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Dear Readers
Despite it being the shortest month of the year, there sure is a whole lot of new stuff going on in the charitable sector this February! Welcome to the Chain newsletter, your monthly dose of useful information about things going on in and around Wokingham Borough.
We hope you enjoy!
From all of us here at involve Community Services


 ·Community News - Things going on locally as we move into the spring season
·Training & Workshops– Lots of great courses for you to advance your skills
·Events – Our Cultural Festival returns & other interesting events
·Opportunities– New and exciting paid and voluntary roles for you to sign up to, all ready for summer, nice and early.
·Available Funding–grants for voluntary and charitable groups



Keeping Your Heart Healthy
Awareness Event

Our next Community Awareness Event is February 14th in Wokingham Town Hall from 10am - 12noon, and follows the theme of having a healthy heart in tune with February being 'Heart Month'. Be sure to come along!

Safer Internet Day
On February 7th, Thames Valley Police had a live online web event for young people, parents & carers to discuss staying safe online. Thames Valley Police is one of more than 1,000 organisations and police forces in the UK supporting Safer Internet Day, which is coordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre. A wide range of information and educational resources for parents and young people is available via the UK Safer Internet Centre website with useful advice for young people about staying safe online.

Stop Loan Sharks Data Report

LIAISE Officers offered one-to-one support to 140 victims of illegal lenders during 2016, a larger number than the previous five years. They were asked about their health, safety and financial situations in order to tailor assistance appropriately. An official report has been released on their findings. Stop loan sharks has also updated their website. Contact them today for help or to report a loan shark safely, or for more information.

The Data Evolution Project Final Report has been released
Hundreds of people took part in an online survey for DataKind UK and Data Orchard, and last month they published the Data Evolution Project final report. It’s free to download and use under a Creative Commons licence. They also published a data maturity framework for charities and social enterprises with the hope that both of these publications will be helpful to charities and social enterprises large and small who want to make better use of data in their organisations. They found that some organisations are doing really advanced things with data while some are only just starting out on the journey.

University of Reading Internship Scheme
The Reading Internship Scheme is now in its fourth year and seeking employers to participate by offering internships to students and graduates in Summer 2017. Previous employers are welcome to re-register for this year and they are looking to grow so are keen to also speak to new organisations.
This offers:
     •An opportunity to employ one of their students or graduates with a skillset that you
       require for a 6-12 week period over the Summer
     •Financial incentives of up to 100% contribution towards the salary of an intern
     •An application framework that supports you in advertising your internship and enables you
       to reach students and graduates, but keeps you in control of selecting the right candidate
Is your organisation:
     •Looking to grow your offering to students and graduates to make the best use of
       their talents?
     •A charity or a business with 1-250 employees?
     •In need of the resource to complete a project that could be supported by a student?
     •Within commuting distance of Reading? (additional funding is available to support
       interns to travel into London)
     •Able to offer a professional or business environment in which an intern can be based? (They're unable to offer internships for remote or home-based working)
Register your interest in the scheme, and you will be sent the latest information about the scheme and you will be able to register your advert for applicants by completing the registration form. The first applications will go live on the 2nd March, and for your advert to be live on this date you will need to submit your completed form by the 24th February.

Have a GP appointment that you can’t make, or don’t need? Please cancel it!
Everyone forgets things on occasion, but missed GP appointments that are not cancelled do have an impact on GP practices.
Feedback from just one local GP surgery showed that 19 people did not attend or cancel their appointment at this one practice alone on a single day in December, adding to 32 hours of missed appointments in the month. Those appointments could have been used by other patients and cut down the time that people wait for an appointment as 32 hours of appointments is around a whole week of a GPs time. 
If you do have a GP appointment that you don’t need, please try to cancel it as early as possible.

Consider all healthcare options to help decrease pressure on A&E Departments
With the winter bringing more ill-health amongst all age groups, demand on the health system is increased, with attendance at the accident and emergency department particularly affected. 
Across Berkshire West people are being asked to continue to consider all the options available before going to hospital accident and emergency departments. In hospitals’ Emergency Departments priority is given to patients with very serious and life-threatening conditions, such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attack or stroke, severe breathing difficulties or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.
Anyone who is feeling unwell outside of these categories, or if someone they care for feels ill, there are a number of ways to get the right care to ease pressures on Hospital Emergency Department:
• Self-care is often  the best choice to treat very minor illnesses and injuries.
• There is no need for an appointment to see a pharmacist, who will advise if further medical attention is needed.
• Doctor’s surgery can advise on most health conditions.
• Out of hours, the NHS 111 service is an excellent first point of call for medical advice.



involve Wokingham & Bracknell Training • Jan-May 2017 •

We have lots of great training set up for the next few months.  Lone Working on 9th March, to help create and maintain a safe working environment for employees; Media and PR Training on 16th March, to help organisations further spread their message and work more efficiently; Introduction to Mental Health on 23rd March, to help people deal with this issue better in both workplace and personal situations; as well as much more! Visit our website or contact Claire for more information:                                       
T:01344 383524 or

