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. Update July 2020: The Friends will not be holding ‘live’ events for the next 2 months. The situation will be reviewed in September.
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 ...
We have helped to fund this book which is being published in Summer 2020, the Art & History of Whiteknights celebrates 20 years of the Whiteknights Studio Trail which was co-founded by Friends’ member Jenny Halstead. Other members contributed articles to the book and created a video tour of the campus based on some of the book’s artworks. Learn more and order the book on the publisher’s website: Two Rivers Press Whiteknights
Update July 2020: in view of the continuing uncertainty over the safety of holding events and the timing coinciding with the University welcoming students on campus we are postponing our participation in this event until 2021
The Friends will be collaborating with other local organisations in these National Trust-coordinated Heritage Open Days, the theme of which is Hidden Nature. We hope to co-ordinate something around the Grotto in the Wilderness on Whiteknights. 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.
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.
Some Past Events
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 email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
- Code of Conduct
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- Data Protection Policy
- Grant Making Policy
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- History of the Friends
- Membership application form (.docx for use with Microsoft Word)
- Membership Application Form (.pdf)
- Officers and Trustees
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