Monthly Archives: February 2016

Chairman’s letter to the Friends February 2016

Dear Members,

Over the past few months we have been in discussion with the Campaigns and Supporter Engagement Office (CSEO) to agree on the way ahead for us at a time when the University is reshaping its management structures so as to make best use of its resources.

As a result, we as an Association have largely taken over our own administration, while still making use of the University as our base and as provider of practical assistance in matters of managing our finances and of printing and circulation of papers.

We now manage our own membership database, which we think will actually make communication easier in the future.  We have also re-designed our website and hope that this will assist us in making it more timely and informative.

Importantly, members of your Executive Committee have stepped forward to take over those functions needed to run the Association, the new officers being:

  • Peter Must: Hon. Secretary, looking after the Executive Committee and the Yearly Meeting;
  • Brenda Morris: Membership Secretary, dealing with subscriptions and arrangements for events;
  • Annette Haworth: Grants Officer, inviting applications for grants and presenting them to the Executive Committee to select cases for recommendation to the Yearly Meeting. She is also  our IT mastermind.
As your Chairman, I would like to emphasize my immense gratitude to each of the new officers, and to John Grainger in Peter Must’s Working Party, for their admirable efforts to achieve such a positive outlook for the Friends. The same goes for Dennis Wood’s tireless work in preparing the Heritage event to mark our 90th Anniversary in 2017.

This is still a learning curve for all of us and I know you will bear with us if further challenges arise.  Indeed, the new arrangements envisage others joining in to help: we will be most grateful for any further assistance offered.  Meanwhile, I trust you will accept that our measures have been necessary to keep the Friends’ Association alive and well, with a solid platform for future growth and activity. As evidence of this I have pleasure in enclosing our programme for 2016.  We hope to see as many of you as possible at these events, starting with the visit to Classics on 20 April, and including some really special treats – notably the Vice-Chancellor’s invitation for 29 June.

Andrew Palmer (Chairman)

Is cocoa good for brain function?


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 University on three mornings to provide a blood sample, complete some questionnaires and computer-based tasks, and undergo ultrasound of an artery in your upper arm as well as brain imaging. You would need to arrive fasted but food would be provided during the visit. In addition, you would be asked to bring a 24-hour urine sample with you.

We would be very grateful for your assistance and you would be compensated for your time and travel expenses.

Eligibility to participate would be determined following a screening visit but if you are generally healthy, do not have a pacemaker or metal implants, are not on any dietary restrictions and do not take medication for blood pressure or diabetes, we would love to hear from you.

Please contact Anja or Georgina from the research; (m) 07580 237963.

Cocoa & Cognition Study Team
Drs Georgina Dodd & Anja Hayen
Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition,
Food & Nutritional Sciences,
Food Biosciences Building,
University of Reading,
Reading,RG6 6AP.
Study mobile (Mon-Fri 10am-6pm): 07580 237963