CCB facilitating community focused training in Berkshire

Community learning is fun, motivating and helps ensure your reach your goal!

Our charity is fortunate to have funding support from West Berkshire Council and Wokingham Borough Council Adult Community Learning to deliver community focused training opportunities.

Last month we delivered a training session on an Introduction to Community Organising with Community Organisers Limited (CO Ltd) in Calcot. The session was well attended by a broad cross section of community groups and volunteers from West Berkshire and beyond. Community Organising is the work of bringing people together to take action around their common concerns and overcoming social injustice. When people are organised communities get heard and power begins to shift creating real change for good.

Alex Neale

Alex Neale from Community Organising

Alex Neale and Dominic Taylor ran the energetic and interesting session from CO Ltd, feedback from learners included:

“The training was interactive and well lead, I really enjoyed it” and “It was all great, really impressed, I most enjoyed sharing stories and experiences with others in the room.” “I really found the listening activity powerful.”

CCB are currently planning a repeat session of the Introduction to Community Organising session in Wokingham in May and a new session linking Community Organising to Neighbourhood Planning projects. To register your interest for either event please e-mail and follow us on our Facebook page to be the first to see when events are published:

Eleanor 3

Eleanor Craig from

At the beginning of March we ran a session in Swallowfield with Eleanor Craig from Reading based global company Eleanor is Senior Marketing Manager and a Social Media guru at Yell, CCB are very grateful to her for giving up her time and expertise to create a really thorough Social Media training session for community groups and buildings.

The session allowed learners to bring along their smart phones/tablets and laptops and update or put in practise their learning immediately whilst in the room. We examined and discussed the benefits of using free social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google my Business and Yell free listing. Feedback from the session was really positive with everyone rating their knowledge at a higher level than when they entered the room. One learner stated that “I just wanted to thank you for a really great training session last night. I found it really informative and it has given me lots of food for thought as to how we can better utilise these channels.”

If you work for or volunteer for a community group or parish council and would be interested in attending a future Social Media training session please register your interest by e-mailing

Future Training

Emergency Life Support Skills & Defibrillator training. FREE – 7PM – 9.30PM

Run in partnership with Heartstart Swallowfield

Thursday 21 March, The Cornerstone, Norreys Ave, Wokingham RG40 1UE,             Online booking;

Wednesday 22 May, St. Nicholas Centre,  Sutcliffe Avenue, Earley, RG6 7JN               Online booking;

Topics covered in the training include:

  • Priorities/the conscious casualty
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Suspected heart attack
  • Choking
  • Serious bleeds
  • Automated External Defibrillator
  • ELS Certificate

Food Hygiene Training

Achieve an Introductory Certificate in food safety

Equivalent to a level 1 qualification. Certified by the CIEH (chartered institute of environmental health, Suitable for anyone works/volunteers in a food environment occasionally. For example, those helping at cake sales, PTA events, scout camps and church fetes.

£20 CCB/CBAS members, £30 volunteers, £50 for those training for paid work

Sat 30 March 10 am – 2 pm. Charvil Village Hall, The Hawthorns, Charvil, Reading RG10 9TR. Booking link;

Sat 11 May 10.30am – 2.30pm. St. James’ Church Centre, Church Lane, Finchampstead RG40 4LU. Booking link;

Your skilled trainer Ally has a post graduate diploma in dietetics, 25 years’ experience of working in the food sector, an affiliate member of the CIEH and a registered trainer with the CIEH. The training will also cover food allergies and how to avoid pitfalls.

Why not train with a friend/colleague – it makes learning more enjoyable and it is great to share your experience.


£3m has been allocated to ACRE for distribution to village halls.

The Autumn Budget announced that the Government would provide up to £8 million to help with the cost of repairs and alterations to village halls, Miners’ Welfare facilities and Armed Forces organisations’ facilities. Of the £8m, £3m has been allocated to ACRE for distribution to village halls.

Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) is the national voice for the 38 rural community councils (RCC) who make up the country’s largest rural network, of which CCB is the RCC for Berkshire.

The funding aims to prioritise older buildings; helping with updating or adaptions to keep them fit for use so they may continue to provide a diverse range of activities for people in the community.

ACRE had been hoping for a pilot refund scheme on VAT for village hall improvements, but this new fund is a great opportunity for several hall committees to apply for costs towards the refurbishment and alteration of their buildings. Funds won’t be available for new build halls.

For more detail of how the fund will work and whether your hall may be eligible keep in contact with your local ACRE Network member.

Connecting Communities in Berkshire is on AmazonSmile

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support a charity of your choice, at no cost to you.  When you shop at, Amazon will donate a portion the purchase price to your chosen charity.

