging best practices and engagement with our own stakeholders and partners. The actions are deliberately aligned with national policy, legal frameworks and regulatory guidance, but most important, they allow for local variety in system design and service delivery to flourish.  A “whole system” approach is envisaged in taking these actions forward, involving system leaders, health and social care commissioners and providers, front-line professionals, local communities and local people. You can find out more and read the report here.
Will I Care? New report from Carers UK
Carers UK has released a new report looking at the likelihood of people becoming carers at some point in their lives. The research found that two-thirds of UK adults can expect to provide unpaid care for a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill in their lifetime.
The research also reveals that the average person has a 50:50 chance of becoming an unpaid carer by the age of 50. On average, women can expect to take on caring responsibilities more than a decade earlier than men. Half of women will be carers by the age of 46, whereas half of men can expect to be carers at 57.
You can read the full report here.

Upcoming Events

Voluntary Sector Networking Event - Final Reminder
December 17th, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm at Wokingham Town Hall
We are hosting a winter networking event for the voluntary and community sector (other partners also welcome) on Tuesday 17th December 2019 from 9.30am-12.15pm at the Wokingham Town Hall.
As ever, the event will begin with an hour of informal networking over coffee.  Wokingham Borough Council will then present a summary of findings following their commissioning consultation with the Voluntary Sector.  This will include the key issues and themes raised by stakeholders, as well as the proposed next steps in the process.
Find out more and reserve your place:
Help to build our West Berkshire Mental Health Crisis pathway
This free event is planned for Monday 20th January from 9:30-1pm (coffee from 9am) at Wokingham Town Hall for our Berkshire West service users, carers and voluntary & community sectors partners, who wish to be involved in the designing of the Mental Health Crisis pathway.
After significant engagement with service users and those from many organisations who provide care for those in mental health crisis across Berkshire West, and receipt of investment into mental health crisis care as part of the NHS Long Term Plan; the CCG would like to share their thinking with you around plans to improve mental health crisis services.
The headlines we will be discussing
  • Expanding services for people experiencing a mental health crisis
  • Ensuring the NHS will provide a single point of access and timely,  universal mental health crisis care for everyone
  • 24/7 community-based mental health crisis response for adults and older adults
  • Increase alternative forms of provision for those in crisis - crisis cafes provide a more suitable alternative to A&E
  • Joint work with local authorities, voluntary sector partners and service users to look at social issues eg. homelessness
Refreshments to be included.
To book you place please click on the following link:
‘Design our Neighbourhoods’ Sindlesham Court, Mole Road, Wokingham, RG41 5EA
Wednesday 22 January 2020 6-9pm
This will be a chance to meet up with members of the Health and Wellbeing Board, Directors from Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group, Clinical Directors from the Primary Care Networks, leaders of the voluntary sector and other major players within our communities.
What makes a neighbourhood? What would people like to see in their neighbourhood and what we can all do, together, to help make it happen? We would very much welcome your thoughts and suggestions which is why we’d like you to join us for an event on Wednesday 22 January 2020 at 6pm.
We all have a joint commitment to keep residents’ needs at the centre of all we do. At the heart of this is our work with partners and local people to create communities where people’s health, wellbeing and happiness are top of the agenda.
Adopting a place-based approach enables a community to maximise their assets and address issues at a neighbourhood level. From a healthcare and social care perspective this means bringing services together and offering support at a community level, shifting the focus away from hospital and long term residential care.
There’s been a lot of activity recently to this end in both the NHS and within Wokingham Borough Council – the launch of the GP Primary Care Networks, the introduction of the Government’s Long Term Plan for the health service and the creation of Localities Plus at Wokingham BC.
 Given all these changes and developments, we feel now would be a good time to bring some of our key partners together to discuss and debate, listen and learn, suggest and share and continue our conversations about the way ahead.
We see this as the next phase in our ambitions to develop and fine tune our partnership working in Wokingham’s neighbourhoods.  We look forward to welcoming you on the 22nd.
 RSVP by 17 January

Social integration and cohesion at a crossroads: where to now? Tuesday 28th January, London SE1
What is an ‘integrated community’? How important is citizenship? Ethnicity? Inequality? This event showcases new research on the state of social integration in the UK – with evidence of both progress and significant challenges.  The event will also feature a debate about what to do to enhance integration and cohesion, and turn around the tide of hate crimes. With a well-informed panel and an interactive format, you’ll have the chance to learn from experts and peers, and to share your own expertise.  Speakers include:
·     Catherine Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, Jo Cox Foundation
·     Debbie Weekes-Bernard, Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and
      Community Engagement, Greater London Authority
·     Professor Adrian Favell, Chair in Sociology and Social Theory, University of Leeds
·     Professor Jenny Phillimore, Professor of Migration and Superdiversity, University of Birmingham
Book your free place now

Training Courses & Workshops

Lone Working Training
9th January 2020, 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
Work-related aggression and violence is on the increase and employers have a duty of care to create and maintain safe working environments for their employees. Lone Worker Training can form part of that duty.
Fire Safety Course
14th January 2020 @ 9:30 am - 1:00 pm 
This is a 3 hour fire safety course led by Pete McLister. Designed to give candidates an understanding of what the role of Fire Warden consists of and what areas need to be assessed. This course is targeted at those needing to train their staff in fire safety procedures. However, it is also applicable to anyone who wishes to learn how to prevent fire in the workplace and deal with it effectively should it occur.

