A selection of our U18 and U23 players were out in Reading town centre this week, helping older members of the local community with their Christmas shopping!
Following on from the success of staging this event last year, more than 20 youngsters were on hand to help as the town of Reading stayed open for a Special Shopping Evening on Monday night.
Our Academy players were out and about handing out leaflets with special offers on in The Oracle, and also gave away boxes of chocolate to locals on Broad Street.
Academy Manager, Lee Herron, emphasised the importance of engaging with the local community, saying: "This is vital. We did it last year and it was a great turnout last year.
"It's really important for the young players to understand the value of the community and how important it is to serve them and help them.
"Especially at this time of year, it's Christmas and it's a good-will season so we look forward to coming to these events.
"Of course, the football side of it is great but the players also understand the values of humanity. Nights like this also bring us and the players closer to that, and it's a good night."
Manager of our Under-18 side, David Dodds, added: "For some of these players it's the first step of working in the community, so if they're lucky enough to be a professional footballer this is the sort of thing they'll be helping with.
"They've been chatting with the older people here, and I think it's really important for them."
Back on the field, both age groups have important cup fixtures on the horizon. Our U23s take on German giants Bayern Munich on Friday night at Adams Park, with the U18s taking on Millwall in the FA Youth Cup on Thursday 14th December.