Reading Family Aid’s Toys and Teens Appeal is the latest recipient of a COVID-19 Relief Fund grant from local based charity the John Sykes Foundation
John Skyes Foundation released the following press release this week announcing their donation.
Reading Family Aid which has been established for over 50 years is the latest charity to receive a Covid-19 Relief Fund grant from the John Sykes Foundation.
The charity, which run the annual Toys and Teens Appeal fundraiser, were visited by John Sykes, Founder and Chair of Trustees, who presented a cheque of £1,000 to provide toys for Children up to 16 in the Reading area, to Ruth Perkins, Trustee and Laura Windisch, Project Manager, both from Reading Family Aid. Also in attendance was Deputy Mayor of Reading Debs Edwards and Karl Nixon from Big Yellow Storage.
The Toys and Teens Appeal invites local people to donate toys or funds via the GoFundMe page to help make Christmas more special for those children set to receive nothing this festive season.
This year, almost 3,000 referrals for gifts have been registered with the group, as parents struggle to keep houses warm and feed their children, up approximately by 500 on last year, and requests are still being received by social workers, health visitors, and other charities.
Ruth Perkins added, “We at Reading Family Aid were overwhelmed to receive a phone call last week from the John Sykes Foundation with the amazing news that we had been awarded £1,000 to buy toys for this year's Toys and Teens Appeal. There is evidently increasing levels of poverty in Reading which already has some of the most deprived areas in the country.”
“One of the organisations Reading Family Aid supports said that they are having increasing numbers of children coming to their youth clubs hungry. Toys at Christmas are going to be way down their parents' priority lists. Last year Reading Family Aid provided toys to over 2,500 Reading children who otherwise would have received no presents. This year we are anticipating an increased number of requests.”
“Supporting our Toys and Teens Appeal is more important than ever. Receiving this funding will allow us to put smiles on many more children's faces and give them a wonderful Christmas to remember.”
Deputy Mayor of Reading Councillor Debs Edwards said, “Parents are really struggling, Reading is supposed to be quite a wealthy place but it has got such big pockets of deprivation and we have got many parents who are really worried - trying to keep their jobs and keep their house warm, feed their children - and sometimes Christmas is just a cracker and a sandwich.”
She continued, “I am just so proud that John Sykes has concentrated on Reading, we really need this.”
John Sykes commented, “We are delighted to donate £1,000 from our Covid-19 Relief Fund towards Reading Family Aid’s Toys and Teens Appeal. Every child should feel the excitement of waking up to gifts under the tree, however we know for some families that after a tough couple of years, they are struggling to even get by day-to-day, and for some it's a question of putting food on the table or affording presents.”
“It was a pleasure to meet with Ruth, Laura, and other members of the charity, and I was touched to learn that all of the wonderful team are volunteers who make it their mission that in Reading, every child, without exception, wakes up to a present from Father Christmas.”
For more information on Reading Family Aid, or for drop off points and the GoFundMe page please visit https://www.readingfamilyaid.org/
If you work or belong to a local Charity or Organisation and would like to know more or apply for one of the John Sykes Foundation’s grants, please visit www.johnsykesfoundation.org
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