All you have to do is sign in to your Amazon account through the AmazonSmile page then search for and select Connecting Communities in Berkshire (don’t search under our abbreviated name CCB).  Do your shopping as normal and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the value to us.  You can find out more about how it works on their FAQs page.

Funding Update March

Information courtesy of Slough CVS, Wokingham & Bracknell Involve, Reading Voluntary Action & Volunteer Centre West Berkshire.

Tesco Community Food Connection

In the UK, TESCO donates surplus food every day to local charities and community groups through their Community Food Connection scheme in partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare.
The scheme works by linking local groups to our stores via an app, which lets the charities know of any surplus food available at the end of each day. Community groups can collect the food free of charge to turn into meals for those in need, from children at breakfast clubs, to vulnerable older people at community lunch clubs.

Groups that could benefit from the support of Community Food Connection can register their interest here.

The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust is a responsive grant-making trust. Trustees have agreed on the following priority areas and welcome applications for funds under each of these headings:

The next deadline is 25th March.

Swimathon Foundation Community Grants Scheme

The Swimathon Foundation Community Grants Scheme offers funding to groups and individuals who provide and promote swimming in their local community. The Foundation is passionate about encouraging people to get involved with swimming, which it hopes to encourage even further with its Community Grants.

Grants vary from £500 to £2,500 and will only be awarded to organisations supported by pools that are participating in Swimathon. The grants are administered by Swim England and the Swimming Trust and are awarded on an annual basis.

Applications for 2019 will close on Wednesday 3rd April 2019.

Find out more about the Swimathon Foundation Community Grants Scheme

Grants for Improvements to Small Theatres
Round 14 of the Theatres Trust’s UK Theatres Grants Scheme is open to applications for capital grants of up to £5,000. Organisations eligible to apply will be running small theatres, have UK charitable or not-for-profit legal structures.
Priority is given to projects that address urgent building repairs, improve operational viability, introduce environmental improvements and enhance physical accessibility. The scheme can also be used to help lever in other investment. Applications for technical equipment and refurbishment of soft furnishings are a low priority for the scheme. Round 14 closing date is Monday 2nd September at noon. Contact  for more information.

Tesco Bags of Help Centenary Grants

Tesco Bags of Help Centenary Grants are two special voting rounds of the Tesco local community grant scheme.
Applications are assessed by Groundwork to ensure they are eligible. Tesco colleagues will shortlist the projects to determine which go forward to the customer vote.

Three community projects in each region will be voted on by customers in Tesco stores throughout the UK, in July/August and November/December 2019. Following the vote, the project that receives the most votes in the voting region will receive a grant of up to £25,000, second place receiving up to £15,000 and third place up to £10,000.

Who can apply?
A constituted community group, registered charity or CIC.

What types of project will they fund?
They will fund projects providing community benefit across the whole voting region, or a significant part of it.

More details and application form can be found here.

National Lottery Grants for Heritage

The National Lottery Grant for Heritage is an open programme for all types of heritage projects.  Heritage can mean different things to different people. It can be anything from the past that is valued with the wish to pass it on to future generations. As a guide, this could include:

  • oral history
  • cultural traditions
  • nature
  • natural and designed landscapes
  • community archaeology
  • historic buildings, monuments and environments
  • collections of objects, books or documents in museums, libraries or archives
  • histories of people and communities or places and events
  • the heritage of languages and dialects
  • places and objects linked to our industrial, maritime and transport history

For further details please click here.


Magic Breakfast – National School Breakfast Programme

The Government’s National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP) is being delivered by Family Action and Magic Breakfast to schools in disadvantaged areas of England. Funding is available to start or improve breakfast provision in over 1,770 schools on a first come, first served basis.

What is on offer?

  • A start-up grant of up to £500 for essential resources to start or expand breakfast. And either:
  • Free food delivered to your door until March 2020 (weekly or fortnightly), comprising as much healthy cereal, porridge and bagels as you need to reach all children at risk of hunger at the start of the school day, or:
  • Grants to subsidise up to 30 additional free places in an existing breakfast provision.


  • Expert support, advice, resources, and the opportunity to benefit from local best practice events and training.

Follow this link to find out more and apply.


Community Led Homes – Start Up Support Programme

Revenue funding is available for early stage voluntary and community organisations exploring community led housing in England.

Further information can be found here.

Heritage Impact Fund

Tailored finance is available for charities, social enterprises and community businesses in the UK to support the acquisition, reuse or redevelopment of buildings that are of historic or architectural importance and that will provide social and economic benefits to the local community. For further information please click here.

