Academy lads head into Reading to assist local residents…Our Under-23 and Under-18 squads headed into the centre of Reading earlier this week to help some elderly local residents to do their Christmas shopping.
The event was organised by Reading Borough Council and supported by Red Cross, The Oracle, Readibus and local retailers – as well as our Academy players!
It was established to give some of Reading’s older residents, and those with disabilities and mobility issues who find it difficult to get into the town centre, a special Christmas shopping evening. For many of the attendees, it is the only time of the year that they get to come into town.
Special offers, refreshments and entertainment were on offer, as well as free parking in Broad Street for the many groups from residential homes or day centres who came in for the event by minibus.
Red Cross and The Oracle provided wheelchairs that were loaned out for the duration of the event, and Readibus ran extra services to bring people right into Broad Street.
Our Academy players helped the residents by pushing their wheelchairs, helping them to choose presents and clothes, carry their bags, and keeping them company on their shopping trip in the heart of town.
Debi from Reading Borough Council said: “Older people particularly like it when they have young people along to help push their wheelchairs, carry shopping, and for the company and conversation!”
Academy Manager Lee Herron added: “It is important that our young players have a holistic development, and that’s not just on the field. This is an opportunity to spend some time in the community and help out – especially at this time of year.
“We all need help in our lives, and young players need to understand that, keep their feet on the ground, and give back. As a football club, we’re at the heart of the community. So it’s important that as staff and players we show that to our community and our fans.”
Take a look at the full gallery of photos below – and keep your eyes peeled later this week for a full video round-up of the evening!