We’re delighted to welcome Reading FC Community Trust to the Connect Reading community! Paul Brown, Premier League Strategic Lead / Premier League Kicks Lead, took some time to chat to us and share a bit more about who they are, what they do and how you can connect with them.
At Reading FC Community Trust, we offer a safe environment to care for, develop and educate the disadvantaged or at-risk young people within the Reading and surrounding areas. We aim to significantly increase the involvement of disadvantaged and vulnerable young people in our community with several diverse activities and projects.
Reading FC Community Trust is a registered charity (charity number 1125817) and is the community arm of the football club, engaging, developing and educating young people within various community groups within the local Reading and surrounding areas, delivering a range of sessions through four main activity pillars: Health, Education, Social Inclusion and Sports Participation.
As a Trust, we aim to see over 3,500 participants on a weekly basis by developing programmes of work through schools, colleges, youth clubs/services, grassroot teams, sports centres and universities, and by working alongside the football club in delivering player appearances and matchday experiences to young people and families.
Why did you join Connect Reading?
To enhance the charities profile within Reading and increase the opportunity for our young people to integrate into their local communities. By joining Connect Reading I am hoping to build more connections within local communities.
How are you building a better Reading for everyone?
The ethos of the Reading FC Community Trust delivery model is to offer a pathway from being a participant at community-based session to becoming an employed staff member at RFC Community Trust. In the past, we have had great success at engaging young people as participants or volunteers, they have then accessed opportunities at the Trust to gain qualifications and have then successfully gained employment within the Community Trust. This pathway from participant to coach has been a huge benefit to the Reading FC Community Trust projects as these young people are now employed at community-based sessions; allowing the projects to create young positive community-based role models that are relatable for young people. Current participants at these community-based sessions can now see a clear pathway to employment through the various projects that the Trust deliver.
What has been the biggest thing you’ve learned as an organisation?
As a Trust, we have been able to adapt projects to be able to still deliver during challenging times. Staff have been able to be flexible; for example, moving much of our provision online during the pandemic.
What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?
Providing safe spaces for young people to engage with our projects, further embedding ED & I (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) across all the Trusts activities and continuing to deliver a wide range of provisions across Reading.