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)
CLOSING DATE FOR 2018 will be early May 2018
Click to download a grant application form (MS Word)
Closing date for applications is a couple of weeks into the Summer Term. The exact date will be advertised in February.
Decisions are confirmed by The Friends at around the end of the Summer Term.
If you have trouble accessing the form or need further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Each year we give out around half a dozen grants ranging from a few hundred to a 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, and enhance the University’s landscape.
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@reading are other examples. Elsewhere, we have funded display cases in the Ure and Cole Museums and, in contrast, a contribution to the purchase of a mower for the University Bowls Club.
- 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. https://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/music/Events/SwingBall.aspx
- 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.
- 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.
- Date and details to be confirmed.
- The Reading 2050 project is holding open lectures to which members of the Friends are very welcome.
- Further details will be available nearer the event.
- Dates and details to follow.
- The Friends will be taking part in this lively and friendly occasion. Bring a picnic to the London Road campus. Further details nearer the time.
- Information nearer the event.
- Once again The Friends will be taking part in this annual event on Palmer Park. Details nearer the time.
Some Past Events
- This talk will be given at Whiteknights by Professor Paul Hadley and Dr Matt Ordidge and will explain the work of the National Fruit Collection, one of the largest such collections in the world, which is based at Brogdale Farm in Kent and is co-curated by the University of Reading.
- Members are invited by RUBC to watch the racing from the Reading Canoe Club, The Warren, Caversham. Please contact email@example.com
- 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