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Welcome to Connecting Communities in Berkshire monthly e-bulletin full of community training opportunities, funding and Berkshire based news.
New: FREE Funding Workshop in West Berkshire. Book your place now!

Are you a community group, charity or voluntary organisation looking for funding in 2020?

CCB is facilitating a FREE Funding Workshop providing information, useful tips and advice on available funding streams in West Berkshire. The training is aimed at charities, community groups, parish councils and voluntary organisations who are looking for a range of funding streams to improve their community buildings, village, neighbourhood, parish or assist their charitable projects.

Date: Thursday 19th March, 10am - 12pm, Calcot Centre, RG31 4XD

We have excellent speakers currently lined up they are:

Elisha Russell, Community Liaison Officer from Berkshire Community Foundation (BCF). Berkshire Community Foundation gives charitable organisations in Berkshire the opportunity to apply for life-changing grants. Elisha will be giving an overview of current and future funding opportunities available through BCF and tips on how to improve your chances of success. She will also look at available funding from BCF that particularly focuses on overcoming loneliness and isolation.

Julian May, Head of Business Development from the Good Exchange. Julian will be explaining the criteria for the Good Exchange, a fundraising platform which allows you to access multiple funders, donors and fundraisers with a single application, how groups can register and guiding you through the process of how to get the most out of your application. He will be able to give useful examples of local fundraising successes and also give information on additional training that may support your organisation/group/event promote yourselves thus improving your fundraising ability.

Rachel Peters, Community Development Officer from Sovereign Community Funding. Sovereign is one of the largest housing associations in the country, providing 58,000 quality, affordable homes across the south of England, for people priced out of the housing market. But the organisation’s work doesn’t stop at the front door, as £3m a year is invested in its communities, helping people - and their neighbourhoods - to flourish.

Sara Hanson, Volunteer Sector Support Officer at Volunteer Centre West Berkshire. VCWB provides free impartial information advice and guidance about volunteering in West Berkshire. Sara is an experienced bid writer, evaluator and trainer. Sara will be covering general useful hints and tips to consider when preparing funding forms & applications.

Kate Meads, Community Buildings Advisor at Connecting Communities in Berkshire. Kate will provide information on funding opportunities available to those that may be responsible for managing community buildings and assets – village hall, places of worship, community pubs & shops, scout huts etc.

With more TBC!

This workshop is free to attend but places are limited and booked on a first come, first served basis. This training is supported by West Berkshire Council Adult Community Learning. TO BOOK YOUR PLACE PLEASE CLICK ON THIS LINK :
Training opportunity in Wokingham: Building Power through Community Organising

Calling all residents in Wokingham Borough. Do you have a cause you feel passionately about? Do you want to build momentum and galvanize others to support and understand your issue? If Yes, we are running a course aimed at building and strengthening communities like yours.

On this course you will explore and develop your understanding of power, which is what drives community organising: what power means and how power can be built in communities to overcome social injustice and create change.

Using fun and thought-provoking activities, and thinking about our own lives, we will think about the different types and effect of power and look at the ways that people can build power together through community organising.

During this course you will explore:
  • your personal power and ability to act
  • how power is exercised in society
  • what it means to organise for change
  • how to begin to pinpoint the causes of social injustice
  • how to build power with others through community organising
This course is primarily for residents of Wokingham Borough Council and is supported by Wokingham BC Adult Community Learning. PLACES MUST BE BOOKED, please cick here to book your place:
Hallmark Training opportunity for Village Hall Trustees in Wokingham & West Berkshire

Hallmark Levels 1 – 3 are quality standard marks for Village Halls & Community Buildings

They demonstrate to your Community and stakeholders (e.g. Insurance Companies, banks & funders) that your building meets the basic standards (L1) through to exceptional standards (L3) of quality provision.

They also act as an internal audit to reassure Trustees/Management Committees that they are meeting legal obligations and serving the community as directed by their constitution.

Hallmark training has been scheduled for the following dates, please click on the link to book your place:

26th March, 10am – 12pm at Ashhampstead Village Hall, Hallmark 1 (West Berkshire Halls):

18th May, 10am – 12pm, Hurst Village Hall, Hallmark 1 (Wokingham Village Halls):

21st May, 10am – 12pm , Hampstead Norreys, Hallmark 2:

After you have achieved HALLMARK 1, you can attend HALLMARK 2 training. After attending this course and a short site visit you could attain a HALLMARK 2 certificate.

