Category Archives: formembers

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)

Grants

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

Click to download a grant application form (MS Word)

If you have trouble accessing the form or need further information, please email thefriends@reading.ac.uk

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.

Grants awarded

Analysis of grants by decade to 2015

Grant giving policy

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.

  • 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.

  • Professor Michael Fulford has invited Friends to return to Silchester to be shown round further excavations of the Roman Baths. Please book.

  • Friends member Jenny Halstead and Linda Saul invite 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). No booking necessary.

  • We will be continuing our series of Heritage Days with our guided tour around the historic London Road campus. Open to all. Booking essential Further information on the Heritage Open Days website

  • Our coach trips are extremely popular and a new venue will be chosen for 2019. Members will be sent details nearer the time. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Some Past Events

  • 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. https://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/music/Events/SwingBall.aspx
  • 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 6 Sept. Please arrive ...
  • 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.