Besides helping the University, through the grants financed from subscriptions, members enjoy a full 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 in June 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’ biennial, themed Heritage Trails are also open to the public. The event in 2012 focused on the London Road campus and attracted over 260 members and visitors. In 2014 the theme was ‘Reading and The Great War’, held on the London Road campus.
Members receive: Connected magazine for alumni and Friends, mailed annually and supplemented by Connected online, a quarterly email newsletter; and all the generous benefits available to alumni such as discounts on hotels, car rental and University Library and Sports Centre membership.
Membership, open to anyone, is by subscription of £20 p.a. for individuals, £30 for couples living at the same address, although we welcome larger subscriptions from those who feel able to contribute. New members are always welcome. please contact Mrs Brenda Morris, Membership Secretary, The Friends of The University, c/o ASEO, Blandford Lodge 1st Floor, PO Box 201, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AH, tel 0740128717, e-mail email@example.com
Message to holders of grants which were due to be spent by 30 September 2020: In the light of the pandemic, the deadline has been extended to 30 September 2021. If it proves difficult to complete a project due to the changed circumstances, please get in touch so we can discuss a practical way forward.
In the light of the current pandemic, we are postponing the 2020 grant round to March 2021 (this info was last updated May 2020). Any changes to this will be posted here as they become available.
THE OPENING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS IN THE CURRENT ROUND IS 20 MARCH 2020
THE CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS IS 15 MAY 2020
APPLICANTS WILL BE INFORMED OF THE OUTCOME MID JULY 2020
If you have trouble accessing the form or need further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Normally, the closing date for applications is early in the Summer Term. The exact date will be advertised towards the end of the Spring Term. Decisions are confirmed by The Friends normally by mid-July.
Each year we give out around half a dozen grants normally ranging from a few hundred to a (very!) few 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 include musical instruments, covers and a synthetic cricket wicket and boats and sets of oars for the University Boat Club.
Donations to Departments and Schools include the purchase of paintings and other works of art, storage facilities, display cabinets, garden seats and trees. 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 enjoyed by the general public, including The Friends’ Bridge over Whiteknights Lake, plantings around the lake, 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.
Phone: 07401 282717
Email: thefriends [usual at sign] reading.ac.uk
NOTE: FROM MARCH 2020 DURING THE COVID19 PANDEMIC IT IS LIKELY THAT MAIL TO OUR REGISTERED ADDRESS WILL NOT BE SEEN FOR SOME TIME AS THE UNIVERSITY MOVES TO HOME WORKING. PLEASE EMAIL US INSTEAD. THANK YOU
The Friends of the University of Reading
LO11, London Road Campus
4 Redlands Road
The Friends will be following the University’s policy to inform decisions on what actions to take in the light of the Coronovirus – COVID19 – outbreak. As at 13 March 2020 all Friends’ events up to the end of April are cancelled. Members with bookings will be informed. This page will be updated with information on other events as it becomes available. Update: 26 March 2020 – the University has cancelled all events scheduled for May and June and is reviewing the position on July and August events. Update July 2020: The Friends will not be holding ‘live’ events for the next 2 months. The situation will be reviewed in September.
The Friends have devised walking trails around the University campuses. These may be available to local groups. Please contact thefriends (usual at sign) reading.ac.uk for further information. Our Whiteknights Heritage Leaflets are available at:
A guided walking tour, starting at 2.00 pm from the Earley Gate lodges, of Earley Gate and The Wilderness offered exclusively for Friends. The tour covers the history of the wartime TOBs (Temporary Office Buildings), the Cold War ‘citadel’ (Region 6 War Room), ‘The Woods’ (Marquis of Blandford era) and the site of ‘The Wilderness’, one of the six Victorian houses built in the Park.Please dress for the conditions – solid footwear and rain wear (if necessary). The tour may include some walking on uneven surfaces. Disabled access might be restricted; it is therefore not recommended for wheelchair users. Parking ...
Update July 2020: in view of the continuing uncertainty over the safety of holding events and the timing coinciding with the University welcoming students on campus we are postponing our participation in this event until 2021
The Friends will be collaborating with other local organisations in these National Trust-coordinated Heritage Open Days, the theme of which is Hidden Nature. We hope to co-ordinate something around the Grotto in the Wilderness on Whiteknights. Details will be sent out later in the year.
