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A Walk from Every Hall

We are working with the West Berkshire Walking for Health team to promote the many benefits of joining in with a local walking group. Twelve groups operate under the West Berkshire Walking for Health umbrella, details of which can be found on the Walking for Health website here:

People join in with these walks for many reasons, from getting a little exercise to discovering new places and making new friends. Walks take place every week and a timetable can be downloaded from the website.

Health and Wellbeing is more important than ever, as the summer weather finally makes an appearance and the restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic begin to ease. Our summer campaign A Walk From Every Hall aims to promote these walks and to encourage the creation of new walks in other places. We would love to see new walks established, starting from village halls and other community venues, taking in local sites and offering refreshments at local shops or back at the village hall.

In July CCB will be facilitating an online workshop, hearing from walk leaders about why they got involved with walking for health, and learning from Paul Graham, West Berkshire Council’s Walking for Health Coordinator, about what’s involved in setting up a new walk. Volunteering as a walk leader or joining in with a walk is a great way of meeting people and learning more about West Berkshire’s beautiful countryside, as well as a great way of getting some gentle exercise. If you’d like to learn how easy and rewarding getting involved with a walking group can be, please keep an eye out for the date for this fun and informative workshop or register your interest with

Safeguarding Village Halls

Our project to help village halls and community buildings ensure that best practice takes place in these venues continues with our national body Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) at the helm.

Advice and examples of best practices can be found on our website by clicking here. If you have any safeguarding in village halls-related questions please get in touch with us at

So far Kate has already run two in-depth and well attended training webinars on the subject and has received some positive feedback; “An excellent introduction to Safeguarding for Village Hall committees. We have more or less ignored the subject in the past because, wherever you look up about it, it's always seemed so huge and daunting, especially for a small hall with just a few volunteers running it. To understand that it's actually going to be straightforward to do is most reassuring. We look forward to the resources you are developing that we will be able to use to create our own policy and procedure in due course. Thank you.”

Again if you have any training requirements in this area please do get in touch.

Voluntary Sector Training Alliance

Moving Communities Webinar: Skills for Setting up Physical Activity Sessions

An exciting new training webinar just announced in partnership with the fantastic peeps at Get Berkshire Active.

This free, online workshop looks to help individuals and groups in Berkshire organise and deliver community-based projects designed to encourage others to be more active. Maybe you'd like to set up a new activity for your local area and are wondering how to go about it? Do you recognise a gap for certain activities in your community and you’d like to help fill it? Perhaps you ran your classes pre lockdowns but would like a refresher on how you can set up and run your sessions again safely in your community-building/hall? This course is for you!

Please share far and wide and click on the event to learn more and make sure you book your free place today.

Thanks go to West Berkshire Council Adult Community Learning teams for supporting this training event.

Free Safeguarding Awareness Training for Workers Who Enter People's Homes

Recognise the signs of possible abuse and neglect in homes you visit and help keep children safe. Do you know how to recognise the possible signs of child abuse and neglect?

Every day, thousands of children and young people are normally seen by lots of different adults like family members outside of the home, teachers, health and social workers and neighbours.

Due to COVID-19 and social distancing measures, children and young people are spending much more time at home and we know isolation can put some children at a greater risk of abuse and neglect.

Postal workers, delivery drivers and workers who regularly visit homes are well placed to spot any emerging safeguarding concerns or signs of possible abuse and neglect.

To support you, NSPCC is temporarily making their paid-for online safeguarding course (It's your call) free for you to access. Click here for more details.

CCB Family Home Energy Education and Advice Project

If you work with low-income families, now is a really good time to suggest they compare costs and switch to get a good deal in time for the winter months.

Citizen’s Advice cost comparison tool is easy to use, and informs you of the tariffs where you can claim the Warm Home Discount in the autumn -

Refer families to Helen for in depth telephone advice on saving money on gas, electricity and water by emailing her at

Berkshire News

Slough: Your chance to have your say about the Slough Central development

Slough Central is located in the heart of Slough town centre. The 15-acre site currently comprises the Queensmere & Observatory shopping centres.

A second consultation for Slough Central has been launched and updated proposals for the regeneration of the town centre will be shared at these online webinars. Get involved and share your feedback and feelings on the new proposals and please share the details with your networks.

Public Realm, Routes and Accessibility 3 & 8 June, 6.30pm-8.30pm

Slough Central Masterplan Workshop - Role and approach to planning 7 June, 6.30pm-8.30pm

Bracknell: Moving on from Lockdown Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th June, at 7-9pm. With the further easing of restrictions, Bracknell Community Learning’s Moving on from Lockdown course is for anyone who has mixed feelings about going ‘back to normal’. What are you happy to leave behind and
what are you looking to keep? It’s an interactive session with the opportunity to discuss various lockdown experiences. It’s relevant to people who are having to go back to a workplace after working from home, or people who have been shielding and are worried about being back in busy places. This two-part course is running online and at just £10 offers great value for money. You will look at how lockdown has affected family and work life, how to keep going with positive changes and explore what you have learnt about yourself during lockdown.

