RAN or The Reading Advice Network exists to bring together all the voluntary organisations that give information and advice to people who live or work in Reading.
Our Aims are to:
- Improve the quality of those services
- Make it easier for people to use them
- Be the collective voice for those organisations
The RAN Project was created in 2013 with funding from the Advice Services Transition Fund, set up by the Big Lottery and the Cabinet Office. The project involved a partnership of Reading organisations.
In mid 2015, the Partnership Board decided that it wanted to make RAN permanent and currently, it is run by an Interim Trustee Board that brings together the Chairs or CEOs of five local charities – Citizens Advice Reading, Communicare, Graft (Thames Valley). Reading Community Welfare Rights Unit and Reading Mencap.
RAN has a Business Development Manager, responsible for the day to day management of the project.
The Network is now a Charitable Incorporated Organisation.
As a RAN Member, your organisation will enjoy the following benefits:
- A unified Voice for Information, advice, guidance and signposting services in Reading
- An opportunity to obtain a professional Quality Standards Framework kite mark – The RAN Quality Standard
- Promotional assistance for your organisation via the RAN brand
- A clear and effective Referral process for you and partner organisations
- Training options for your staff via RAN and partner agencies
- A ‘one stop shop’ for Partnership and Networking opportunities via the RAN Forum
Membership of the Network costs £100 for 3 years and is available to any voluntary organisation which provides the services outlined above and is willing to commit to achieving the ‘Safe and Sound Governance Mark’ awarded by Reading Voluntary Action (RVA), and the RAN Quality Standard.
Members as at March 2017:
Age UK Berkshire, Age UK Reading, British Red Cross, Citizens Advice Reading, Communicare, Dingley’s Promise, East Midlands Carers Trust, Graft Thames Valley, Healthwatch, Launchpad, Reading Mencap, Reading Community Welfare Rights and Reading Refugee Support Group.
Both RVA (Reading Voluntary Action) and RAN will provide support to organisations to help them meet these standards. Reading Borough Council supports the Network and wants every organisation giving information and advice in Reading to achieve these standards.