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Members running Ure Museums object handling activity

Membership

Besides helping the University, through the grants financed from subscriptions, members enjoy a 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 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 run guided walks around the University for both members and the public and have published a series of pamphlets on the history of the campuses.

Members receive: the eConnected magazine for alumni and Friends and all the generous benefits available to alumni such as discounts on University Library and Sports Centre membership.

Membership, open to anyone, is by subscription of £20 p.a. for individuals, £30 for two people living at the same address, although we welcome larger subscriptions from those who feel able to contribute. New members are always welcome. If you would like to know more please e-mail thefriends@reading.ac.uk

Grants

THE 2024 GRANTS ROUND IS NOW CLOSED.

Here is the calling notice from the 2024 round for info:

Do you have a project which would benefit from a Friends of the University grant?

If so please send a short email describing your project and the amount requested to: thefriends@reading.ac.uk as soon as possible and in any case by Monday 8th April 2024.

We are particularly interested in helping to fund projects which will enhance University-community relations and/or help student or staff extra-curricular activities.

We will be in touch shortly after receiving your email to let you know if your project is eligible and whether we need further information. The final decisions will be made towards the end of April and applicants will be informed immediately of the outcome.

If you would like further information see below where there is a list of our previous grants. However, please note that while we traditionally mainly funded physical “things”, we will consider funding towards other projects, online work, events etc.

Note that we give grants only to organisations, not to individuals. Students are welcome to apply but should ensure that a member of UoR staff agrees with the application and can provide information on the University account that the grant is to to paid into. An alternative route would be through another associated organisation such as RUSU.


Below is information on our normal grants procedure.

Each year we give out around half a dozen grants normally ranging from a couple of hundred to a couple of 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 range from materials for an Art/Archaeology outreach project to help towards purchase of an engine for the Scuba Diving Club.

Donations to departments have ranged from models of fossilised creatures to paintings. 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, including The Friends’ Bridge over Whiteknights Lake, wildflower meadow planting, 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 May’s Community Festival and completion of an African Drum circle to enable workshops to be held outside the normal curriculum with local schools and at community events./p

Grants awarded

Analysis of grants by decade to 2015

Grant making policy

Events

  • 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

  • Alongside Junction Arch Heritage 2019

    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 (thefriends@reading.ac.uk).

  • Members running Ure Museums object handling activity

    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 ...

  • 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

  • POSTPONED

    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 ...

  • 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, ...

  • Docklands visit

    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.

  • With the Ure Museum 2016

    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.

  • watch the afternoon Head of the River Races on Saturday
    9 March from the Canoe Club, The Warren, Caversham, Reading RG4 7TF, and to take tea
    there afterwards (parking along The Warren).
    Could those wishing to come please let Brenda Morris know by Friday 1 March (Brenda@morrisandfamily.co.uk)? Members are asked to arrive at the Club about 2 pm with the first
    race starting at 2.30 pm.

  • Human rights, global wrongs: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70

    Professor Rosa Freedman. Please book to attend at: https://www.reading.ac.uk/publiclectures/

  • A talk by Richard van Emden.

  • Visit to Bermondsey and Rotherhithe 20 October 2018
  • The Friends are liaising with the Senior Common Room, The University Women’s Club, Two Rivers Press and local charity RG Spaces to open up the Acacias and tell the story of Professor Edith Morley and the London Rd campus in her day. The event will run 8/9 and 16/16 September 12noon-6pm. It forms part of the national Heritage Open Days and Vote100 Reading. Members of the Friends are invited to volunteer to man the exhibition. Please contact thefriends@reading.ac.uk

  • The visit will start at 2.30. Further details and a booing form will be sent to members in May.

  • Alumni and Supporters of the University are invited to this family fun day. Click the title for further particular and booking details.

  • With the Ure Museum 2016

    Once again The Friends will be taking part in this annual event on Palmer Park. Details nearer the time.

  • Details of the AGM and visit are sent to members during May.

  • Information nearer the event.

  • A Friends’ grant is supporting this lively and friendly occasion. Bring a picnic to the London Road campus or buy your refreshments on the day. A range of activities based on the theme of ‘Everyone’s environment’, music from the Big Band and a heritage trail from The Friends.

  • Members of The Friends are cordially invited to the launch of this installation of sculptures. Please click the title to see details.

  • Members Dr John Grainger and Ian Burn will give a talk on the heritage trails created for The Friends’ 90th anniversary celebrations in 2017. There will be an accompanying exhibition and tea. Full details and booking form have been sent to members.

  • Organ recital in the Great HallUniversity Orchestra Concert 10 March 2018
  • The Reading 2050 project is holding open lectures to which members of the Friends are very welcome.

  • THE RUBC HAS HAD TO CANCEL THIS EVENT DUE TO WEATHER & RIVER CONDITIONS

  • 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 ...

  • 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.

  • Chairman with certificate

    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.

    image

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  • 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.

  • With the Ure Museum 2016

    Come and see us or volunteer to help man our stall at the East Reading Festival. We will be
    continuing our partnership with local charity RG Spaces to show our heritage information about the
    University’s campuses, alongside activities relating to the University’s museums.

  • The University Events Team would like to welcome members to the third annual Big Band Big Lunch on the historic London Road campus.

    They write: “Join the fun as we invite the local community to join members of the University over lunch, to listen to music from the University Big Band and take part in a range of family-friendly activities based around this year’s theme of Community and Creativity.

    This event will have something for everyone, with food and drink available to purchase, or feel free to bring along a picnic and enjoy the festivities!”

  • To celebrate the 90th anniversary of our foundation in 1927 there will be a
    Heritage Day event at Whiteknights on Sunday 7 May. Guided tours,
    displays and children’s activities. Children free £5 adults (to include tea and cake) . Everyone is welcome. Please see here for further information and booking details from the beginning of April.

  • 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 brenda@morrisfamily.co.uk

About

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 around 250 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.