West Berkshire: Water Safety Partnership

West Berkshire Council, Thames Valley Police, the Canal & River Trust, the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, South Central Ambulance Service and the NHS have come together to work on a Water Safety Partnership in West Berkshire. The aim of the partnership is to work closely together to improve the safety of the waterway through the district for residents and visitors using the canals and rivers. It will also look at addressing the broad issues of water safety and river usage, working to raise awareness of the risks of waterways amongst communities most at risk and engaging with the public, private and voluntary sectors with responsibility for waterways.

Wokingham: New Charity & Community Hub Reaches Milestone

The Wokingham Charity and Community Hub, the first of its kind in the Wokingham Borough, took a step closer this week after planning permission was granted for its new home at Waterford House. Based in Wokingham town centre, office space at Waterford House will now be reconfigured to make it more appropriate for the voluntary, charity and community organisations moving into the building. And following a robust tendering process, refurbishment work is anticipated to start in June, and it is intended the hubwill open its doors in September. Click here to read more.

Reading: Reading Community Energy Society – Community Grants 2021–22

Reading Voluntary Action is delighted to partner with Reading Community Energy Society in their 2021–22 Community Grants scheme. RVA will be promoting and managing the scheme on behalf of Reading Community Energy Society which aims to accelerate the uptake of community-owned renewable energy in Reading and the surrounding area.

Applications can be submitted at any time and the panel will sit four times a year: in May, August, November and February. The deadline for the August panel is 2 August 2021. For further details please click here.

Rural Economies boosted by new migration trends

Research published by Northumbria University is exploring how shifting work patterns and home-buying preferences are changing rural communities

Analysis of data from the past decade shows that rural areas which attract new residents in their 20s and 30s also see more business start-ups.

This suggests that a recent growth in demand for rural living and new ways of working in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic could launch a new wave of rural businesses.

The attractiveness of living in the country has created more commuting, increased rural house-building and pushed up property prices in many of the more accessible and picturesque rural areas, but the impact of population growth in these areas has been mixed.

The report notes that rural Britain today has “some of the wealthiest and some of the poorest people”. To read the rest of this article from Rural Services Network please click here.

Get Involved With The Month of Community

Good causes across the UK are teaming up next month to celebrate summer 2021 with a whole #MonthOfCommunity. This year, the Big Lunch will kick off a summer event, all about of community, friendship and fun, with a truly unforgettable feast! This event is about celebrating community connections and getting to know one another a little better. You can join in with a Big Lunch when it works for you and your community, whether that’s to say cheers to volunteers, connect with your neighbours or simply to say thank you. Pick your own big date to celebrate and hold a Big Lunch when it works best for you and coincides with the awareness week that you connect to best:

Great British Spring Clean: 28th May – 13th June
Volunteers Week: 1st-7th June
Neighbourhood Watch Week
: 5th-11th June
Carers Week: 7th-13th June
Loneliness Awareness Week: 14th-18th June
Refugee Week: 14th-20th June
Small Charity Week: 14th-19th June
The Great Get Together: 18th-20th June
National Picnic Week: 19th-27th June
National Cream Tea Day: 25th June
Thank You Day: 4th July

Click on the links above to find out more about each of these important awareness events and let everyone know how you’re getting involved and making a difference by sharing your celebrations on social media using the hashtag #MonthofCommunity

Let’s Get Social

Don’t forget to connect with us on our social media platforms! A great way of keeping up-to-date with all our news regularly. We would love to share any rural, community and Berkshire based news as well so why not let us help shout out about what you’re up to? Our platforms can be found below:




It’s Volunteers Week!

Volunteers’ Week is a time to say thanks for the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.

We would like to say a massive thank you to all the AMAZING volunteers that help to keep Berkshire’s community and village halls vibrant, safe and fun places for us all to benefit from. Whether it’s attending a birthday party, cake sale, christening, dance/exercise class, or a cake sale we all have some happy memories of getting together and being social in a village hall. Without the volunteers and committees that manage these buildings, they wouldn’t exist so THANK YOU.

If you’re a volunteer involved with running a community building and looking for guidance and information we can help! Visit our webpage for further information (

Community Business in Places of Worship

Our national network charity Action with Communities in Rural England is supporting national charity, Plunkett Foundation in providing resources to encourage churches to work closely with their wider community so that more community owned and run businesses can operate within their premises.

From shops and cafes to post offices and farmers markets – vital services located in places of worship remain at the heart of their village or town. What’s more they can help a church survive through generating rent, attracting more people, helping to invest in the fabric of the building and opening-up new funding opportunities.

The £200,000 project, funded by Allchurches Trust, will provide a specialist support service and the bespoke advice needed to encourage new community businesses to thrive in places of worship.

Funding Information for Communities & Voluntary Groups in Berkshire - June 2021

Thanks go 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.

Support for Pubs & Communities To Work Together To Sustain Local Community Services

Grants of up to £3,000 are available to enable rural pub owners, licensees, and local communities to work together to help support and sustain local services. Pub is the Hub’s Community Services Fund will assist projects which support the needs of local communities by using pubs to offer a new service or replace a service that has already been lost, such as a local shop, library, post office or community centre, or encouraging the local sourcing of products, providing school meals, IT training and church services.

