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Membership

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 thefriends@reading.ac.uk

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.

  • 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.
    Members were sent a booking form in August. There will be a fair amount of brisk walking involved.

    The illustration is a watercolour: Jacob’s Island James Lawson Stewart 1887 Museum of London

  • 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 be sent to members in late August.

    Photo from University of Reading website

Some Past Events

  • 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.

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 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.