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Dear Readers
As we enter the spring months, the New Year panic has started to die down, we get settled into our roles once again and the weather starts to improve. Now all we have to worry about is organising summer!
Welcome to the Chain Newsletter, your monthly dose of information in and around Wokingham Borough. This month we're running another Cultural Festival to celebrate the great diversity within our community, an event which is not to be missed! We also have lots of other exciting things going on over the next few months, so be sure to get stuck into reading to find out all about them!
We hope you enjoy!
From all of us here at involve Community Services


 ·Community News - news about the progress of local organisations
·Training & Workshops– Lots of new courses available to expand your skills.
·Events – New spring season activities and events for you to attend
·Opportunities– Fun voluntary and paid roles available for people to try
·Available Funding– A great way to get your charity up and running


Inner Sense Relocation
InnerSense is a unique charity running a termly programme of life-enriching, multisensory theatre workshops for people with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs. They work with around 100 disabled participants aged 5-70 and their carers on a weekly basis. However, they were unable to run workshops through Autumn 2016, but they have now found a new home at Heathland Day Centre! They are currently refurbishing and also started running a short Spring Term from February 21st. Contact them on 07815536463 or email, or visit their website for more news and information.

My Journey Wokingham
This local travel website for Wokingham helps you plan your journeys better so that you can save time, money and the environment, while trying different methods of transport. The site helps you plan your journey, access travel news, see bus and train timetables and check travel conditions before you set out. You can view their 'live' bus map which shows exactly where the buses on your route are at any time, and you can also search for local events such as bike rides and cycle training. Visit their website for more information.

Clinical Commissioning Groups governing body meetings
The governing body of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) meet in public four times per year to discuss local health issues and to make decisions about local healthcare services, with the next series of meetings taking place in March. You are welcome to attend and observe the meetings. You may register to attend up to 12 noon the day before each meeting, this is also the deadline for submitting questions, relating to the agenda, in advance for the Governing Body to consider. Please note that questions are limited to a maximum of three questions per person.

Local Library Improvements

Wokingham Borough Council is to introduce self-service within a number of libraries to make it easier for people to check-out and return the items they borrow and to free up some valuable staff time so that our libraries can be open for longer each week. From Monday 3rd April, self-service will be available within Wokingham, Woodley, Lower Earley, Twyford, Finchampstead and Winnersh libraries and new library opening hours will be introduced providing an extra 17½ hours of service per week.  To prepare and carry out these improvements, some of the library buildings services will be temporarily unavailable for a short time:
                   Lower Earley Library closes 1st March until 9th March.
              •  Woodley Library closes 9th March until 15th March. 
  Wokingham Library closes 15th March until 22nd March.

Wokingham Adult Safeguarding Annual Report
The Wokingham Adult Safeguarding Annual Report for 2015-16 has been officially released. The Adult Safeguarding Prevention Advisor Johan Baker has said: "Our forum and it’s work is repeatedly mentioned and I would like to thank you all for your support and our achievements." Please click here to view the report for 2015-16.

Plan on a Page 2017-2019 • NHS Clinical Commissioning Group
The NHS CCG in Reading, Wokingham, Newbury & District have released their new 'Plan on a Page' report on how they plan to improve healthcare services over the next few years. They hope to transform health services across our Borough's using a 9-point plan that ensures high quality patient care is delivered. Click here to review the full page of the plan.

New parking for people with dementia in Bracknell Forest

A new scheme to help people with dementia remain independent for longer will launch in Bracknell town centre this month.   
In partnership with the Bracknell Forest Dementia Action Alliance, Bracknell Forest Council is planning to trial two Dementia Friendly parking spaces in the High Street Multi-Storey Car Park in Bracknell town centre. The clearly signposted, wider-than-conventional spaces will be just one of three schemes in operation across the country. They will be located in a CCTV-monitored zone on Level 4 of the car park, close to the ticket payment machines and pedestrian exits.
Viki Rowland, Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Action Alliance
Co-Ordinator for Bracknell Forest, said: “People with dementia can feel isolated and lonely, by making this change to parking in Bracknell Forest, we hope that more people will feel empowered to visit the shops and feel more part of the community.”  To find out more about Bracknell Forest Dementia Action Alliance, visit