Funding will support projects where no other local funding for services currently exists. Applications can be submitted at any time. Click here for more information.

Small Grants for Small Charities
The Foyle Small Grants Scheme is designed to support UK charities which are financially stable and which are working at grass roots and local community level, in any field, across a wide range of activities.

Grants For Small Local & Grass Roots Groups
‘Charity Pot’ is funded by Lush hand and body cream support and distribute as grants, to mainly small grass roots groups working in the areas of animal protection, the environment and/or human rights (including social justice, peace, diversity and equality). Charity Pot grants range from £100 to £10,000 per project/application.

Co-op Local Community Fund
If your project helps people access food, improves mental wellbeing or provides opportunities for young people, apply for funding and become a co-op cause.

Grants For Horticultural & Art History Projects
The Finnis Scott Foundation makes grants for horticultural and art history projects. In general, the Trustees only consider applications for grants up to £10,000.

People’s Health Trust Their Active Communities programme is open locally. Not for profit organisations with an annual income below £350,000 can a apply for a grant of £5,000 to £40,000, which can be over two years.

Projects need to:

  • Be designed and led by local people

  • Support their neighbourhood or community to come together to address an issue that is important to them

  • Create stronger connections between people by supporting them to meet up regularly (weekly, fortnightly or monthly, for at least one year)

  • Be for people who experience greater social and economic disadvantage than people living in other parts of the country

They will support small local projects, or those supporting a community of interest. Deadline for applications is 1pm on 9 June 2021

Read more

The Wakeham Trust

The Wakeham Trust provides grants to help people rebuild their communities. They are particularly interested in neighbourhood projects, community arts projects, projects involving community service by young people, or projects set up by those who are socially excluded.Read more

Grocers’ Charity – Memorial Grants
One-off grants are available to small UK registered charities for work in the specific areas of: relief of youth poverty, the disabled, the elderly, health, military, and the arts and heritage.

Music for All – Community Project Funding
Deadline: 1 July 2021
Grants are available to UK-based community groups that aim to bring musical projects to their local communities.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund – Barclays 100x100UK
Covid-19 Community Relief Fund

Funding for farming and rural communities to cope with the impact of Covid-19, to expand on new services that have emerged to support the local community during this time and to build future resilience.

Matthew Good Foundation – Grants for Good Fund
Grants are available for local community groups, charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises in the UK for projects that have a positive impact on communities, people, or the environment.

Postcode Society Trust – South of England
Grants are available for smaller charities and good causes in the south of England.

Ansvar We’re asking registered charities – big or small – to tell us about a project they’re either running or hoping to run, which could do with some extra cash. We have £25,000 to give away.

Return to Play: Small Grants This fund will make awards, using National Lottery and government funding, of between £300 and £10,000 from a total pot of £15 million, to help sport and activity groups, clubs and organisations respond to the immediate challenges of returning to play in a coronavirus-safe way.

Ocado Foundation Grants Programme

Grants programme for UK charities and community groups, with BizGive offering grants of up to £1,000 to successful applicants, with in-kind goods also available on request and applications for digital volunteering also accepted. For further details please click here.

Funding for Allotment and Garden Projects
The National Allotment Gardens Trust grant funding to registered Allotment Associations and Committees for the improvement and development of facilities on registered and permanent sites. Non statuary sites may also be granted funding if a long term lease is in place.

Pets at Home Foundation – Pets Through People Grants
Grants are available for charities who provide temporary or ongoing assistance to ensure pets can remain with their owners, and/or change the lives of adults and children through the provision of animal-based activities.

National Lottery Awards for All – England
Deadline: N/A
Grants are available for charities, voluntary groups, schools and local authorities in England to carry out projects that will improve their local community

National Lottery Community Fund – Partnerships
Deadline: N/A
Grants are available to voluntary and community organisations in England which work together with a shared set of goals and values to help their community thrive.

National Lottery Community Fund – Reaching Communities
Deadline: N/A
Large grants are available to voluntary and community organisations in England for projects that make positive changes in their communities.

National Lottery Grants for Heritage
Deadline: N/A
Grants for organisations working with heritage to adapt and respond to the changing environment they are now operating in due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis.

Emergency Government funding for the Coronavirus Community Support Fund

Government funding is being awarded alongside National Lottery funding, to support organisations to continue to deliver services to people and communities affected by COVID-19. We can also help organisations overcome any acute financial difficulties they face as a result of the pandemic. Those unable to accept lottery funding can specify the application is for Government funds. Read about the types of projects and organisations we’re prioritising

Funding of between £300 and £10,000 is being awarded to cover six months of expenditure. Applications are ongoing though eligibility will change after 17th August. See

Core funding charities supporting for disadvantaged groups
Charities, social enterprises, and community interest companies can apply for core cost funding of up to £3,000. Priority is given to projects that make good use of volunteers, encourage past and current users to participate, ensure that funds awarded are being well used and fall within the following areas:

  • Children and young people who are isolated, at risk of exclusion or involved in anti-social behaviour.

  • Disadvantaged families,

  • Prisoners and ex-offenders.

See for details. Apply by 30th July 2021

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