Plant a Tree to support the Queen’s Green Canopy and Great Big Green Week

West Berkshire Council are working with Greenham Trust to help celebrate its 25th anniversary during 2022. During this time the organisation has awarded an amazing £64m in charitable grants to local charities, community projects and voluntary organisations both large and small across West Berkshire and north Hampshire.

As part of the upcoming 25th anniversary celebrations and in support of the Queen’s Green Canopy (marking Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee) and Great Big Green Week, Greenham Trust is delighted to be working alongside West Berkshire Council to offer local schools, councils and community groups the opportunity to plant one or more trees to enhance the local environment for years to come.

The Trust plans to provide up to 25,000 trees to be planted throughout the region over the next planting seasons. An initial order has been placed for trees to be planted this Autumn and the Trust is now accepting applications for free trees. To read the rest of this article please click here.


Net Zero Carbon Research report puts Berkshire in the driving seat of our green future

Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has published the first Berkshire Net Zero Carbon Research Report, sharing the first in a series of priorities that will ensure that Berkshire plays a leading role in the UK’s drive to net zero carbon emissions. This means communities working together to put no more carbon into the atmosphere than it takes out and is key to help secure a sustainable future for the planet. 

The launch of the report was marked by an event at Newbury College’s new Renewables Centre, where the UK’s first 100% electric coach made a stop on its Zero Carbon Tour journey through the UK to COP26 (the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference). The Tour is accelerating the UN-backed Race to Zero as part of the UK’s #TogetherForOurPlanet campaign, and provided the ideal opportunity to showcase how Berkshire is leading the global green agenda on a local level.

Green light for Berkshire to meet climate challenge

Thames Valley Berkshire LEP commissioned sustainability consultancy Bioregional to research and deliver the independent, in-depth report of how Berkshire’s six local authorities are responding to the net zero challenge. The report celebrates the positive steps that have already been taken across the area, which includes extensive green public transport projects and progressive policies for the rollout of Electric Vehicles. However, the review also highlights areas where greater focus is needed to help the area secure its green future.

To read the rest of this article and the full report please click here.


Village Halls Podcast

For the lifeblood of British communities in the UK, there are more than 10,000 village, church and community halls or centres, each run and supported by incredible groups of volunteers. Village Halls are not simply places for social and physical activities, often they are the lifeblood of local communities and a real lifeline for people of all ages, offering essential services and at times emergency facilities. As such they’re a critical part of the national infrastructure.

Yet strangely, and despite the growing popularity of podcasts in the UK, there was nothing on offer to those who run, provide support or are involved closely with village halls. That is until now!

Link to listen; https://thevillagehallspodcast.com/episodes/

Kindly sponsored by Allied Westminster, the idea behind The Village Halls Podcast is to develop a listening community for Britain’s village, church and community halls and anyone interested in the vital community services they provide. At least twice a month we release a new episode, featuring different guests, each with useful information and interesting stories to share.Our podcast is not just for you, it’s about you – the people behind Britain’s fabulous network of Village Halls – so we would really love to hear from you. Please contact us or get in touch through our Facebook or Twitter pages and tell us your stories. Feed in your ideas for future episodes, what YOU want to hear about. We want to hear what you’re up to, what kind of successes and challenges you’re facing and of course, why not come on the show and be a guest and share what you know? 


Neighbour of the Year 2021 by Co-op Insurance and Neighbourhood Watch

Is you neighbour one-in-a million? If so, they want to hear from you!

Co-op Insurance and Neighbourhood Watch are very excited to be launching the fourth anual Neighour of the Year Awards, which aim to celebrate those people who go over and above to make life in our communities that little bit safer, happier and friendlier.

If you know someone who should be their Neighbour or Young Neighbour of the Year, why not make sure their efforts are recognised by nominating them today? And if you know a group of people doing amazing things, enter them into their new category, Community of the Year!

Nomination open 14th September 2021 and close 26th October 2021

To nominate your Neighbour of the Year, Young Neighbour of the Year (for people aged 21 years and under) or Community of the Year, and to find out more about these very special awards please visit coop.co.uk/noty.


Advice for keeping village halls safe this winter


Briefing prepared by our national body Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) provides an interpretation of the Government’s new Covid Winter Plan to help those managing community buildings.

Over the summer months, many of England’s 10,000+ village halls have reopened for the enjoyment of their local community. Halls like Warton in Lancashire who hosted a Big Back Together Bash celebrating all of the groups who use the building, and Mickleton Village Hall in County Durham who’ve been holding regular creative workshops with rural touring groups to bring arts to their community.

But with the winter months approaching and fears that there may be a more pronounced third wave of the virus, ACRE is urging halls management committees to take note of the latest government guidance for keeping their users safe.

The charity’s briefing sets out some practical measures halls can take to address risks when hiring out buildings based on an interpretation of the government’s preferred approach to managing the pandemic over the coming months. This includes keeping spaces well ventilated, encouraging the use of face masks and continued use of Track and Trace QR codes – although none of these are still required by law.

Deborah Clarke, ACRE’s Village Halls Manager said, “We hope the briefing we have published will reassure volunteers managing village halls that they can continue to serve their community in the confidence that they are doing their very best to keep everyone safe”.

Kate Meads, CCB’s Community Buildings Advisor said; “This is really sensible advice from ACRE that will help village halls and community buildings in Berkshire to manage Covid risks whilst adhering to government guidelines and advice over the colder months .”