Eat 4 Health
Eat 4 Health is a free weight management programme serving West Berkshire. If you feel your weight is an issue and you are unsure what to do about it, the Eat 4 Health team offer a FREE 10-12 week weight management programme to support you in achieving your losing weight. The programmes are delivered in group settings and are open to anyone 16 years and above who have a body mass index (BMI) over 25. You can self-refer or go through your GP. More information is available on the Eat 4 health website

Plans for your local NHS
You are invited to a public event where you can find out the latest news about your local NHS services and get answers to any questions from local healthcare commissioners.
The events includes a presentation on the challenges the NHS faces locally, and the innovative plans to tackle them, and Q and A session on these plans with local NHS officials.
South Reading CCG and North & West Reading CCG
10.30am – 12.30pm on Thursday 9 March, at The Concert Hall, Blagrave Street RG1 1QH
Newbury and District CCG
10:30am – 12pm on Thursday 30 March, at Shaw House, Church Road, Newbury RG14 2DR

There is more information on the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) Sustainability and Transformation Plan, which sets out proposed changes to the delivery of healthcare locally.


involve Wokingham & Bracknell Training • Jan-May 2017 •

We have lots of great training set up for the next few months. Media & PR Training on March 16th, Introduction to Mental Health on March 23rd, Trustee Roles & Responsibilities on 19th April, and much more! Visit our website or contact Claire for more information:                                       
T:01344 383524 or

involve Growth Clubs• April 4th 2017, 9am-12noon • at Coppid Beech Hotel 
We run Growth Clubs once a quarter for groups to network, set goals and focus, which in turn allows you to tell us the support you need to succeed in your goals! The next one is 4th April and is free to attend.
Some examples of the workshops we are running or have run are ‘Developing a Funding Strategy’
, twitter training, LinkedIn training, ‘Social Media and Marketing’, ‘Performance Management of staff’. The groups attending the Growth Clubs direct us as to what they want us to deliver. The April speaker is presenting on Data Protection. To book your place on the next Growth Club please email Clare on

                                            Earley CResCent Resource Centre Courses:
Interview Presentation Skills• 27th March, 9:30am - 1pm • Free
This free course will teach you how to prepare to present yourself at an interview using visual aids and electronic devices, how to engage effectively with the interviewers, how to sell your personal strengths & includes an opportunity to practice your 
presentation skills.

The Job Club • Every Tuesday, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm • Free
This club is a way for unemployed people to meet regularly and informally with people in the same position. You can benefit from this by meeting others like you for mutual support, improve your confidence + get help with your CV, Job Hunting & Interview Techniques.
Clare Arnaboldi their Training Officer on 0118 921 0555 to book your place.

HR & Policies Workshop • 13th March, 9.30am - 12noon • at involve Offices
Employee Performance Management is a fundamental element in the success of any organisation; without individuals working at their best, the entire organisation suffers.  But appraisals can be laborious and dealing with performance issues a minefield. This workshop looks at how to ensure your approach to performance management is effective and makes sense for your organisation.  
 This packed and practical session will cover:
An overview of what performance management is really about and the latest trends.
- The 7 "layers" of effective performance management.
- Barriers to good performance, and the mistake most often made in the voluntary sector.
- Practical procedures to address performance concerns.
- How to integrate performance management into the reality of your organisation.
- Guest Speaker Alice France from Approach Human

To book a place, please contact  Diane on 01344 383513 or email

Fi's Papercraft, Stampin' Up
Numerous reports extol the virtues of having a past-time or hobby that absorbs, relaxes you, and takes you away from the everyday stresses of our hectic lives. Fi's Papercraft offers various local workshops, opportunities and events in paper crafting, a fun hobby that can allow you to be creative on a daily basis. Available courses include:
~ Project Life on 6th or 9th March, 1-2:30pm
~ Kit Saturday', with the next course being a watercolour class on 18th March, 10:30am - 12
~ Craft Clubs, on the 3rd Thursday of every month, 7-9pm at Birch Hill Community Centre
~ Monthly Technique Classes with the next course being either 7th or 10th March, 1-2:30pm
~Mother's Day Craft Workshop for Children for 7-13 year olds on March 18th, 1:30-4pm
~ 'Crafternoon' event at Birch Hill Community Centre on Thursday 23rd March 1-4.30pm for Red Nose Day.  It’s £5pp with profits going to Comic Relief.

