Open Collective
Open Collective
Sunshine & Solidarity
Published on June 6, 2021 by Aym

It's been a busy spring, from a bustling Ramadhan to our Reading Red Corner boxing club starting up again. All the while, it's the community spirit that's kept us strong.

It's been two months since the local hotel "housing" migrants closed, and that means two months of our social foodbank in full effect. We started a little slow, but within a week, word had spread, and we now have plenty of children, families and individuals popping by twice a week to stock up on groceries and more. Most of the folks who come by are families, so having cereal, bread and eggs sorted means they can use their asylum allowance (an incredibly low £39.93 a week for food, clothes - everything) to sort out uniforms, pack lunch extras, school trips or whatever else - supporting a family on that pittance is unimaginable for most.

We welcome your amazing help to keep our foodbank sustainable. We've kept an eye on what families need and made this list for you to share widely. Add a few extra toothpastes to your grocery shop or haul over 10 loaves of bread one Saturday - just have a look at our ongoing list to see what we need and how best to get it to us. We also always need carrier bags, laundry detergent and washing up liquid empties and egg trays if you've got any for our eco-friendly refillable stations! Just message us on FB, instagram to drop off anything.

If you'd prefer, you can always donate to our Open Collective to help our weekly Costco shop. Remember - we're not a charity, none of us have paid positions or big grants, so every penny goes directly to migrants.

With the community behind us, we were able to support asylum seekers all through lent, Ramadhan and hold a brilliant Eid picnic too. With candyfloss and lots of treats, all of us came together as a community - not "us and them" to enjoy the celebration. Now, we've got some of the gang coming to our boxing gym and get fit with us, building confidence and more. We even found the time as a club to support Right To Movement Palestine with a solidarity run this week!

As always, your support is amazing, and we are so happy to be doing this - so thank you, and let's stick together as a town we can all be proud of.