As part of this year's EFL Day of Action, the Reading FC Community Trust held numerous multi-sports camps for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) during the Easter holidays at the Ryeish Green Sports Hub.
The trio of free Easter camps proved a hit with the attendees aged between 8 and 16, and not only did our participants take part in activities such as football and boccia, but they were able to meet Royals defender Michael Morrison, who dropped in on Monday's session via Zoom to answer some of the children's questions.
Disability-sport qualified coaches delivered specialist sessions for the children, all of whom recieved a free lunch on the day on behalf of the Premier League.
The multi-sports camps were kindly funded by Brighter Futures for Children, an independent, Reading-based not-for-profit-company intent on delivering the best possible opportunities for the town's young people, children and families.
Dave Evans, Community Trust manager said: "It's the best kept secret, the work we do off the pitch, and i think it's important for supporters to know what we do. It's the outcomes and the impact you have on the young people that's so rewarding.
"These children might not usually have the opportunity to do what they do with us. Having them engage with someone like Michael Morrison is massive, he's made a huge difference so a big thank you to him."
While Dan Rook, the Trust's Disability Officer added: "I think the work of the Community Trust has become even more important during the pandemic, we've adapted our programmes to do more virtual sessions, but with lockdown restrictions easing, we're delighted to be bringing our physical sessions back, as we have today.
"If it wasn't for the funding of Brighter Futures and the Premier League we wouldn't be able to do this, and it's given us an extention to our disability programme, which is great.
The importance of football clubs to their communities has never been more prevelent than in the last year, with thousands of people relying on their local club for everything from mental health and wellbeing support, to food donations and help with transport.
Rick Parry, Chair of the EFL said: "The way that our Clubs and CCO's have adapted to deal with the challenges of the past year is remarkable, responding to the growing needs of their communities affected by the pandemic, while also continuing to deliver critical life-changing programmes in towns and cities across England and Wales to the people who need it most."
The EFL's Day of Action is a coordinated effort from all EFL clubs centred around one day to demonstrate the brilliant work club's and their Community Trusts are doing in the local community, not only this day, but on all 365 days of the year.
Thank you to everyone who attended the Trust's sessions, you can watch our video from the day above.