Community projects to receive funding
02 November 2022
Reading-based community projects are set to benefit from a funding boost over the next 12 months.
The Community Fund, which launched in 2021, is a joint initiative between the University of Reading and the John Sykes Foundation, and offers financial support to projects that benefit the people and community of Reading.
This year’s projects cover a diverse range of areas, including music, sport, education, healthcare, and social mobility, and are aimed at helping all members of the community; from the youngest school children to the most marginalised adults. The projects support people with disabilities, homeless people, refugees, school pupils and more. The money, donated by both the University and the John Sykes Foundation, will help fund the following projects:
- Supporting player subscriptions for a mixed ability rugby team
- Workshops to encourage school children from disadvantaged backgrounds to become the scientists of the future
- Health checks at New Beginnings, a local charity for homeless people, refugees and underprivileged people
- Work to inform and inspire the next generation on disposing of food packaging sustainably
- Climate change education for children with special needs
- Working with young girls who are excluded from school and considered ‘at risk’ of going to prison later in life
- A children’s choir creating an inter-generational community singing book
Funding decisions were made by a panel, which included: Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Van de Noort and Dr Sally Lloyd-Evans, Deputy Head of Department for Geography and Environmental Science and Public Engagement with Community Research Fellow, whose research focuses on working with local communities, alongside John Sykes, Founder & Chair of Trustees and Sian McCoubrey, Volunteer, from the John Sykes Foundation.
Professor Robert Van de Noort said: “At a time when costs are rising for everybody it is important that projects like these, that can have a huge benefit for so many people in our area, don’t get left behind and abandoned altogether. As a University, we want to be involved in the wellbeing of our town and its people so it is great that we are able to support these projects through the Community Fund.”
John Sykes said: “The Community Fund was established to help the people and communities of Reading. Last year we supported some fantastic projects that have made a meaningful difference to the communities they serve, and I have no doubt that this next round of funding will do the same or more. I very much look forward to hearing how these projects progress.”
This is the second year University staff members were invited to apply for funding to support projects they are involved with either as part of their job, or in a voluntary capacity.
Projects that secured funding last year included: funding a life skills room at homeless charity LaunchPad, supporting refugee football team Sanctuary Strikers FC, providing extra training and coaching for the Berkshire Brigands and a clean air for schools project.