We are writing to you to introduce ourselves after taking up posts with RAN on the 1st April 2017.
RAN has employed us (Margaret Osborne – Business Development Manager, and Anna Aprea – Administrator) on a part time basis to help in RAN’s efforts to support Reading charities providing information and advice to their clients.
Although neither of us comes to RAN with experience of the Third Sector, we believe we have the skills we need to help RAN in its next phase of development. Our backgrounds are in a busy BBC newsroom (Margaret), and in social research for the Church of England (Anna). We therefore feel that the experiences and skills we have gained can be fine-tuned to work in this new environment, and are looking forward to learning from you all.
Since starting, we have been busy getting up to speed with the work RAN has done thus far, and working to organise and promote the coming Reading Advice Forum. We have also started to learn more about its member organisations by spending some time with you, for which we are very grateful.
Matt Taylor, CEO of Age UK Reading, was our first “victim” and gave us much food for thought. In particular, he mentioned that it would be great if RAN members could have more opportunities to share information with each other. Matt and his team have had quite an uphill journey over the past few years to overcome very significant funding losses. We were really pleased to see they were doing so well.
Ian Caren, CEO of Launchpad, was our second. Launchpad is doing amazingly well and is constantly developing the services it offers. Its biggest project, at the moment, is to increase the number of its family homes for the Reading area. We wish Launchpad all the best and will be following their progress with great interest.
Our next task will be finding ways of making greater use of this Blog and our e-Bulletins (if you are not already signed up to receive these, please email us by clicking on this link and we will add you to our distribution list).
In the meantime, we hope to meet you all, however briefly, at the next Reading Advice Forum which will be focusing on “working with clients with mental health problems”, and we look forward to getting to know you all individually thereafter. And in case we missed you from our invitation list, the coming Reading Advice Forum will be held on the 30th May at the RBC Council Chambers – click on this link for more information and to book a place.
All the best,
Margaret and Anna
PS: Do email us with any ideas you have on what you would like to see in our e-Bulletins and Blogs or with any snippets of information (for instance how you are doing, funding opportunities found or the lack thereof, events or services you are running or developing) you would like to share with other RAN members.