Community Involvement


We are committed to creating a University for Reading that positively benefits our local community and works in partnership to make an impactful contribution to the town and surrounding areas.  

Community Forum 

Our Community Forum provides opportunities for all members of our local community to hear about University initiatives and share their views and feedback.    

This has included discussions this year about the University’s climate and sustainability work and how we can work more effectively with the many partner organisations, from community groups to large corporates, who share our commitment.   

From these discussions we are also looking at how the extensive voluntary group network across Reading can better connect with our staff and students. We ran a Community & Sustainability Fair for students during Welcome Week which enabled them to connect and engage with local organisations that have a focus on environmental sustainability. 

Local community ( 


Reading Climate Change Partnership

The University of Reading is a key member of the Reading Climate Change Partnership which brings together Reading Borough Council, the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Thames Water, Greater Reading Environment Network and many other organisations.   

A significant focus for RCCP is engaging the Reading community in the ‘Reading Climate Emergency Strategy’, launched in 2020. The current strategy expires in 2025 and a collaborative process to review it has now started. Workshops with a range of stakeholder groups, including the local community, were held this spring to help inform how we engage and involve them in the strategy review process. 

The new 5 year strategy will set out the updated roadmap for Reading to achieve Net Zero carbon by 2030.   There will be a number of ways that the University will contribute its expertise to the formation of this new strategy. 


Reading Climate Festival 

RCCP also leads the Reading Climate Festival, which reached its fourth year in 2023 and over ten days engaged many thousands of local residents in the challenges of climate change and Reading’s climate strategy. 

Centred around an installation of Luke Jerram’s GAIA in the town hall, over 12,000 people visited over the course of the Festival.  A wide range of Festival events were held in that setting, including informative talks and lectures, concerts, receptions and screenings. 

Our vision is to elevate the Festival to have national and possibly international recognition as being a centre of public engagement around climate change. 

 Reading Climate Festival 2023 – Reading Climate Action Network (RCAN) ( 


Wokingham Borough Council 

University staff have also been in discussion with Wokingham Borough Council as they shape their own Climate Emergency Strategy, seeking opportunities to support with our research and expertise.   

In time we hope to bring together representatives from other local authorities in Berkshire to explore how we can work together to support their own climate strategies. 


Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce (TVCC)

The University is an active member of TVCC’s Sustainability Working Group.  They are finalising a ‘State of the Region’ report which builds on the results of a recent survey to local businesses assessing their progress towards net zero and likely future support needs.  The report will feature a number of case studies and perspectives from organisations, and the University has contributed to these – with a particular focus on likely climate impacts we can expect in the future. 


Royal Berkshire Hospital 

Experts from the School of the Built Environment have supported the Royal Berkshire Hospital in developing research exploring what net-zero hospitals entail and building business cases in the lead up to the possible construction of the new hospital.   


Reading Football Club

In June 2022 the University and Reading Football Club announced a partnership to highlight the challenges of climate change to their fans and support the club to take first steps towards minimising its environmental impact and improve its sustainability.  

Reading FC were supported by the University to aim to develop a 10-point plan to begin reducing the club’s carbon footprint, including investigating solar panel options at its stadium and supporting fans to recycle more on matchdays. 

The University’s renowned climate warming stripes were incorporated into the team’s kit for this season and attracted national media interest in their important message. 


Supporting Local Schools 

In March we brought together a selected group of schools from across Reading and Wokingham to take part in a tailored workshop designed to support them in becoming among the first in the country to develop school Climate Action Plans.  Developing these plans are an important part of schools building their resiliency to climate changes. 

We also partnered with Let’s Go Zero to develop a national school’s day of action on 21st June to align with our Show Your Stripes Day.  A resource pack including pre-recorded assemblies, activities and learning materials relating to climate conversations, some of which focussed on the climate stripes, were widely promoted.  The day was promoted through LGZ’s extensive school network and many school pupils took part. 


Civic Engagement Communities of Practice 

We are currently developing the idea of a Civic Engagement Communities of Practice; the first step will be to identify research activities within the University that involve substantial engagement with the local community, and meeting bi-annually to share progress, good practice, and identify opportunities for collaboration and gaps in civic engagement that could be filled. 

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