From education to employment

Reading College students volunteer to help the homeless with local charity New Beginnings Reading

Reading College students volunteer to help the homeless with local charity New Beginnings Reading

GCSE students from Reading College put their skills to good use by volunteering with local homeless charity, New Beginnings Reading. 

The students gave up their time to work as part of a team to prepare packages containing toiletries, sanitary products and baby supplies including nappies. They also cleaned down shelves. 

Preparing packages containing toiletries enables homeless people or those who are in need to boost their confidence by practising personal hygiene. 

This also provided an opportunity for the students to gain some valuable work experience with the local charity and allowed them to develop skills in teamwork and improve their confidence.  

The students also gained a greater understanding of the key issue of homelessness in society by actively participating as part of a team in activities to support the health and wellbeing of homeless people at the New Beginnings Reading All Day Café on Great Knollys Street.  

New Beginnings Reading is a homeless charity based in Reading. They aim to prevent and relieve poverty and financial hardship of persons in Reading and the Greater Berkshire area who are in need due to social or economic reasons, regardless of their religion or belief.  

This includes (but is not limited to) providing clothing, food, essential items, temporary accommodation, signposting to other support services and assistance with independent living. The charity promotes social inclusion for the public benefit by preventing people in Reading from becoming socially excluded and relieving the needs of those people who are socially excluded and assisting them to integrate into society. 

Myles Beckles-Fiedkow is studying a GCSE Humanities Pathway at Reading College (Citizenship, Business, English Literature and Language, Geography, and Maths).

He said: “We were helping pack specific gifts for people who are homeless or in need and giving up our time for people who have gone through traumatic events.   

“It was an honour to help. I’d never done anything like that before. I learnt about how important our community is and about how fortunate I am to have food on the table, a roof over my head and clothes. 

“It helped me to learn about support for people who are less fortunate and that we need to do all that we can to help those who are in need.”

Edward Christie, English Teacher at Activate Learning, said:

“This has been a brilliant opportunity for our students to help a local charity and the community.

“With the pandemic it’s been harder to get work experience. It provided the students with some work experience and has given them the experience of working in a team, helping and sorting products, cleaning down shelves, and sorting out bathroom products which allows homeless people to wash and gives them self-confidence.”

Louis Howard-Krelle, Centre Manager at New Beginnings Reading, said:

“We would like to say a huge thank you to the wonderful team from Reading College who attended our Centre and did an incredible job helping us refurbish the building.

“We strive to promote volunteering through such endeavours, as more than ever our services are utilised by a growing community of individuals who find themselves in need of support.

“We thoroughly look forward to working closely with Reading College in the future in aiding our local community.” 

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