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
- This event has been postponed until further notice Friends are invited to join members of the University and the local community at this fifth annual Big Band Big Lunch Event on the London Road campus. You can take lunch, listen to music from the University Big Band and take part in a range of activities, including a guided tour of the London Road campus. Food and drink will be available to purchase, or feel free to bring along a picnic and enjoy the festivities! No need to book. Just turn up on the day from 12 noon. Parking available. Food and drink ...
- Palmer Building Room 109 at 4.15 pm. Mark Fellowes, Professor of Ecology in the School of Biological Sciences and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Planning and Resource, will give an illustrated talk about Urban Wildlife. Tea, with sandwiches and cakes, will be available from 3.00 pm in the Meadow Suite, Park House, and the talk will be held in Lecture Room 109 in the Palmer Building at 4.15 pm. Please use form sent to members to say if you will be coming to the talk, and whether you would like tea.
- THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE THAMES BEING IN FLOOD Friends were invited to view the race while taking tea and cake at the Canoe Club beside the Thames.
- 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
- 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.
- Dr Jaqui Turner of the History Department, who recently advised the Suffrage exhibition in Parliament, will speak on early female MPs alongside a recreation of her Nancy Astor exhibit informed by the University’s extensive Astor archive. Venue Palmer Building. Please book for the accompanying tea which starts at 3pm.
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.