Open Collective
Open Collective
Tombola, free yoga & more
Published on February 3, 2022 by Aym

Okay, we say it all the time, but how awesome is Reading? Abbey Baptist Church heard about our work over a year ago and proactively reached out to us to offer us help. Castle Tap pub and Yoginah too, Aisha Masjid have been there for refugees since day one and Biscuit Factory have joined in. The list goes on. The love is overwhelming.

We have children arriving, lonely, shy, nervous. Adults with anxiety, some with injuries that we deliver to directly, many just so happy for a chat and chance to browse groceries directly. We always show up, together, with food. Twice a week, deliveries when needed, special events and celebrations, and a weekly boxing club. It is so needed. This is a marginalised part of our community that is often demonised, scapegoated, dehumanised and subject to the racism that the UK is famous for.

Another thing we never stop saying: we are not a charity. We have no paid roles. No endless trustee meetings and rigmarole. We get stuff done. And we can only do it because of you. And wooh, have you helped. A very, very cool achievement this January gone - our coordinator Lu working very hard on a Tombola, with INCREDIBLE support from you guys (over 100 prizes donated!), the band Nasty Fishmonger and The Castle Tap, making a fantastic £375. Boo-yah.

Event alert: Free Yoga @ Yoginah Saturday 5 Feb (just by Central Library in town)

To celebrate their second birthday, local independent babes Yoginah are doing a free day of classes and asking everyone to drop donations for little old us all week. What superstars. Get involved! Find them on social media too.

We'd love to have you: how you can help

We always get asked how you can help, so here's a little reminder:
  • Volunteer with us. Could be regularly, once in a while, doesn't matter. Take random odd jobs in our volunteer chat, or snap up whichever shifts you fancy from the rota, from serving and sorting, to grocery pick up. Message us here or here to join the chat.
  • Donate food, carrier bags & empty bottles. We are actually running low on food, so any longlife bits are so welcome (list here). They always are. Stick up a poster at work and collect stuff. Please take them to Aisha Masjid, Castle Tap pub, Yoginah or Biscuit Factory in Broad Street Mall. We also always need plastic bottles because we do eco-friendly detergent refills. Someone even had 45 fresh donuts for us and gave them directly on shift, hero! 
  • Donate money. We rely on a grocery shop almost every single shift to make sure we have enough for everyone. We do fresh, toiletries, baby stuff, longlife, the works. You can imagine, and see here on Open Collective, every cost.

Yesssss Yoginah!

Tombola hijinx!