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Royals help set up exciting Laurel Park project

Clubhouse makeover, new equipment and a matchday experience for grassroots club in need!

21 July 2017

Local young people are being given the opportunity to boost trade skills and gain an accreditation by refurbishing Laurel Park FC clubhouse with VIY and Wickes

Laurel Park FC’S clubhouse is set to be renovated by a group of local young people in a special project co-ordinated by home improvement retailer Wickes, Reading Football Club and social enterprise VIY (Volunteer It Yourself).

The renovation project comes after Laurel Park FC became the victim of an email scam, which saw the local club lose huge sums of money, savings funds set aside for the maintenance and development of one of our local grassroots clubs.

Earlier this summer, representatives from the club met with Laurel Park to discuss how we might be able to support them and we quickly contacted Wickes and VIY to see what was possible and to set up a schedule of work.

And, thanks to a partnership between Wickes and the EFL, which enables all 72 EFL Clubs to access credit for community projects and refurbishments, Reading Football Club and VIY are helping to lift team spirits by refreshing the football team’s clubhouse.

The Reading Wickes store will be donating all of the materials required for the project free of charge, with Wickes also supporting the involvement of local professional tradespeople who will serve as mentors for the young volunteers. Wickes colleagues will also attend the project to further help support it. 

Wickes will also be donating five sets of Mitre-branded football kit packages to the club - which includes five full team kits, training bibs, footballs and training cones!

Reading Football Club will play its part too by sending a number of different Royals representatives down during the week to help with the project. And Laurel Park have been invited to bring a group of its young players to Madejski Stadium to take part in our half-time penalty shootout matchday experience and watch Jaap Stam’s Royals take on Fulham free of charge in our first home game of the new Championship season!

Dara Thomas, Head of Marketing at Reading FC said: “We’re delighted to be helping Laurel Park after such a terrible incident and we’re very excited to be collaborating with Wickes and VIY on this renovation project. 

“We recognise our role within the community and it’s a fantastic opportunity for everyone to come together and help out a local team. The project will also enable young people to gain an accreditation and learn valuable skills to improve their employability which is a fantastic bonus.”

This work is being carried out in association with VIY, which enables young people aged 14-24 to learn trade and building skills by fixing local community buildings.

So we are on the lookout for local football fans and volunteers for the renovation work, including replacing guttering and downpipes, repairing and repainting external doors, and undertaking internal painting and decorating jobs.

All those who play a part in the project will also gain an Entry Level 3 City & Guilds in painting and decorating  once the project is completed – a qualification which can help to improve a young person’s employability.

This venture will enable local young people to learn valuable trade skills, open doors and assisting them in finding apprenticeship and job opportunities, whilst helping to transform the Laurel Park FC clubhouse into a refreshed, renovated space for its players.

The Laurel FC clubhouse renovation project will take place from 8th to 11th August. If you’re a football fan and/or young person looking to volunteer and gain an accreditation, or a tradesperson looking to share your skills, please contact Joe McGinn on 07584 083 807 or

Jessica O’Keefe, Store Manager at Wickes in Reading said: “We’re delighted that we are able to help the Laurel Park FC project by ensuring that the volunteers have all the materials and tools they need to complete the renovation.  It’s great to be involved in such a worthwhile project, which gets young people excited and engaged whilst teaching them useful skills for the future.

“We’d like to encourage as many young people as possible to volunteer to be part of this project, which will bring the community together and make a difference to the local area as well as their own future.”

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