She is also willing to offer a free 1hr workshop to any local community organisations who are interested. Contact or visit her website for more information.


Adults at Risk Fire safety Awareness Free Training for partner agencies
This document/training is a fire safety guide for all those involved in the care of adults in the community.  It lays down the minimum recommendations for the protection of adults at risk from fire.
It is recognised that there are many considerations to be taken into account when planning a care package to allow someone to continue to live in the community with extra support to ensure their safety and wellbeing.  If fire safety is not considered and the correct protection measures are not put in place then the person may not be safe in their home.  They will be at the greatest possible risk should a fire occur.
This training package is designed to enable you to work with Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service to protect vulnerable adults living in the community from the risks of fire.  It has been designed for use by:

- Domiciliary care workers
- Carers

- Adult Social Care staff
- Staff in any other organisation involved
in care of people in their own homes

For more information, when, where and how to book on to these courses contact:



Cultural Festival • 11th March, 10am-2pm at Bracknell & Wokingham College
With the success of last years cultural event, our 2017 Cultural festival has been set up with the same goal in mind: to bring people together! Come along to learn about the wide range
of ethnicities and cultures and exist and grow in your local community and enjoy new experiences and
different ways of life.

Me2 Club Charity Quiz Night  24th March,  7 – 10pm at Coronation Hall, Woodley

For only £15 per person you could join Me2 Club for an evening of fun with a Fish & Chip supper. Up to 8 people per team. Tickets must be purchased in advance from Liz on 0118 969 6369

CLASP Community Choir •  Friday at 10:30am • in the Bradbury Centre for rehearsals
The CLASP Community Choir is a friendly, fun and supportive group. Anyone who enjoys singing is welcome to join and can try their first week for free. After this they will charge £1 per week and each member will receive a CLASP Community Choir T-shirt for performances. The songs are chosen by their members and they perform at a number of events in Wokingham. Their next concert is on Thursday 23rd March, raising money for Comic Relief. If you would like any more information about the CLASP Community Choir please call them on
0118 9796364. 

Brighter Berkshire - A Year of Mental Health • Thu 16 March 2017,
16:00 – 19:00 • 100 Longwater Avenue, Green Park, Reading

On 16th March in Reading Brighter Berkshire and Berkshire Community Foundation are launching their partnership. This event will  be used to talk about their work, launch the new logo, postcards and posters for circulation, screening the video from students on how designing logos helped them engage in talking about mental health, and the awards process to capture what's being done well. BBC Berkshire will be there to capture some of the moments and quotes from the day. Sign up via Eventbrite today.

Friday Night Project Support • at St Crispin's Leisure Centre

The Friday Night Project is a weekly social activity for people with learning activities held by the Ark Trust Ltd. Volunteers are needed to support people to socialise and take part.  Experience of working with people with learning disabilities is  desirable but not essential as training will be provided. There is a   weekly raffle so volunteers may be asked to help sell tickets as well as help run the tuck shop. We are not expecting volunteers to attend every week. Further details are available here.



'Smiles for Sibs' Co-ordinator • 
Wokingham Mencap Recruiting • 
Applications close 13th March

The Smiles for Sib club is a social group for children, aged 8-13 years, who are the siblings of children with learning disabilities. The club takes place on Mondays (term time only) between 4.15pm and 6.00pm at Woodley Airfield Community Centre. This vacancy is for a Co-Ordinator to supervise and lead in providing activities at the club, playing games, and occasionally organising trips off-site, e.g. to the cinema, bowling or laser quest and to also attend training, meetings, outings and special activities as required. We are looking for enthusiastic and self-motivated people to join our team. Experience of working in similar positions is desirable, but training will be given for the successful applicants.

