Action for All Monthly E-bulletin

CCB’s Community Building Advice Service

The first two months of the year have been busy for our Community Buildings Advisor, Kate Meads, as she handles lots of questions and queries from village hall management committees. Kate has also organised and help deliver a variety of online training topics which have been extremley well received. Two of these courses are repeated below this month so if you have yet to attend please book on as this may be your last chance in 2021.

Covid Safe Food Hygiene for Community Events, Thursday 18th March, 2pm – 4pm

This webinar is for Trustees or people that hire community buildings and village halls.

Training will help you to ensure you provide Covid Safe Food Hygiene prep and service in your Village Hall or Community Building - it is aimed at non-professionals such as Womens Institute, Brownies/Guides/Scouts, PTA’s and Art/Chess/Cards/lunch Clubs etc.

You will learn safe practices so when the Hall / Building re-opens, you or members of your community can deliver your food and refreshments safely.

Booking link:

Safeguarding your Community Building, Thursday 25th March, 10.30am – 12.30pm

Ensure your village hall or community building is within legal requirements and keep your community safe. For anyone that attended the ‘taster’ course after our AGM last year this course will go into more detail and is a 2 hour course – including access to many useful emplates

This course will ensure:

· Trustees fully understand their responsibilities in the context of Safeguarding.

· Trustees understand what Safeguarding is for Children and Adults at Risk

· Provide Voluntary management committees that run village halls and community buildings with knowledge and confidence to provide a safe environment for all.

· Provide advice and examples of best practice with those managing and using village and community halls so that they can develop appropriate and proportionate policies and procedures in place.

Both sessions are supported by West Berkshire Council Adult Community Learning.

Both sessions are supported by West Berkshire Council Adult Community Learning.

Nomination for a Berkshire High Sheriff Award

We'd like to wish our very own Kate Meads a huge congratulations for her nomination for a Berkshire High Sheriff Award. Kate got nominated for 'An invaluable support for everyone trying to run a community hall during the pandemic...a source of light and help in a turbulent year.' This is much deserved as through our Community Building Advice Service Kate has been a brilliant source of information and has run many well received webinars for village halls over the last year - helping them to keep their doors open (when they have been allowed) and continue to be well run community hubs. The ceremony takes place online on 18th March. Good luck Kate!

News from ACRE: Village Halls to remain closed until 17th May

CCB’s national body, Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) has issued new information to help village halls make sense of the latest announcements about the lifting of national lockdown restrictions.

Contrary to the government’s announcement on 22 February, village halls will not be able to reopen after Easter, except for a small number of permitted activities. To read the full article and updated guidance for village halls regarding re-opening please click here.

CCB Family Home Energy Education and Advice Project

During the first couple of months of 2021 our Energy Advice Expert, Helen Dean, has been busy providing support and advice on a one-to-one basis to low-income families in Berkshire. During lockdown Helen has been giving tailored telephone advice on cutting the cost of your bills to families referred by frontline workers supporting them. This month she also delivered a coupld of very successful online training courses topractitioners in Wokingham on Energy Awareness and Advice.

A learner said “I found the training very informative and will use what I have learnt today to help residents make saving to their energy bills. Thank you!” and another stated; “Really good fun, head and shoulders above other remote learning I have done.”

With energy prices set to rise, low-income families will need all the advice and support we give to cut their home energy costs as energy prices are set to rise as this article from the BBC news website highlights:

If you are a frontline worker within Berkshire and would like to refer a family to Helen please email Helen’s usual working days are Tuesday and Thursday.

Funding Information for Communities & Voluntary Organisations in Berkshire - March 2021

Climate Action Fund: Waste and Consumption

Grants are available for community-led partnerships in the UK to make changes in their community that they believe will have the biggest impact on climate change. This round focuses on supporting medium-scale to large-scale projects addressing waste and consumption.
See 8 April 2021 for the initial idea. If you get to the next stage, the rest of the application process may take 6+ months

Funding for the elderly to help wellbeing or reduce social isolation and/or loneliness

BringJoy offer small grants to groups whose members are aged 55+ or to projects benefiting people aged over 55. Priority will be given to applications that have a connection a local Home Instead office. Small grass roots organisation you can apply for funding up to £500 and charities can apply for £1500. See for details and to apply.

Free digital devices and data for people with learning disabilities

Digital Lifeline funding is an emergency fund from the government open to those who support people with learning disabilities and want to distribute digital devices to their community.

Funding to support children and young people

Schools, colleges and community groups can apply for funding for projects which will helpteam working skills and future employability of children and young people.

