We love having Reading Advice Network as a part of our Connect Reading community. Their Chair, Richard Harrison, took some time to answer our questions and tell us a bit more about the organisation.
We are an umbrella organisation that brings together and supports charities to give quality information and advice to people in Reading. We have 18 member organisations, a Quality Standard, hold regular Advice Forums, and run a CEOs’ ‘peer support’ Group.
What was your biggest challenge last year?
Supporting our members through the changes forced on them by the COVID pandemic.
What have you learned over the past year?
That the Third Sector in Reading will do whatever is required to continue to provide their services to those in need, and will do it quickly, thoroughly and professionally.
What has been your biggest creative triumph as an organisation?
Developing a Quality Standard, and updating it earlier this year to cover information and advice provided by staff and volunteers working from home.
What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?
Moving back to ‘live’ Advice Forums, building closer working relationships with RBC Councillors, and supporting our members as they move to a ‘new normal’.
How can people connect with you and support what you’re doing?
Visit our website. Offer to become a RAN Trustee. Tell your staff about us so they can find out about the services our members can offer to them and their families. Become a member if your organisation provides information or advice. And, we would always welcome offers of financial or in-kind support.