Stress Awareness Training
16th January 2020 @ 9:30 am - 12:30 pm  This Stress Awareness course aims to demonstrate how the root causes of stress can be managed, enabling you to cope better with stressful situations. We will discuss a range of practical ways and strategies employees can use to deal with stress and reduce it to a manageable level both in the workplace and in their personal lives.
Food Safety Level 2
23rd January 2020 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm
This course is aimed at individuals who are, or intend to be, food handlers working in catering. It is also appropriate for those providing services to catering premises including pest-control operators, maintenance engineers, cleaners, and laundry and delivery personnel.

De-escalation Training
30th January 2020 @ 9:30 am - 1:00 pm

This 1-day course is designed to give staff the confidence to deal effectively with the aggressive or challenging behaviour of others. Learners will:
Gain an understanding of the use of communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal, within de-escalation techniques, Recognise the signs of aggression and triggers for behaviours. Learn de-escalation strategies and techniques to effectively manage aggression and prevent violence from escalating (prevention and diffusion). Recognise the importance of personal safety, self-awareness & professional boundaries, Understand dynamic risk management
The importance of de-briefing, recording, reporting and documentation
Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service - Threat of Arson Safe and Well Processes
Liz Warren & Neil Whiteman - Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, 16th January 2020 10:00 – 12:00 Council Chamber, Wokingham Borough Council, Shute End, Wokingham.
You do not need to book a place – please come along on the day
 This session will provide information on the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Services, Threat of Arson and Safe & Well Procedures, along with how RBFRS support  vulnerable people in our community in regards to Fire Safety and how this support can be accessed.
You are invited to the bite-sized workshops delivered by the West of Berkshire Safeguarding Adults Board. These are two-hour interactive workshops that are free to attend and open to all sectors across Reading, West Berkshire and Wokingham.  Each workshop has a presentation on a specific theme, followed by discussion.  The workshops run quarterly to provide topic-based safeguarding information and learning, to support and complement the Board’s approved training programme.

Understanding Parental Conflict and Its Impact on Child Outcomes
27th Jan 2020, 09:30 – 12:30 in the Learning and Development Room, Civic Offices, Shute End
6th Feb 2020, 12:30 – 15:30 in the Learning and Development Room, Civic Offices, Shute End
This module is designed as part of an awareness programme exploring the evidence base for parental conflict and its impact on children. Open to a wide range of participants including front-line practitioners, senior leaders, and service designers or commissioners working in a variety of roles across the reach of the Local Authorities and associated organisations, for whom increased awareness will lead to greater identification of opportunities for early intervention.
Book via :

Volunteering & Job Opportunities

Winter Hospital Visitor Volunteers
Age UK Berkshire is recruiting short term volunteers to offer support to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading over their busy winter period (January to April 2020).  Volunteers will visit older people on the wards at the hospital and chat and socialise with them, each volunteer attending for a couple of hours once or twice a week. We need enough volunteers to cover support seven days a week between 2 and 5pm.
Find out more:

Funding Alerts

Funding for Community Sports Facilities (England)
Sports clubs, local authorities, schools and community organisations can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £150,000 to enhance local sports and recreational facilities. Funds can be used to enhance traditional sports facilities as well as outdoor spaces like canal towpaths, woodlands and open spaces; etc that can be used as part of an active lifestyle
For details, guidance and to apply see Apply anytime.

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust Sustainable Futures Fund (UK)
Grants are available from a £300  to over £100,000 and may be single payments or spread over up to three years. Funding priorities are:
  • Better economics – to develop approaches to economic growth, business & investment or community enterprise which develop environmental sustainable policies, practice and behaviours
  • Beyond consumerism – to encourage a culture away from consumerism and towards more sustainable ways of living
  • New Voices –for campaigns and projects to support and enable environmental justice. See  for full explanation and details. Deadline for applications: 23rd March 2020.
War Memorials Grant Scheme
Funds are offered to support for care and preservation of free-standing memorials to a high standard, and to prevent their decay. Individuals or organisations, including councils can apply for grants to a maximum of £30,000 for up to 75% of eligible costs.
Deadline: Apply by 31st March 2020.

The Inman Charity – grants for social welfare projects
Grants of up to £5000 to registered charities. The Inman charity supports a range of social welfare projects. They are interested in supporting:
  • Medical research
  • Care of the elderly
  • General welfare
  • Hospices
  • The Deaf and Blind
  • Care of the physically & mentally disabled
  • The Armed Forces
    Deadline:  end of February to be sure of consideration at the Spring Meetings. See  for guidance and exclusions
Daytrippers Foundation – Day Trip Grant 
Grants are available for schools, children’s hospices, support groups, charities and not-for-profit organisations to support recreational and educational day trips for groups of children and young people (aged 5-25 years) who have disabilities and life-limiting conditions, see for details.  Open to applications which must be submitted at least 2 weeks before the date of your trip.  Funds given on a first come basis.
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Our mailing address is:
involve Community Services, The Court House, Broadway,
Town Square, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 1AE

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involve Community Services · The Courthouse · Town Centre · Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 1AE · United Kingdom

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