The Gerald Palmer Eling Trust

Charities with activities in West Berkshire or neighbouring counties can apply for project grants (no amount specified) to support:
• Community or Education facilities and provision of support; or
• Social and Welfare support and therapy
• Medical research and
• The advancement of the Christian religion especial Greek or Russian Orthodox
Apply in writing. For details see

Ocado Foundation for Good
The programme will support ‘the many rather than the few’ by providing grants up to £1,000 to charities, community organisations, community interest companies, academic institutions, and local authorities for community projects which focus their efforts on three core areas:
• skills for the future,
• natural resources
• responsible sourcing.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, for volunteering, only applications for digital volunteering will be accepted. Applications can be made at any time until the 31st December 2021. Click here for more details.

Reading Lions Club – Lion’s Den community grants scheme
Lions Club of Reading
Reading Lions Club is once again reaching out to small local community groups and small local charities to offer financial support. Many local community groups do not have access to grant funding or the resources to invest in significant fundraising and yet they continue to provide a valued service to our community even during these challenging times.

Through our own fundraising events and with support from the ‘Round up for Reading’ campaign, we have set aside £10,000 to give away in small community grants, each of up to £750 to support local community projects. We are inviting local groups to submit a grant application for their local project. Entry opens on 19 February 2021. For further details please click here.

National Lottery Grants for Heritage – focusing on inclusion – rolling deadline
The National Lottery Heritage Fund is accepting applications for grants from £3,000 to £10,000 and £10,000 to £100,000 for projects that are focused on inclusion, led by and/or engaging diverse groups typically under-represented in heritage (for example, young people, minority ethnic and LGBT+ communities, disabled people and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds). This work could include:

  • exploring different generations, communities and their history

  • mental health and historic environments

  • youth-led history focused projects

  • LGBT+ heritage

For further details please click here

The Woodroffe Benton Foundation
Grants of £500 – £2,500 for charities or education institutions to support:

  • relief of hardship

  • care for the elderly

  • education & youth development

  • environment & conservation

  • human physical well-being

Deadline for applications is 31 March 2021
Read more

ESFA Community Training Grants
The ESFA and ESF are co-financing Community Training Grants to offer skills, training and employment opportunities for individuals who are unemployed or out of education. This grant is intended for projects which help to support individuals who are either unemployed, out of education, or economically inactive. The aim is to benefit those who are furthest away from the labour market, and start participants’ progress back to employment. In addition to formal skills training this can also be activities which have softer benefits, such as work readiness, confidence or anger management.
Read more

Grants for Conserving Stained Glass

Our grants are available to ecclesiastic and other public buildings exclusively for the conservation of historic and/or artistically significant stained and architectural glass. The Grants are made by The Glaziers Trust, part of the Company’s charitable foundation, which has two principal objectives:

  • The conservation of historic and/or artistically significant stained and architectural glass.

  • Promoting the craft by supporting the education and training of craftsmen and women in the fields of stained and painted glass, and by fostering public information and awareness. For further details please click here.

Many further funding opportunities can be found be clicking here

Thanks goes to Berkshire’s brilliant CVS’s for the content in this news item, namely Wokingham & Bracknell InVOLve, Reading Voluntary Action, Volunteer Centre West Berkshire and Slough CVS.

West Berkshire Community Panel: Consultation on Active Travel Schemes

West Berkshire Council is committed to encouraging active travel by introducing more walking and cycling opportunities throughout the district.

The council is taking action to help the public safely make walking or cycling trips part of their daily travel choices. They’ve launched consultations on a number of schemes and initiatives aimed at encouraging active travel. If you’d like to learn more and take part, please visit the Active Travel engagement platform. Some proposals are at an early stage, so this gives a great opportunity to have your say during their development. Depending on the scheme, the consultations close on either 9 or 23 April 2021, please check the scheme you’re interested in to make sure you don’t miss your chance to comment.

Community Organisers Berkshire

Are you active in your community?

CCB’s role as a community development charity is to support people who are interested in bringing about a better quality of life for their friends and neighbours. We help to build people’s skills and confidence, enabling them to play a bigger part in community life. If you are reading this newsletter, you're likely to be one of these people.

We want to connect like-minded people who are interested in learning from each-other and willing to share their stories, in the hope that others may be inspired to take positive action themselves. Community Organisers Berkshire will become a source of inspiration and support for anyone interested in improving the social, economic and environmental conditions of the area they live in.

CCB is working in partnership with Community Organisers Ltd, a national charity which is the membership body and training organisation for community organising in England. Since 2018, CCB and Community Organisers Ltd have delivered training to 73 people in Berkshire, helping them to take action on causes that matter to them.

If you are interested in learning more about Community Organisers Berkshire, please contact me at You can read more about Community Organisers Ltd here.

Collaborative Housing Hub

The Benefits of Community-led Housing

For many years, CCB has been championing community-led housing. We are currently working in partnership with colleagues in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire to connect people interested in exploring options for community-led housing with experts that can help. The Collaborative Housing Hub, based in Oxfordshire and covering the Thames Valley, is available to support communities in Berkshire.