Funding Workshop 13th Feb, 9am – 1pm at involve Courthouse
Funding is vital for any organisation. If you need to learn what's available, sign up to our Funding Workshop! Contact Clare Rebbeck to book:

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

Living with Teenagers 4 week course starting 2nd March   
at the Earley Cresent Resource Centre
This course has been set up to support parents through their child's adolescence. Every week there will be new topic: Week 1 – Introduction to Teenage Development, Week 2 – Challenging behaviour and attitudes, Week 3 – Risk taking – Drugs & Alcohol, Week 4 – Talking about sex and relationships.  Contact 0118 921 0555 or email: to book your place,
or visit their website for more information.

Autism Berkshire Workshops • Free of charge •  at Wokingham Town Hall

Supporting Teenagers with Autism • 16th Feb, 9am-1pm
This 3 hour course is to support parents and carers of children aged 11+ with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism who attend a mainstream school and were diagnosed while attending nursery or primary school. Topics covered include communication, social skills and mental health. Sign up via Eventbrite. 
 Pre-assessment Workshops • 27th Feb & 27th March, 10:30am-1pm

The 2.5 hour workshops are for parents and carers of children aged 5+ who are waiting for their children to be assessed for autism spectrum conditions (ASC). The presenter will provide information about the CAMHS ASD Pathway assessment process, tailored advice and coping strategies. Sign up via Eventbrite.

Youth Mental Health First Aid Course  •  13th & 14th March, 9am - 5pm
This 2 day course is for parents and carers of young people aged 8 – 18 to help them recognise and support emotional and mental health problems in their child (ren). Topics include depression, anxiety, panic attacks, alcohol and substance abuse and eating disorders. Sign up via  Eventbrite.

Contact Autism Berkshire on 01189 594594, email or visit their website for more information.

HealthMakers NHS Self Management Course  •  every Tuesday from
Feb 28th - April 4th, 6-9pm  •  at Bracknell Open
Learning Centre
This free 6 week course is now available for people living in Bracknell & Ascot with a health condition. It can teach you how to self-manage your condition better. To register your place email: or call: 01344 415947. Visit their website for more information.


Wellbeing in Mind Courses • by Bracknell & Wokingham College
The Wellbeing in Mind courses are short, part-time adult community learning courses in a variety of subjects. The courses are totally free for anyone feeling stressed or low, or having problems with sleep or worrying.

They are running courses during the daytime and the evenings on various days. Each course will require attendance at one 2.5 hour session per week for six weeks. The courses are held in small groups in welcoming venues across Bracknell, Earley and Woodley.

The project is split into two research groups, one in the Bracknell area and one in the Wokingham area, and the courses that you can attend are based on your home post code. This is detailed further on their website. Volunteers can self-refer by getting in contact via or on 01344 868600. If you have any questions or would like to know more about the project, please feel free to get in touch on 01344 766653.



Cultural Festival • 11th March, 10am-2pm at St. Joseph's Church

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.

Saving Children's Lives - A CPOD Event • 1st March 2017,
10am-4pm • at Bracknell Open Learning Centre

The aim of the day is to raise awareness and develop new skills around child death review. This complimentary training day will include a series of talks by Peter Sidebotham, Associate Professor of Child health, followed by break out groups with practical sessions. All agencies that work in this area are welcome to attend. For information and to book please contact Lorna Tunstall on or call 01753 875149.

CLASP Big Breakfast Fundraiser • Tuesday 14th February,
0am-1:30pm •  at the Bradbury Centre
CLASP members will be teaming up with volunteers from the Wokingham Methodist Church to serve delicious breakfasts. Have a full cooked breakfast for £5 with vegetarian and lighter options available. 
The money raised will be split between CLASP and YPWD Berkshire (Young People With Dementia) - this charity was chosen by our members. Members will be helping to run the event, taking orders, serving drinks etc. but will need support. Somebody is also needed to help serve up the breakfasts. If you could spare an hour or two to help please contact Sammie Gibbs, the Project  Co-ordinator on 01189 796 364 or email:


Health Education Meeting on Smoking & Smoking Cessation • 
February 23rd, 7.30-8.30pm •  at Charters School

The fourth in a series of free talks organised by the Magnolia House, King's Corner and Green Meadow's Surgery in conjunction with the Bracknell and Ascot CCG, this talk will be by Dr Gareth Roberts, Consultant Respiriratory Physician at Wexham Park Hospital. Dr Roberts will talk about the dangers of smoking and the help available to those wanting to stop. The New Location is at Charters School, Charters Road, Sunningdale, SL5 9QY. The next meeting will be on March 23rd, talking about Headaches and Migranes.

Reading Clinical Commissioning Group Public Event • 9th March 2017 • at Green Park
Save the date - Come and hear the NHS Berkshire Health Network's plans on the morning of 9 March 2017 at Green Park, Reading, RG2 6GP.