Allen Lane Foundation

Grants are available to small registered charities, voluntary groups and charitable organisations in the UK for work that makes a difference to people’s lives as opposed to simply alleviating the symptoms or current problems and should aim to reduce isolation, stigma and discrimination. For further information please click here.

The Lion’s Den community grant scheme is back

Reading Lions Club will be holding their next Lion’s Den community grant event on the 12 June 2019. Their aim is to reach out to small groups and charities in Reading and award grants for local community projects. They will be distributing grants of up to £750 each. If you are involved in a local community project in Reading or are a small local charity then this could be your opportunity to obtain one of the grants. There are three stages to the application process.

Wokingham Community Safety Partnership Funding

The Community Safety Partnership is made up of the key organisations responsible for keeping the borough safe. The partnership includes:The aim of Wokingham Community Safety Partnership (CSP) is to reduce crime, substance misuse, anti-social behaviour, raise awareness and increase reporting of hidden crime.
It can provide grants for projects to progress the CSP priorities in four areas:
• Addressing Violence Against Women and Girls (including boys and men);
• Reducing Organised Crime including the impact of County Lines Dealing;
• Reduce and prevent exploitation and address the needs of vulnerable victims and offenders;
• Empower and enable the resilience of local communities, including the reduction of anti-social behaviour.

For further information please click here.
Applications are welcomed from all organisations working in Wokingham borough. Organisations can be large or small, statutory, charity or voluntary. The CPS funding is no longer ring fenced and any of these organisations can apply. All submissions must use the application form.

What is funded?
Grants awarded last year ranged from £1000 to £8000, higher amounts could be awarded if justified by their outcomes. Awards have been made to:
• Encourage young people to re-engage through sport or other activities;
• Develop self defence skills;
• Support vulnerable groups against hidden harm as prejudices on race, religion, gender;
• Provide safe places;
• Develop community and individual resilience.
CSP Wokingham is especially interested to support projects supporting young people directly or indirectly. Awards will be outcomes driven. Successful bids will be required to evidence the impact of this funding and how it is meeting the objectives set out in their application to the CSP Board on a quarterly basis. Further information and questions contact

Deadlines for 2019
Please request the funding
application form from
and send it back to her by
15th April 2019.

Funding for School Science Projects

Primary and secondary schools funding to purchase equipment so students can enjoy practical science, to run science enrichment projects in schools, or to enable students to participate in science events and competitions.
• Open to primary and secondary schools for science projects
• Grants of up to £600 are available to primary schools
• Grants of up to £1000 are available to secondary schools
• Apply using the application forms from the web site see below.

For more information please click here.

Reading Dispensary Trust – grants available

Reading Dispensary Trust makes monthly grants for equipment and services not available through statutory sources, to those suffering from physical and mental illness, living within a seven mile radius of the centre of Reading.

Applications are only accepted from organisations/agencies on behalf of their clients. Grants have been given for many items including white goods, furniture, carpeting, mobility aids, holidays, laptops and driving lessons.

The Trust meet on a monthly basis to award grants below £500; they meet quarterly to award grants over £500. The Trust are keen to work with new organisations within Reading who have users with any form of medical need.

Further information

Application forms and guidelines are available to download from our website  If you require advice about an application please email

The Alec Dickson Trust

The Alec Dickson Trust supports young people in the UK who want to use volunteering or community service to do brilliant things in their communities.

They provide grants of up to £500 to individuals or groups of young people aged 30 or under, to help them put their ideas into action and run projects that benefit the lives of others – particularly the most marginalised and disadvantaged.

Find out more about The Alec Dickson Trust

Aldermaston now has more people trained in Emergency First Aid than it did in January!

On a dark February evening (07.02.19) 18 learners from Aldermaston village and beyond joined CCB and Heartstart Thatcham for an interesting and potentially life saving evening.

Thanks to support from West Berkshire Adult Community Learning those present were taken through a variety of emergency procedures including unconscious, cardiac arrest, suspected heart attack, choking, serious bleeding and hands on practice on how to use a defibrillator.

Learners comments included:

I just wanted to say thank you again for organising the defibrillator training last evening and supporting us all. Also to the guys from HeartStart for such an excellent course. It really was a great evening.

Very many thanks for an enjoyable and informative evening. Hopefully I will never have to use the knowledge but should I be called upon at least it has given me the confidence to try.

The next First Aid & Defibrillator training, this time in partnership with Heartstart Swallowfield and funded by Wokingham Adult Community Learning is taking place on 21st March, 7pm at Cornerstone, Wokingham. To book a place please click here: