Toys for Disadvantaged Children in Reading

by Paul Thomsett

The mission of the Reading Family Aid charity, is to ‘put a smile on the of faces of disadvantaged children in the Reading area’. They help children living with poverty and with other disadvantages. Those they help may be young carers, or children living in a family affected by drug taking, physical abuse, chronic illness or disability; or they may have a disability or illness themselves.

Mark and Diane dropping off the toys

One of the main drives of the charity is their annual ‘Toys and Teens Appeal’ which distributes toys at Christmas to children aged up to 16. They also provide outings throughout the year for children and their families who couldn’t otherwise afford to go.

The charity was recently awarded a grant of £3,000 by the Berkshire Masonic Charity to help with this year’s appeal.

The Berkshire Freemasons have been helping the charity for a number of years now, the association was formed by Mark Heppelthwaite, the late Roy Stone, his wife Diane, and David Jarvis.

The BMC grant was used to buy toys, which were distributed to the charity in early December by Mark, who was accompanied by Roy’s widow, Diane.

Over the years the Berkshire Freemasons have donated over £27,000 to the charity. Committee member Ruth Perkins said “Reading Family Aid is so grateful for the amazing toy donations from the Berkshire Freemasons. You have significantly helped to provide Christmas presents to over 2,300 children in the Reading area. You have helped to turn a lot of sad faces into a lot of smiley faces this Christmas. We couldn’t do that without you.”

The car is loaded and ready to go

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