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.
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 ...
The Whiteknights Studio Trail celebration book is being offered at a pre-publication price of £10.50 per copy. This is valid up until publication date of 21st June when it will return to £12.00. Friends’ member and editor of the book Jenny Halstead can hand copies over at the front door (wearing a glove) on SATURDAYS (6/13 /20 June) between 12noon – 4pm – cash only in an envelope please at 85 Christchurch Road, Reading
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.
This event has been cancelled.
The Friends will once again be taking part in this local festival on Palmer Park. If any members would like to help man the Friends stall please get in touch (email@example.com).
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. THE UNIVERSITY’S SILCHESTER FIELD DIG WILL NOT TAKE PLACE THIS YEAR.
Professor Michael Fulford has invited Friends to return to Silchester again, for what may be his last season there, to be shown the results of further excavations of the Roman Baths. Details and a booking form will be sent out later this year
The AGM will take place via email and snail mail this year. The Secretary will be in touch with members in June.
Our Annual General Meeting will start with a visit to the Library at 2.30 pm to be shown the changes made as a result of the recent renovation programme. Tea will be available in in the Meadow Suite from 3.45 pm followed by the Annual General Meeting at 4.30 pm, at which the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robert Van de Noort, will talk to us about University’s activities and plans
As at June 2020 we are waiting information from the HOD organisers as to whether any events may proceed
The Friends will be collaborating with other local organisations in these National Trust-coordinated Heritage Open Days, the theme of which is Hidden Nature. 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.
Some Past Events
- Members are invited by RUBC to watch the racing from the Reading Canoe Club, The Warren, Caversham. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visit to The Cole Museum, Animal and Microbial Sciences Building at 2.15 pm and tour at 2.30 pm followed by a talk at 3.15pm in the AMS Lecture Theatre and then tea in the Meadow Suite.
- The Friends Visit Tour of Naval and Royal Greenwich (a steadily paced walking tour, including rest stops). BOOKING ESSENTIAL.
- Longstanding member of the Friends, Jenny Halstead, is curating an exhibition from local artists. Private view with wine, books, museum and optional lunch.
- This year our annual general meeting and reception will be at Aberleigh courtesy of Sir David and Lady Bell. This is a good occasion to catch up with what’s going on both within The Friends’ Association and more broadly to hear from the Vice-Chancellor about developments within the University, have your say on what the Friends are doing and consider the applications made to our annual grants round. Oh, and there’s also a delicious tea. Details will be updated here and sent to all members three weeks before the meeting.
- The University received its charter 90 years ago. Members of the Friends were invited to join alumni at the University Homecoming event. We manned a stand at this special event – showing the wide variety of grants we have made over nine decades and our Heritage Trails.
- Lord Carrington, our President emeritus, has kindly invited us again to visit his magnificent gardens at the Manor House, Bledlow. Davina Palmer will provide tea for the party at 4.15 pm. Booking is essential.
- East Reading Festival 19 June 2016
- Everyone welcome at this University event on the London Rd campus 12 noon Sunday 5 June 2016. Bring your own picnic or enjoy a tasty treat from the BBQ grill, and try some of the beers and ciders in the Real Ale Festival at Eat at London Road. If you fancy something a bit different, the University will be showcasing some of its food science research, with a special ‘Ready, Steady, Nutritional Cook’ demonstration.
- The Friends has supported the Ure Museum with several grants over the years. This visit is by kind invitation of Amy Smith, Professor of Classics and Curator of the Museum. The visit starts at 2.30pm in the Ure Museum, Classics Department, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science, Whiteknights campus, Building 1 on the Campus Map. It will be followed by tea at 4.15pm in the Meadow Suite (behind Park House). Please click the photo of Professor Smith for more information, parking permit and campus map. Please email email@example.com if you would like to attend. You are welcome to bring guests ...
- Edith Morley is believed to have been the first woman professor in this country. In our 2015 grants round, the Friends supported the publication of her memoirs. This will be launched in the Great Hall at this special event: In Conversation with Karen Blackett, OBE Chairwoman of MediaCom UK. Please click Edith’s photo – taken in Reading at the turn of the last century – for further details.
- Come and see us or volunteer to help man our stall at East Reading Festival. In 2015 we partnered with local charity RG Spaces to show our heritage info about the London Rd campus, alongside activities relating to the University’s Ure Museum, Ladybird book archive and Harris Garden.
- Reading and the Great War - a commemoration held in 2014
- Heritage Trail 2012 info sheet
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.