SFL believe in giving to worthy causes both within our local community and the wider world, through direct financial support, the loan of equipment or special discounts.
SFL run payroll giving for its employees to encourage them to support charities close to their hearts in addition to the support SFL provides to charities listed here. SFL commit a percentage of our profits each year to charitable organisations, but we also strive to offer support in other ways where we can.
Key charitable organisations that we support are selected annually from nominations made by any SFL team member. We aim to offer financial long term support to a small selection of charities, below are the ones we are currently supporting.
We also provide one off donations to charities as and when we are approached or a team member makes a request – for example in 2014 we provided a local charity with a one off donation towards the purchase of a first response vehicle to attend emergencies in the local area. In 2015 we are following this up with a financial plan to support them long term with keeping this vehicle on the road.
To support and encourage charities with their own fundraising efforts we also offer matched funding that they have already secured.
On going supported charities
Reading Rockets is a well-respected, successful basketball club, which has been serving the community for over 20 years. It prides itself on award-winning initiatives that put the local community at the heart of the club. It launched its own charity, Rockets Sports and Educational Foundation in 2012.
SFL is supporting their START (Supporting Talented Athletes in Rockets Teams) for 2 athletes and is very excited to be involved with their work. The START scheme rums alongside the Rockets programme and endeavours to bridge the financial divide that is currently limiting development in the local area. Each athlete will receive full training, mentoring and support throughout the programme.
Reading Street Pastors
In 2008 a few leaders of RCN caught the vision of Street Pastors and set up a management team and the Street Pastors initiative was launched in February 2009. Training began in June 2009 when 27 volunteers were trained and commissioned and the first “night out” was 16th October 2009, on the streets of Reading.
As part of a national team first pioneered in 2003, and Street Pastors continues to grow throughout the UK and across the world.
Street pastors are trained volunteers from local churches and care about their community.
Usually on patrol from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. every Friday and Saturday night to care, listen and help people in the Reading Town Centre.
In 2011, they were invited to patrol inside Reading Festival and since then been invited back each year and in 2014 had a tent at the festival. They have also been invited by the police to have extra patrols during Fresher’s Week. They are led by their local coordinator and also have support from local churches and community groups in partnership with the police, Safer Reading Campaign, Reading Bid and Doorwatch.
Faith Christian Group
FAITH is a registered charity supported and run by members of Congregations across and outside of Reading.
They have a small part-time paid staff, but rely on dedicated and committed volunteers. They are non-denominational, committed to expressing the love and compassion of Christ to anyone in need, irrespective of colour, creed or ethnicity.
With fairly limited resources FAITH has always tried to focus its activities where the need is the greatest. They are best known for their Soup Runs in the evenings and their Tea Bar Sunday afternoon aimed primarily at rough sleepers and those in desperate need.
Mercy Central was registered as a charitable company in 2011 to provide support and services to people facing financial difficulty in the County of Berkshire. It is closely linked with Network Vineyard Church, but is an independent charity and provides strategic leadership for this area of work.
Mercy Central is an accredited partner of the national and international charity, ‘Christians Against Poverty’ (CAP), with which they work very closely in delivering their programmes. Through this partnership, individuals and families in financial need are able to access the skilled resources of an award- winning debt counselling service.
Entirely funded by voluntary donations and they depend heavily on the support of a large number of volunteers – led by a small paid staff team – in carrying out their work.
They remain open to the possibility of receiving statutory funding, where they are satisfied that this is consistent with the strategic direction and overall principles and values.