Peer support group for Carers in Reading • Fourth Tuesday of Month, 10:30am-12noon • at Rivermead Leisure Complex
The Alzheimer’s Society peer support group is designed to provide support for people caring for someone with dementia, offering information and practical tips from others in a similar situation. In this confidential and friendly environment you can share you experiences, discuss issues that you might be facing or simply have a chat. The experienced staff and volunteers who run the group will help you to get the most out of the session and are on hand to offer support. The peer support group runs 10.30am – 12 noon on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the
Rivermead Leisure Complex, Richfield Ave, Reading RG1 8EQ. You can get in touch today to book your place by calling 0118 959 6482 or emailing

Disability Sports Taster Day • 15th March, 10am - 3pm
Come along and try out different ways to get active and keep healthy. Take part in activities such as wheelchair Rugby, Golf, Table Tennis, Boccia and Bowls. All sessions will be adapted to participants needs where you will work in a team of 10 and score points for participating, being an encouraging team player and your sporting spirit. Players must be over 16, please bring your own lunch.
For more information or to ask for a booking form please contact or call 0118 974 3728.


Charity Law Seminar •  30th March, 9am - 2pm •  Green Park Conference Centre
Hosted by their leading Charities team and chaired by partner and team head Nick Burrows, recognised nationally for his expertise, Blandy & Blandy Solicitors annual seminar will provide an update on key and emerging issues affecting those in the charity sector.
They will be joined by several guest speakers representing leading professional firms or charities, to be announced later this month. 
This event will appeal to charity trustees and senior directors or managers working within the charity sector.  
9.00am registration
9.30am speakers
11.15am break
11.45am speakers and panel discussion
12.45pm buffet lunch and drinks

Free parking is available on the top level of the adjacent car park. The venue is also just a ten minute journey from the town centre using the Greenwave bus service.

Places for this popular free event are limited so please register now to avoid disappointment. Simply email or call 0118 951 6816.  


Information & Support Co-ordinator for NRAS 5 day working week Mon-Fri, 9-5 • Salary £20,000 per annum
NRAS, a national charity in Maidenhead is looking for a positive and caring person to join the Information and Support team.
Key tasks - developing information for, and offering support to, people living with rheumatoid arthritis. Proven experience of working within a health environment and/or customer care/ support role desirable.
Further details available on their website or call 01628 823524. Please send your CV and covering letter via email to

Berkshire Conservation Volunteers • Voluntary Environmental Work around Berkshire
BeC are a group of people who carry out voluntary environmental work on local nature reserves in Reading, Berkshire, & north Hampshire. This is valuable work that would otherwise probably not get done. The work is varied, typically consisting of woodland type work during the winter (coppicing, scrub clearance, tree planting, hedge laying etc), with more varied work during the summer (path construction, hay making, pond clearance, fencing, dry stone walling etc.).

New volunteers are always welcome. No experience is necessary as experienced volunteers are always willing to give any advice & training required. You are advised to wear old clothing, and stout boots or wellies & to bring waterproofs and a packed lunch.
For general enquiries contact the membership secretary Neil on 01628 299341 or email Visit their website or Facebook page for more information.



Available Funding:

Transform Foundation  Website Grant
The Website Grant is aimed at small to medium-sized non-profit organisations with a social mission and an income between £500,000 and £30 million. Organisations outside of this income range may apply, but depending on the nature of the project, they may require a preliminary discussion to determine whether it is appropriate. Their first grant opportunity is an £18,000 grant covers the full up front costs of the setup of your new site. You will need to meet the ongoing costs for the website.
The Transform Foundation is a charity for charities, turning digital into a powerful force for generating more money and impact for causes. They do this by giving tech grants, conducting research and bringing together expertise to move charities forward. They will be rolling out other grant programmes later in the year, which they are currently in the process of designing. Please contact them if you are interested in funding or partnering.

They accept Stage 1 applications on an ongoing basis and deadlines for the subsequent stages will be communicated during the application process.
For more

please visit their website.


Galaxy Hot Chocolate Fund
This fund is looking to help small, local community projects and groups through their GALAXY Hot Chocolate Fund. From November 7th 2016 until February 26th 2017, they  are seeking to award a total of seventy, £300 donations to help community groups and people across UK and Ireland.

Five donations will be awarded each week, four by a panel of judges and one through the People’s Choice award to the organisation with the most weekly votes. This month is your last chance, so visit their website to enter:

Austin and Pilkington Trust • Small Grants to Support Elderly People
Your charity’s operating income must be a maximum of £1,000,000 to be eligible, but charities with an annual income of over £500,000 will be able to apply for a grant of £5,000 which will be available later in the year.
To apply, your project must help Elderly people. For all applications, they will prioritise projects focussing on homelessness, domestic abuse, prisoners/offenders, training and education, counselling and support, and/or activities for those who have limited access or opportunities. The deadline to apply for this grant is 28th February 2017. For more information 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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