In the Autumn of 2020 we plan to work with L2 Halls to help them achieve HALLMARK 3 (the highest standard)

What does training cover? Training covers a great deal, but in essence covers the following;

Hallmark 1 focuses on the management and administration of the charity.
Hallmark 2 focuses on health, safety, security and licences.
Hallmark 3 requires the hall to be working with the community and its users, including stakeholders; marketing the hall and building its profile in the centre of the community.

The aim of Hallmark is to:
• Establish good practice
• Encourage improvement in established customs and procedures
• Gain recognition for obtaining good standards in management of the hall
For any questions or further details please contact:
Training opportunity for parents, grandparents & carers in Wokingham to learn life saving skills

Would you know what to do if your child was ill or had an accident?
Parents and carers in Wokingham have the opportunity to book on this informative and interactive two hour workshop, facilitated by local charity Connecting Communities in Berkshire, supported by the Wokingham BC Adult Community Learning team.

Babies and children cannot be wrapped in cotton wool but you can have the skills to help them if they need it. In just 2 hours, learn what to do in the vital minutes whilst you are waiting for the emergency services to arrive.

The Tutor is Rachel and she is a qualified first aid teacher from Ladybird First Aid. Places MUST be booked.

Dates & Venue

Saturday 15th February, 9.30 – 11.30am at Finchampstead Childrens Centre. Places MUST be booked and paid for (Cost £12 per person incl VAT): LAST CHANCE TO BOOK!

Tuesday 24th March, 9.30 – 11.30am at Brambles Children’s Centre. (Cost £12 per person including VAT)

These necessary skills could save your baby or child’s life.

The class covers baby and child first aid from birth to puberty (+/- 11 years old) and includes the following:

Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Recovery Position
Burns and Scalds
Febrile Convulsions
Bumps & Head Injuries
plus lots more…
All attendees of the 2 hour class receive a certificate of attendance. Babes in arms (under 1) are welcome on classes.

Wednesday 20th February @ 7pm, Brimpton Village Hall. Link to booking form:
This training is FREE to attend and provided by Heartstart Thatcham but places are limited and must be BOOKED. This training is supported by West Berkshire Council Adult Community Learning team & Gerald Palmer Eling Trust.

The Emergency Life training will cover:
  • Essential lifesaving skills that you can use in an emergency situation to save and prolong lives in your community
  • Priorities/the conscious casualty
  • Choking
  • The unconscious casualty
  • Serious bleeding
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Automated External Defibrillator
  • Suspected heart attack
  • ELS Certificate
It's Village Hall Week!

Thank you to all the Village Halls in Berkshire that participated in Village Hall Week 2020 last month. Village Halls Week which celebrates the community spaces at the heart of rural communities. 

In Bradfield the Village Hall held an open day which was a great success. Trustee Christine Evans explains; "It was fascinating just how came out of the woodwork as to what has happened here over the last 68 years. We also found a few people who may well help out with our project for a new village hall. Our new MP Laura Farris came along as did the Chairman of West Berkshire Council, Cllr Graham Pask."

Community Organisers in Berkshire

At CCB, we have been considering how we can provide more frequent opportunities to bring people together across Berkshire to learn more about community consultation, engagement and empowerment and to offer opportunities for learning, networking and peer support. One way that we can do this is by setting up a Local Organising Group for Berkshire. The following information is from the Community Organisers Ltd website:

Local Organising Groups comprise of a minimum 21 members (of Community Organisers), who have come together to facilitate the use of community organising principles and practice, to tackle issues that matter most to them. The group works together, listening to their community, building their collective power and developing community-led solutions. Local Organising Groups underpin the community organising practice already happening within communities across England. The groups ensure that priorities for actions directly emerge from our neighbourhoods. This guarantees that Community Organisers continues to remain authentic – acting locally and nationally on issues that people care about.

We are in the process of establishing a group called Community Organisers Berkshire. The first step in achieving this is to encourage as many people as we can to become a member of Community Organisers. Membership is free and the application form can be completed online. The link to the website is below and I’d like to encourage you all to sign up, as well as to share this invitation with friends and colleagues.

