MICe Bus – RAN commitment to Outreach

The Reading Advice Network (RAN) was formally established as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation in February 2016, following the two-year RAN Project funded by the Advice Services Transition Fund, which came to an end in December 2015.

Since the beginning of October 2016 RAN has:

  • Held its first Annual General Meeting and elected its first full Trustee Board. All five of the Interim Trustees were elected, together with the RAN Treasurer and the CEO of Age UK,Berkshire. The Trustee Board meets every 6 weeks.
  • Completed the pilot of its Quality Standard, revised the Standard and the assessment   process in line with the recommendations of the two pilot assessors, and consulted its mem- ber organisations and key stakeholders, including the Earley Charity, on the revised Standard. The consultation comments are now being considered and RAN expects to publish the final version of the Standard during March. It will then begin assessing mem- ber organisations.
  • Carried out a three month outreach pilot using the MICE bus and volunteers from the RAN member organisations. The Aims of the RAN/MICe partnership project were as follows: RAN worked with the Earley Charity MICe (Mobile Information Centre) bus to promote the Information, Advice, Guidance and Advocacy services that are available for members of the public, in Reading. The pilot was run on one day each week from October to December 2016, for the normal two and three-quarter hours of the bus’s operation.
  • Held its first Advice Forum, in January, in the Council Chamber, which focused on the so- cial issues arising for our member organisations. This involved short opening presenta- tions from Age UK Berkshire, Launchpad and Citizens Advice, followed by group discus- sion. There were 25 attendees and the feedback from them about the Forum was very positive. A report on the key emerging issues is being prepared for Reading Borough Council. A second Advice Forum will be held in May.
  • Produced a Business Plan for 2017-2020 and begun work on a training programme for 2017-2018. A copy of the Business Plan is also attached.

The experience of this first year has shown RAN’s Trustee Board that RAN can be a viable and effective organisation with the funding provided by the Earley Charity and RBC.

A full report on the MICe bus project can be supplied upon request.

Contact the RAN Business Development Manager:


Reading Advice Forum

The Forum has been primarily set up to provide networking and training opportunities to voluntary and community sector organisations that offer information, advice and guidance services to people in Reading.

Forum Information