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General

Value added?

Local charities A few weeks ago, the Dash Charity in Slough, a Women’s Aid refuge organisation, lost its core funding to a London-based housing association; the result of the local authority putting those services out to tender. This is distressing for the well-established charity concerned, its staff and board, past and current beneficiaries and all… Read more »

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Then and now: International Women’s Day

The other day I met someone who told me about her experience, maybe 30 years ago, of hesitating outside the door of the Women’s Information Centre in Reading. She was plucking up the courage to join the ‘Monday Night Group’. It was a lesbian social group – and was where she first came out. Being… Read more »

General

The value of a cuppa

An early casualty of public sector cuts, already noticeable some years ago, were cups of tea at meetings. First, there were no biscuits, then nothing at all, as the trolleys with vacuum flasks, and the women wearing hairnets, were gone. I understand the reasons. But I think the humble cuppa can add significant value to… Read more »

News

What the Future Holds

I attended the NAVCA conference earlier this month (NAVCA is the national infrastructure body for local voluntary action). The day provided much food for thought about what the future might hold for the voluntary sector, and how it affects our priorities. As a facilitator working to help organisations to get their heads around the implications of… Read more »

Top Tips

Facilitation tip No.36 – Beginning a facilitation session

How you start a facilitation session matters.  It sets the tone, and establishes that you are the facilitator.  It helps participants to feel comfortable, and is a reminder that you are all looking forward to working together constructively. You will often start with introductions.  If time is short you might just want a quick round… Read more »

Top Tips

Top Tips for Chairing No.24

Years ago I was at a meeting of a local community committee.  It was in someone’s house, and an assortment of seats had been gathered together;  kitchen chairs, comfy chairs, stools etc.   By the time the committee Chair arrived, most of the seats had been taken, and she had to sit on a cushion on the… Read more »

General

A message from the past

The weekend after the US elections, I had piles of fabrics to sort and pack away from a family wedding.   So I flicked on the TV on the off-chance there might be something interesting to accompany my task.  The film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was about to start, and given the events of that… Read more »

News

RACT: Two new wheelchairs to Readibus

As Chair of RACT (Reading Area Charities Together) Karen Morton was delighted to be able to handover two new wheelchairs to Readibus – in the company of the Minister for the Voluntary Sector, Rob Wilson.