Monthly Archives: December 2015


We put occasional information about the University here and you can find out more about the University’s news
  • Is cocoa good for brain function? CoCo_Poster At the University of Reading we are looking for healthy non-smokers aged 60-75 years who would like to take part in a study investigating the long-term effects of a cocoa-based supplement on cognitive performance and the brain. Taking part in this 36-week study would involve consuming a cocoa-based supplement daily for 24 weeks and attending the ...
Members running Ure Museums object handling activity


Besides helping the University, through the grants financed from subscriptions, members enjoy a programme of events. Twice-yearly talks from eminent members of the University are acompanied by tea at which members have time to meet old friends and make new acquaintances. At our Yearly Meeting members are invited to visit areas in the University not usually accessible to the general public. In addition we arrange trips to external venues with University of Reading connections.

The Friends run guided walks around the University for both members and the public and have published a series of pamphlets on the history of the campuses.

Members receive: the eConnected magazine for alumni and Friends and all the generous benefits available to alumni such as discounts on University Library and Sports Centre membership.

Membership, open to anyone, is by subscription of £20 p.a. for individuals, £30 for two people living at the same address, although we welcome larger subscriptions from those who feel able to contribute. New members are always welcome. If you would like to know more please e-mail



For info here is the 2023 calling notice:

Do you have a project which would benefit from a Friends of the University grant?

If so please send a short email describing your project and the amount requested to: as soon as possible and in any case by 4th April 2023.

We are particularly interested in helping to fund projects which will enhance University-community relations and/or help student or staff extra-curricular activities.

We will be in touch shortly after receiving your email to let you know if your project is eligible and whether we need further information. The final decisions will be made towards the end of April and applicants will be informed immediately of the outcome.

If you would like further information see below where there is a list of our previous grants. However, please note that while we traditionally mainly funded physical “things”, we will consider funding towards other projects, staff time, online work, events etc.

Note that we give grants only to organisations, not to individuals. Students are welcome to apply but should ensure that a member of UoR staff agrees with the application and can provide information on the University account that the grant is to to paid into. An alternative route would be through another associated organisation such as RUSU.

Below is information on our normal grants procedure.

Each year we give out around half a dozen grants normally ranging from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand pounds, responding to applications for projects which would not normally be funded from University academic resources. In this way we enrich students’ experiences, provide additional social and cultural amenities, enhance the University’s landscape and support its outreach into the community.

Students across University life benefit from contributions. Examples range from materials for an Art/Archaeology outreach project to help towards purchase of an engine for the Scuba Diving Club.

Donations to departments have ranged from models of fossilised creatures to paintings. The ceremonial furniture seen in the Great Hall at London Road at Graduation ceremonies was among our earliest grants; we have since since contributed to the refurbishment of its organ.

Our funding has enhanced University landmarks, including The Friends’ Bridge over Whiteknights Lake, wildflower meadow planting, and the cloisters that characterise London Road campus. The fine stained-glass window at the Museum of English Rural Life and music stands for concerts by Music at Reading are other examples.

The Friends are particularly interested in projects which support the University’s outreach into the wider community. Past examples of such grants include a 3D model of a DNA molecule which can be used both for University teaching and in schools, support of community events such as the Big Band Picnic and completion of an African Drum circle to enable workshops to be held outside the normal curriculum with local schools and at community events./p

Grants awarded

Analysis of grants by decade to 2015

Grant making policy


  • The Friends have devised walking trails around the University campuses. These may be available to local groups. Please contact thefriends (usual at sign) for further information.

    The Whiteknights trail covers the gate lodges before moving on to describe the background to the Temporary Office Buildings, the Citadel and more recent development of the Earley Gate area by the University (Agriculture, Psychology etc), and ending at the site ...

  • An informal series of get-togethers 3pm-430pm first Sunday of each month starting Sunday 3 September 2023 to find out how one of the Friends’ grants worked out. Join us over a cup of tea from the Museum of English Rural Life cafe. Non-members welcome to come along and find out something about the Friends. No need to book but to stay in touch please email: thefriends usual at sign

  • Peter Must, Member of The Friends and Chairman of the Wokingham Society, will give a talk about the Heelas family, who established a draper’s store in Wokingham at the end of the eighteenth century and then a large department store in Reading in the nineteenth. Tea/coffee and cakes will be available from 3.00 pm in the Meadow Suite, Park House, and will be followed by the talk at 4.15 pm. Booking information will be sent out nearer the time.

  • The Annual General Meeting will take place on Wednesday 11 October preceded by a guided tour of the Library at 3.00 pm. Tea will be provided in the Meadow Suite from 4.00 pm and the Annual General Meeting will be held there at 5.15pm, with an opening address from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Parveen Yaqoob. Booking details will be circulated in due course

  • In place of the visit which could not take place last year Martin Kaufman is offering a combined mini Royal Docks tour- with half the amount of walking and half the number of times getting on and off the coach – followed by a trip to Tilbury to see the container Docks and Tilbury Fort, a double visit which Martin says would be “a fitting end to our Docklands tour.” Details have been sent to members.

  • An informal get together over a cup of tea from the MERL cafe to chat about the booklet The Friends’ funded with Ian Akhurst, previous Director of Sport at the University.

    Just come along between 3pm-4.30pm on Sunday afternoon and look for us in the Museum of English Rural Life cafe. Parking is available. Non-members welcome. No need to book but letting us know you may be coming by emailing helps with the organisation.

  • We are again taking part in the National Trust’s Heritage Open Days with a tour of Foxhill House and through the meadows to Whiteknights lake.

    Please see: for details. Booking essential.

  • Visit to Downe village and Down House with Professor Peter Worsley, Wednesday 6 September 2023

    Following his talk at last year’s Annual General Meeting about Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle, Professor Peter Worsley, Friend of the University and Professor Emeritus of Quaternary Geology, has kindly offered to lead a coach trip on Wednesday 6 September 2023 from Whiteknights to Charles Darwin’s home at Down House, now an English Heritage property, in Kent. After visiting the house it will be a short guided walk to nearby Downe village, from where the coach will return members to Whiteknights. Details have ...

  • With the Ure Museum 2016

    The Friends will be taking part in the East Reading Festival, Palmer Park, 12noon – 6pm alongside a small display from the Cole Museum of Zoology with hands-on exhibits.

  • The Whiteknights Studio Trail will be open from 11am to 6pm on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 of June. Venues include the University’s Museum of English Rural Life. The Studio Trail map can be obtained in May at

    The book celebrating the Trail’s > 20 years which a Friends’ grant helped to publish can be bought from

  • Members running Ure Museums object handling activity

    This Festival, hosted by the University and the Students’ Union, will take place between 10.30 am and 3.30 pm on land behind the Students Union. The Festival, based on the theme of Agriculture and Food, is designed to give the people of Reading a free, local day out and to bring some vibrancy to the heart of Whiteknights Campus. The day will be action-packed with live performances, workshops, competitions and much more. The Friends of the University will provide a stall or two at the event. No booking required.

  • In association with Reading’s Economy and Destination Agency (REDA), and at the request of the University’s Events Team, Mr Chris Rayner and colleagues among The Friends have volunteered to lead guided walks round Whiteknghts on Saturday 13 May at 11 am and 2 pm, and round London Road on Sunday 14 May at 11 am. There will also be a nature walk by someone else on Saturday 13 May at 4 pm. The complete programme of walks, and the arrangements for booking to join a walk can be found at: or obtained from REDA, The Library ...

  • Talk on Wednesday 5 April 2023 about The Origin and Development of Halls of Residence at the University by Mr Ian Burn and Dr John Grainger in the Meadow Suite at 4.15 pm.

    Mr Burn and Dr Grainger have recently issued a brochure describing and illustrating the History of Halls of Residence at the University and their talk will expand on the information in the brochure.

    Tea/coffee with cakes, will be available from 3.00 pm in the Meadow Suite, Park House, and will be followed by the talk at 4.15 pm.

    Please see the enclosed letter for further details and use the enclosed ...

  • ‘An Ephemeral Encounter’ at the Department of Typography, Tuesday 28 March 2023

    The Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at Earley Gate RG6 6BZ, invites twenty Friends to visit on Tuesday 28 March 2023 to look at and discuss examples of Reading ephemera, with an opportunity to print from a block made by a Reading printer.

    The exhibition illustrates everyday life in Reading and work on this collection has been partly funded by a grant from The Friends.

    Arrival is 2.15 pm for a 2.30 pm start. Tea will be provided.

    Places are limited to 20 and will be allocated on a ‘first-come, first-served’ ...

  • The University Boat Club invites The Friends of the University to join them from 2 to 4 pm to watch the afternoon division of the RU Head of the River, and enjoy tea and cake provided by the student rowers.

    The event is hosted at Reading Canoe Club, The Warren, Reading RG4 7TH (parking available), which has fantastic views of the final stages of the Head of the River, and provides the comfort of being in the warm and dry.

    There is no need to book; just turn up to cheer on the crews and enjoy the afternoon speaking to some current ...


The Friends of the University of Reading was formed as a charitable association in 1927. In 2017 it was registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales as an Association Charitable Incorporated Organisation (number 1173347). In July 2017 The Friends was inducted into the University’s College of Benefactors in recognition of 90 years continuous support of the University.

Membership of The Friends is open to anyone with an interest in supporting the University.

The Association thrives with a membership of around 250 drawn from the neighbourhood and the wider community as well as from former and present members of the University. In this way we provide a companionable means of cultivating contacts between the University and those interested in its educational goals, history, current activities and future development. Membership of The Friends gives access to an array of social and cultural events. The subscription income that we generate is applied to grants, financing various amenities and activities throughout the University.