All our work stems from our aims and objectives. We have three aims, each linked to three underpinning objectives:

Aim One: To improve the quality of information, advice and non-statutory advocacy that is available to people in Reading by:

  • setting and maintaining an appropriate quality standard for our members
  • supporting organisations to achieve this standard
  • raising the capacity of our members through sharing knowledge, training and specialist expertise

Aim Two: To make it easier for people in Reading to get the information, advice and non-statutory advocacy they need by:

  • publicising the services provided by our members
  • developing joint outreach services in areas of particular need
  • providing a simple and effective referral process between our members

Aim Three: To become a focal point for information, advice and non-statutory advocacy services in Reading by:

  • providing a forum where our members can discuss key issues
  • assembling and disseminating useful information to our members
  • being the collective voice of our members to shape service provision

Business Plan: what we say we'll do

Our RAN Business Plan 2022-2025 sets out our four strategic priorities for the next years in outline. These are to:

  • Grow our membership
  • Develop and deliver excellent services for our members and, through them, improved services for the people of Reading
  • Become financially secure
  • Build a strong reputation.


During 2017 we:

  • Increased our membership to thirteen organisations
  • Held three Advice Forums
  • Produced a report on our First Forum, highlighting the social policy issues arising in our members' work, and met Graham Wilkin, then RBC's interim Director of Health and Adult Social Services, to discuss it
  • Produced, jointly with Healthwatch, a report on our Second Forum, illustrating the challenges of working with service users with mental health needs
  • Begun to build a good working relationship with the new CEO of Reading Borough Council (RBC): Peter Sloman
  • Hoped to develop our training programme by commissioning Reading Voluntary Action (RVA) to run a course on 'Providing a quality advice and information service'.


During 2018 we:


During 2019 we:

  • Increased our membership again, to fifteen member organisations
  • Encouraged more members to achieve the Quality Standard
  • Held three Advice Forums, as in previous years, and produced brief reports summarising our actions


During 2020 we:

  • Increased our membership to sixteen organisations
  • As with many organisations (and everyone, really!), faced the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown
  • Only held one Forum, the first via an online video platform, in October
  • And had to suspend assessment of the Quality Standard, but started to consider how it could adapt to these changed (and online) methods of working of our members


During 2021 we:

  • Increased our membership to eighteen organisations
  • Continued to operate as a board of trustees meeting online
  • Held two Forums online, providing online summaries of their outcomes and our action
  • Drafted a revision of the Quality Standard to version 3, taking into account our members' providing information & advice online, by phone and operating from home
  • Consulted our members about our proposed changes to the Quality Standard
  • And finally, published the revised Quality Standard


During 2022 we:

  • Increased our membership to nineteen organisations
  • Have met and operated as a board of trustees both online and face-to-face
  • Have held a face-to-face Forum in March (about the Royal Berkshire Hospital's plans) and another in July (about Social Prescribing); we intend to hold another in November
  • Restarted and now continued assessment of our members for the RAN Quality Standard, using the V3