The Local Organising Group for Berkshire will have a constitution, an Organising Action Plan and an annual programme of events. Our vision for Community Organisers Berkshire is for it to become a vibrant and growing community of people that act on the issues that are important to them and their communities. We will commit to providing regular opportunities to bring people together to develop new skills, hear about how other communities work and to share experiences and concerns.

You can read more about the benefits of joining Community Organisers and complete the application form here: If you have any questions about this, or have ideas for how the Local Organising Group for Berkshire could support you in your work within your community, please get in touch.

Tim Parry,

Great British Spring Clean 2020

Keep Britain Tidy are running a national campaign from 20th March to 13th April to encourage people to pick up litter and be involved in the country’s biggest mass-action environmental campaign.

This campaign is something that CCB fully supports and we encourage communities in Berkshire to take part. Last year 560,000 people in the UK took part and they are aiming for over 600,000 to join in this year.

Taking part will help towards not only help to transform the UK for better by keeping streets clean and protecting wildlife but also, you will help stop damaging materials entering the ocean which is ultimately causing worldwide pollution.

By heading to the Keep Britain Tidy website you can host a clean-up or join one near you. There are a number of resources available to enable you to host such as risk assessment forms, email templates and social media packs.

There are also awards for a variety of categories during the campaign. Awards such as ‘Most bags collected during the campaign period’, ‘Outstanding contribution to the Great British Spring Clean’ and ‘Best Team Effort’ as well as many more are up for grabs so be sure to check out what you could win by taking part.

If you would like to find out more then click here.
CCB is now on Easyfundraising – feel good shopping

Did you know that whenever you buy anything online – from your weekly shop to your annual holiday – you could be raising free donations for Connecting Communities in Berkshire with easyfundraising?

There are over 4,000 shops and sites on board ready to make a donation – including eBay, Argos, John Lewis, ASOS, and M&S – and it won’t cost you a penny extra to help us raise funds.

All you need to do is:

Go to and join for free.
Every time you shop online, go to easyfundraising first to find the site you want and start shopping.
After you’ve checked out, the retailer will make a donation to Connecting Communities in Berkshire at no extra cost to you whatsoever! There are no catches or hidden charges and Connecting Communities in Berkshire will be really grateful for your donations.

Thank you for your support..
Funding Update – February 2020

Smart Energy GB in Communities Fund

The programme supports those who might find it difficult to engage with the smart meter rollout. In 2020, we are targeting grant funding to organisations who reach people that are aged over 65 and are currently unaware of smart meters. For further details please click here.

People’s Postcode Trust
Grants are now open. Apply for grants to benefit people in your area

Who Can Apply?
Organisations who can apply for up to £2000 include:
• Registered charity (with a number from OSCR or Charity Commission)
• Constituted voluntary or community group
• Social enterprise
• Community interest company (CIC)
• Not-for-profit organisation
• Local club or other constituted community group.
Registered charities can apply for up to £20,000.
For further details please click here

One Stop Carriers For Causes Grant
Grants up to £500 are available to local non-profit organisations and groups for projects within two miles of a One Stop store that benefit local communities by helping to improve lives and local places. It is funded through the sale of carrier bags, and administered through Groundwork. For further details please click here.

Swimathon Foundation Community Grants Scheme
The Swimathon Foundation Community Grants Scheme offers funding to groups and individuals who provide and promote swimming in their local community. The Foundation is passionate about encouraging people to get involved with swimming, which it hopes to encourage even further with its Community Grants.
Grants vary from £500 to £2,500 and will only be awarded to organisations supported by pools that are participating in Swimathon. For further details please click here.

Co-op Foundation #iwill Fund
This round of our #iwill Fund focuses on peer-to-peer support to improve children’s wellbeing during the period in which they move from primary to secondary school. This might typically begin any time during School Years 5 or 6 and continue into Years 7 to 8. Up to £35,000 available for any project related costs. For further details please click here.

A Celebration of Craft
The Crafts Council are making grants available to deliver craft workshops, events during 2021. They will give £500 for a public event or £2,500 for an in-depth project. For further details please click here.

Kellogg’s Breakfast Club Grants Programme
Kellogg’s is working with Forever Manchester to award grants of £1,000 to school breakfast clubs, to help them provide breakfast to children who need it most. For further details please click here.

With thanks to Volunteer Centre West Berkshire, Slough CVS & Wokingham&Bracknell Involve for content.
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