Martin Kaufman will follow up his visit to Limehouse, Shadwell and Wapping last year with a proposed guided tour of the Royal Docks, the Thames Barrier and Tilbury Docks. Details will be sent to members nearer the time with an itinerary, timings and cost.
THE TRAIL HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO JUNE 2021.
A book entitled The Art and History of Whiteknights celebrating the founding of the Trail 20 years ago can be purchased through tworiverspress.com . The Friends have not only given a grant towards the cost of publication but also, through some of its volunteers, provided chapters on the Southern Hill area round Christchurch Road, and about Whiteknights Park derived from their work on its history that has resulted in a series of published Friend’ Heritage Trail Guides.
Some Past Events
Members of The Friends are cordially invited to the launch of this installation of sculptures. Please click the title to see details.
Members Dr John Grainger and Ian Burn will give a talk on the heritage trails created for The Friends’ 90th anniversary celebrations in 2017. There will be an accompanying exhibition and tea. Full details and booking form have been sent to members.
- University Orchestra Concert 10 March 2018
The Reading 2050 project is holding open lectures to which members of the Friends are very welcome.
THE RUBC HAS HAD TO CANCEL THIS EVENT DUE TO WEATHER & RIVER CONDITIONS
University choirs (Campus Voices, Academic Voices, and Chamber Choir, plus the Institute of Education’s Universal Voices children’s choir) will be performing in an advent concert on Thursday 7 December, at Christ Church (Christchurch Road, Reading, RG2 7AJ). The concert is free, but there will be a retiring collection for Nordoff Robbins, a music therapy charity. All welcome.
Friends are most welcome to the University Carol Service which is taking place on Monday 4 December at 6pm in the Great Hall featuring the Chamber Choir and readings from University members.
The Big Band have their annual Swing Ball taking place on Saturday 25 November. This promises to be a great evening, with fantastic entertainment from the University Big Band and Reading Boys School Big Band, plus a swing dance taster session and performances from the University Swing Dance Society. This event has sold out in the past, so you are advised to book tickets in advance as soon as possible.
Professor Farrelly Head of the University’s new School of Architecture has invited us to visit. Further details will be available in August.
A guided tour of the area. Further details available in August.
Inspired by Reading’s Victorian Turbine, All of a Twist is an exhibition of the science and technology of twisty-turny stuff under, on, above and beside Reading’s rivers. Thermals, tornados, whirlpools, watermills, willow, spirogyra, towrope, wool, DNA and turbines have all affected Reading, its river dwellers, monks, red kites and now us one way or another.
Advised by Reading-based scientists, most from the University, local charity RG Spaces is mounting this exhibition at the Turbine House on the River Kennet courtesy Reading Museum.
A special viewing for members of Friends of the University & their guests will be held on ...
Professor Mike Fulford has invited us to the site of the new temple dig at Silchester. Further details will be available at the beginning of August.
The Friends will be represented at this event showing a collection of historic University photos. The Shepherds Hut which The Friends helped fund is being unveiled decorated by the Mewes Knitters alongside many other community activities.
Everyone is invited to bring along a picnic, and any family teasures you would like evaluated. See Community Treasures
This is an excellent opportunity to get up to date with the changes the Friends are helping make in the Museum garden.
The Friends was honoured to be inducted into the University’s College of Benefactors at the degree ceremony in the Great Hall on 6 July 2017. Dr Chris Gayford received the honour from the Chancellor followed by a presentation from the Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell in the Acacias.
Our Yearly Meeting will be held at London Road, with a visit to the Museum of English Rural Life
followed by tea and our Meeting in Room L022 G03/4. Full details and booking form will be sent
round nearer the time.
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 over 400 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.
- Code of Conduct
- Complaints procedure
- Conflict of Interest
- Data Protection Policy
- Grant Making Policy
- Health and Safety
- History of the Friends
- Membership application form (.docx for use with Microsoft Word)
- Membership Application Form (.pdf)
- Officers and Trustees
- Public Liability Insurance
- Volunteer Management