Interviews will be held week beginning Monday 20th March 2017. For further details, application form and job specification please contact us on 03007778539 or email References and an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check will be carried out on the successful candidates.

Part Time Grants Manager • Wokingham United Charities
WUC is a local grant-making charity serving Wokingham town and surrounding parishes going back over 500 years. They make grants to local individuals in need and to voluntary and community organisations that work in our area of benefit. They also provide the Westende almshouses in Wokingham town centre for 27 residents. The Charity is now in a position to significantly increase their grant making to provide support to the most disadvantaged in our area of benefit and are looking for an experienced Grants manager to help develop the Charity’s future. This is a new role, with the opportunity for you to shape and grow the role as they seek to maximise their impact in Wokingham.
For further information and to apply, please visit

Volunteer Coordinator • Bracknell Forest Council • Bracknell Library
BFC are looking for an experienced manager of volunteers, who will play a significant role in the development of a volunteer programme across Bracknell Forest’s network of 9 public libraries. Working alongside Library Supervisors, the post of Volunteer Coordinator is a new role, which will not only expand and improve support given to existing volunteers, but will develop new volunteer roles and increase community engagement opportunities. This placement is 37 hours a week fixed term contract, with a salary of £22,324 - £27,135 per annum. Click here to see the opportunity in more detail & how to apply. 


Available Funding:

Comic Relief’s Try for Change
Try for Change works to promote, support and grow rugby as a tool for social good, working with charities, clubs and individuals who use rugby and these core values to drive change. Try for Change aims to help people reach their goals and fulfil their potential, as well as deliver long-term benefits to the wider community.
Applicants should be based in the UK and have a maximum turnover of £500,000.
Examples of work this could fund are:
- Where rugby is being used to help the rehabilitation of young offenders.
- Where rugby is helping achieve community integration for local refugees.
- Where rugby is provided to young people who are not in education, employment or training as part of a personal development programme.
Proposals are welcome for grants between £2,500 and £10,000 for one year of activity. The Deadline for applications is 31st March. For information & to apply visit:

Arts Council Capital Investment Fund
The Arts Council are supporting organisations to be more resilient by having the right buildings and equipment to deliver their work. They want to support organisations to become more sustainable and innovative, including increasing their environmental performance and reducing their carbon emissions.
To be eligible to apply you must be a National Portfolio Organisation. Your application must be for capital expenditure. They define capital expenditure as money spent on the purchase, improvement, restoration, construction or creation of an asset, including expenses or costs that are directly attributable to delivering the capital project.
They do not expect to fund all of the project costs and expect funding to be secured from other sources as well. Total fund is £32.5 million. The Deadline for applications is March 9th. For more information visit:

Nesta’s Early Years Social Action Fund
This fund will scale proven social action programmes that help children to achieve developmental milestones by directly supporting parents.
The Early Years Social Action Fund is looking to support organisations that are currently making an impact, but that require support to scale up. This fund will back projects that can grow - for example, to new geographies, or through new partnerships etc - and reach many more people, and mobilise many more (at least 250) volunteers.
That’s why they are launching the £1 million Early Years Social Action Fund, to help parents increase their skills and confidence in giving their kids a great start in life.
 The Early Years Innovation Fund will offer grant funding and dedicated support to scale the most successful approaches. All projects will work with a majority of families who are ‘just about managing’. They are especially interested in supporting:

  • Mentoring models to skill up parents and carers
  • Peer to peer models to skill up parents and carers
  • Models which mobilise digital technologies to increase awareness of key skills (language, physical movement) and increase their practice in the home

They are looking to support four to six organisations with grants of £150,000 to £250,000 to scale proven approaches; those who are already using social action to lift parents confidence and ability to help children 0-4 meet development milestones. Expressions of Interest close midday Wednesday 29th March. For more information please visit:

If you would like your local event, opportunity or workshop to be advertised in our newsletter, please send the relevant information to Our newsletters have no specific schedule, but we are now aiming to get them released within the second week of every month, so be sure to send content nice and early! If your content has a late application date, then it may be posted a month later than you submitted it so that it is advertised nearer the closing date.

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

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