RAN First Forum a Success

RAN (Reading Advice Network) Forum 17th January 2017 a successful event.

The first Reading Advice Network Forum event took place in the Reading Borough Council, Council Chamber, from 10am -12.30pm, on 17th January 2017.

Two further RAN Forum meetings have been planned for 2017, with the dates agreed as :

May 30th 2017
October 10th 2017

Purpose of the event:

The purpose of the first Reading Advice Network Forum was to gather together people who work in the voluntary sector in Reading, giving information and advice, in order to debate how changes in social policy is affecting the delivery of their services.

Intended outcomes:

By hosting the event, in the RBC Council Chamber, a central location in Reading, Reading Advice Network enabled delegates to contribute to the debate about how organisations can work together more effectively.


Twenty seven delegates attended the Forum. The speakers at the event were as follows:

Polly Falconer - Graft (Facilitator)
Mike Allen - Age UK Berkshire (Speaker)
Ian Caren - Launchpad (Speaker)
Sue Richards - Citizens Advice Reading (Speaker)


It was an aspiration of the Forum meeting to tease out the salient issues from our discussions and there were clearly a range of concerns that were common to all partners delivering advice and guidance in the voluntary sector, including:

  • More joined up thinking and effective partnerships required
  • Lack of affordable/appropriate Housing is a growing problem in Reading
  • Educate Landlords to understand that working people can be in receipt of Benefits
  • Establishing a first point of contact for clients looking for relevant services is important
  • Communicate and ‘market' our services more effectively
  • Mental Health is an underlying problem for a lot of clients
  • Issues for an Ageing population seem to grow and grow
  • Need Policy and Service ‘Champions’
  • Share Best Practice
  • Need a ‘Voice’ for the sector in Reading


Reviewing the key issues, discussions and conclusions presented by the Forum, its attendees and speakers, Reading Advice Network are keen to make some recommendations in order to carve out a new way of working and new ‘pathways’ for the advice and information giving organisations of Reading.

A key driver is improved networking, partnerships and sharing of good practice.

Reading Advice Network (RAN) hope that this and future RAN Forum meetings will enable us to shape this new future - together.

For more information, Contact Us.