I’m fortunate, as I’ve said many times, in that I am able to be part of many organisations with the club. The Tilehurst End, in terms of my column and podcasting, STAR as a member of the board and now, through my actual day job (of which I do have one!), working with the amazing community trust at Reading.
Earlier this week, I took delivery of a huge amount of brand new children’s kit, which had been donated (unannounced and unexpected) to my school where I am the Assistant Head, just one of the many instances of generosity and care from the trust themselves. During the last operations meeting that STAR had with employees from the club, I spoke with Dave Evans, the community trust manager, about the work that they were doing in the community and the projects which had continued to run during the lockdown period. We also discussed how the trust would continue to work with the local community any way they could and it took less than a week for them to prove this in the shape of the delivery of the kit.
From my school’s point of view, we have recently begun working Dave, Phil and Harinder in their roles as community trust employees. This involves careful planning of interventions that our children in key year groups could benefit from. Harinder then delivers both whole class and small group intervention work in line with our curriculum. The support from Reading FC boosts their physical education skills and also supports them to work towards their targets in maths, English and PSHE. This is done on a weekly basis and is a really special event for the children at our school.
The kit that we have had donated to us will be used for lots of things: kit to wear for our football teams, prizes for children who have shown community spirit and friendship in their daily lives and will help families to access sport when maybe there have been financial barriers to this previously.
Of course, this is all part of the ‘Kit out the Nation’ programme that the club and local radio stations have been championing, but the fact that the community trust have chosen to reach out to schools in the local area in this way is incredibly commendable and I know will be gratefully received by those who are lucky enough to work within the local area.
I am very grateful for the work the community trust do, but also grateful that I support and work with a club that puts a huge value on developing community links.
Mr Ben Thomas
Assistant Head – Ranikhet Academy