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.
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)
THE OPENING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS IN THE MOST RECENT ROUND WAS MARCH 2019
THE CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS WAS 30 APRIL 2019
APPLICANTS WILL BE INFORMED OF THE OUTCOME MID JULY 2019
THE NEXT ROUND WILL OPEN IN MARCH 2020
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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-June.
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.
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:
Details of a talk by Professor Peter Dorwood about ‘Climate Services for Developing Countries: the work of the University’s Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture’ on the afternoon of Wednesday 6 November 2019 will have been sent to members. Please book.
Photo from University of Reading website
Some Past Events
- Professor Amy Smith of the Ure Museum in the Classics Department has kindly suggested that members may like to come to the launch of Annie’s Box (plus tea and cake) on Wednesday 9 October at 4pm. Annie’s box was funded by one of our grants this year. Through a combination of postcards, 3D printed objects and a ‘smart box’ visitors can learn more about Dr Annie Ure by listening to audio recordings. The box is designed to be taken out to schools as well as for use within the Museum. If you would like to come along on Wednesday 9th, ...
- A coach trip on Saturday 5 October to the Docklands Museum to see the Secret Rivers Exhibition, and then to sights in Limehouse, Shadwell, Wapping and St Katherine’s Dock. A4 photo montage Dockland v1.0 20191010 Members were sent a booking form in August. There will be a fair amount of brisk walking involved.
- We continued our series of Heritage Days with our guided tours around the historic London Road campus. Open to all, booking was essential but the tours were free.Further information on the Heritage Open Days website We funded some 3D printing of objects from the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology. During the Heritage Open Days they visited the Museum of English Rural Life. Here they are in the Shepherds Hut, inspecting the DNA molecule and some heritage info about the campuses, all of which we helped to fund. Click to see highlights of their visit.
- Exhibition remains open until 15 September inc. Friends member Jenny Halstead and Linda Saul invited Friends to attend for a talk and a viewing of an exhibition by 20 artists in the Turbine House, Blakes Lock (beside Bel and the Dragon).
- The Museum will host a handling session/talks from 2-4pm More information on the display which is on until 10 Septermber at https://research.reading.ac.uk/curiosi/collcurcat/
- Professor Michael Fulford has invited Friends to return to Silchester to be shown round further excavations of the Roman Baths. Please book.
- The Annual General Meeting will start with a talk by Professor Shirley Reynolds and Dr Faith Orchard of the Charlie Waller Institute about the Institute and its work relating to mental health in young people. It will be held in Room G09, Allen Building, at 2.30 pm, with tea in the Meadow Suite from 4.00 pm followed by the Annual General Meeting at 5.00 pm. Full details and a booking form will be sent round nearer the time.
- Once again we had a stall at this popular local event in Palmer Park, showing photos from the University Special Collections on the development of the London Road campus.
- Following the success of our 2017 Heritage Day, the Friends have developed a series of guided tours of the Whiteknights and London Road campuses. The first of these was organised for the Berkshire Family History Society,
- This year we had two stalls. One showing the history of the campus and the other in conjunction with the Ure Museum, Classics dept and a local charity with hands on activities of animal-related museum objects together with 3D prints of Palmyra which The Friends had funded.