Many people across the Thames Valley do not have access to good quality, secure and affordable housing. While lots of housing development is underway, owning a new home will remain largely out of reach for many. This is particularly the case for younger people, single-person households and households earning an average income. Rental prices are also going up and up.

At Collaborative Housing we think communities themselves are best placed to identify their local housing needs. We want to encourage and support communities to find solutions to their housing needs themselves. From co-housing and community land trusts to co-operative and self-help housing, we support all kinds of community-led approaches.

The benefits are many, from genuinely affordable homes to more cohesive communities, improved well-being and tackling the climate emergency. Collaborative Housing provides hands-on advice, from exploring the possibilities through to the practicalities of funding, design and planning.

For more information on the support available, please visit

Thinking about a Housing Needs Survey?

By helping your community or community-led housing group understand the specific housing requirements of residents, an up-to-date Housing Needs Survey can help ensure that your new development best meets local needs. It can be the first step on a journey to new affordable homes.

Housing Needs Surveys are undertaken on behalf of Collaborative Housing by Community First Oxfordshire. CFO has undertaken numerous surveys and their in-house experts can simply and professionally take you through the process and manage the entire survey process. CFO’s rigorous approach and methodology will ensure your Housing Needs Survey can be used as robust evidence by a Local Authority when determining a planning application.

While funds allow, we are able to offer a discount on our Housing Needs Survey service - Find out more

Calling all walkers!

Are you fed-up with doing the same old walks?

Walking in Berkshire is the website for you!

With hundreds of walks to download and print, free, it also has books of walks, contact details for all the walking groups in the county and much more. Whether you want to walk on your own or with a group, all the information is there in one place.

John said, ‘There is so much walking information on the web but it is difficult to find. Walking in Berkshire (part of the Walking in England suite of websites – one for each county in England) has brought it together in one place so whether you are walking from home, or away on holiday, you will be able to find a walk suitable for you’.

With walks from half-a-mile to twelve+ miles long, and a note of suitability for pushchairs and wheelchairs, everyone can find a walk to enjoy.

So home or away, check out the websites and get walking!

John Harris


Wellbeing Webinar Success

At the start of the year CCB hosted a webinar that examined the ‘5 Ways of Wellbeing’ in West Berkshire to help participants focus on small changes that we can make in our daily lives to feel better physically and mentally.

To deliver this we worked with some other fantastic West Berkshire charities and organisations including Recovery in Mind, Get Berkshire Active, Volunteer Centre West Berkshire and West Berkshire Adult Community Learning.

Over 25 adults attended and the feedback included:

“Just being online gave some much needed connection and reminders on how to pick up during this winter lockdown. Everyone very light-hearted, nothing heavy, well presented.”

“Whilst the individual case studies were an interesting support the actual material and links were really useful to give some specific ideas on how to improve well-being. The variety and length of input from each participant was excellent”

We would like to thank everyone that supported and attended this session and will soon be able to advertise further details of a workshop we are running with Get Berkshire Active on how to help people become physically active and the benefits it can bring you - watch out for further details soon.

Save the Date New Topic: Thursday 27th May, 7pm – Inspiring and supporting your village/community to be carbon net zero. This online training event will include practical steps that parishes, villages, towns and individuals can take to becoming a carbon net zero community. Further details to follow shortly.

New Scheme will give young people’s careers a kickstart!

Berkshire Youth are excited to announce that we are now recruiting for our new Kickstart Work Placements. The deadline for applications is 26th March 2021. We have three exciting positions available and successful candidates will gain valuable paid work experience for six months with our incredible youth workers.

Criteria to apply:

• Unemployed and in receipt of Universal Credit

• Referred by your Jobcentre Work Coach

• Be available to work for 25 hours per week

• Be able to commit to the role for 6 months

For more information, please talk to your Jobcentre Work Coach or email

Young People – Have your say!

Berkshire Youth is reaching out to young people to take part in a short survey around youth services that affect them in their local area. Recently a group of young people got together to write this survey and we would like to reach as many young people as possible so that we can hear their voice on youth services in Berkshire. Please see a short letter attached from Chloe, one of the young people involved in the project and the link to the survey below.

News from Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE)

Make it easier for rural communities to buy disused public land and property so villages can thrive, says national rural charity

Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) has responded to the Government’s consultation on a proposed ‘Right to Regenerate’, recommending measures to make it simpler for residents to acquire under-used land for community benefit.

Across the country many rural communities have stepped up to provide affordable housing, community shops and pubs, village halls and community open space. But being able to do so often requires the purchase of land and buildings at prices low enough to deliver projects such as these for the benefit of everyone locally.

Through its response to the Government’s consultation on the Right to Regenerate, ACRE has asked Government to make it easier for rural communities to buy under used land and property and bring it back into uses that will help their village thrive. You can read our response here.

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