We aim to put a smile on the faces of disadvantaged children in the Reading area.
We help children living with poverty and other disadvantages. They may be young carers, for example; or living in a family affected by drug taking, physical abuse, chronic illness or disability; or they may have a disability or illness themselves. We distribute toys at Christmas to children aged 0-16 through our Toys & Teens Appeal. If our funds permit, we also provide outings throughout the year for children and their families who couldn't afford to go otherwise.Why the community needs us
Reading seems so prosperous that many people might find it hard to imagine there are desperately deprived families here. But in 2016, 24% of Reading's children were living in poverty - that's 10,181 children (source: The End Child Poverty Coalition).All the families referred to us are in genuine need. We aim to offer them some relief from the harsh day-to-day realities of their lives - some of the extras that social services and other agencies can't provide.Our impact on the community
In 2019, over 2000 children received a sack of toys at Christmas as a result of our Toys & Teens Appeal - reaching 300 more children than the previous year. Over 15,000 new and nearly new toys were donated. We also filled 4 coaches with excited families for a journey to Paultons Park for our Big Summer Outing, along with a trip to Camp Mohawk and performances to the Pantomime at the Hexagon.
We welcome volunteers to help us with the Toys and Teens Appeal in early December: delivery drivers, van loaders, toy sorters and packers, tea and sandwich makers. We also welcome volunteers to join our friendly committee, which meets about eight times a year. We especially need people with basic computer skills, to use email, produce small documents, and maintain our website and social media; also those with good organisational skills and experience in fundraising.