This March, the John Sykes Foundation announced their inaugural Acts of Kindness month. This is an initiative to celebrate the great acts performed quietly and selflessly by the great people of Reading, and to generally spread a little happiness.
Many nominations were received and touching stories shared. We are happy to say that every valid nomination made, received an award, which were presented with the help of local celebrity Danyl Johnson. Danyl commented “It’s so important we highlight people and with the John Sykes Foundation – Act of Kindness Award, it is a great way to show that people get recognised for the hard work they do day to day. Without these people making a difference, a lot of people who need help wouldn’t be the same without them. Even better when they think they don’t deserve it, which makes them deserve it even move. Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re a star”
Nominations were diverse, but all equally heart warming, for example:
“Thank you so much for doing this, Jason was thrilled with the tickets” – Yvonne Thrower
Jason Thrower, a 19 year old Reading University Student was nominated by his Mum for the overwhelming support he gives his family, helping to care for his younger brother who has Smith-Magenis Syndrome, ASD, ODD and anxiety disorder. Alongside this and his studies, Jason has a regular Sunday job and often volunteers and raises funds for his brother’s special needs school, Addington in Woodley. Jason was presented with a pair of tickets to the West End Show, School of Rock.
“The Staff were thrilled with the nomination and the lovely gifts they received” – Brandon Mills, Head Teacher of Brookfields School
A class of students and staff from Brookfields school, who require that extra additional care, were nominated by a colleague. She stated that the class is staffed by the most amazing ladies that show so much love, fun and care to the children who unfortunately do not get out as much as other classes at the school in Tilehurst. The 8 staff were each presented with a gift box from Lush and the children are looking forward to their forthcoming visit by a therapy dog.
“Thank you so much for your wonderful thoughtfulness, it really has given them both a boost ready to fight the next round.” – Samantha, who nominated her colleagues
Tracy Watkins from Southcote was nominated by a colleague at the MS Therapy Centre in Reading. Alongside her job of supporting people newly diagnosed with MS, in her free time Tracy has started training in the Church to be a preacher, in order to support even more people. She also actively volunteers and raises funds for the Church. Tracy was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
“The girl with a big heart who has endured so much herself, a true gem and diamond of a girl!” – Jo-Anna Dem
11 year old Sofiyah Dem from Coley was gifted with vouchers for her favourite, Red Kangaroo. Despite having 2 brothers with disabilities, Sofiyah goes out of her way to help look after younger children at Sunday school and holiday club, and always has a smile on her face.
“Claire is very supportive of my son who has ASD and often uses things he is interested in in News Assembly to help him join in and enjoy, she is very kind and helpful”.
Clare Budd, Deputy Head and SENCO at Coley Primary School, received a bouquet of flowers having been nominated by a grateful Mum, whose Son she goes above and beyond to encourage and inspire, helping him to manage his autism.
“Thank you for the spectacular gift of flowers and the delightful visit by Danyl and Sian. To have been considered for such an award is something by which I feel most honoured” – Margaret Horne
Margaret Horne from Tilehurst was nominated by her friend, for the kindness she shows every day “Margaret is a very happy, lovely lady. She always has a kindly greeting for local people she meets when out and about, and she is actively involved in acts of hospitality and kindness to anyone in need of some tender loving care. She is generous with her time and very willing to help wherever she can, she is simply an amazing lady.” Margaret was delighted to receive her bouquet of flowers.
Annabelle Sykes, Trustee of the John Sykes Foundation, commented “It is wonderful to see such a happy day with so many happy faces. We hope that the Act of Kindness awards will inspire others to smile, love and do what they can for others”
The John Sykes Foundation would like to thank our friends whose Acts of Kindness contributed to the day: Danyl Johnson, Cherubs Floral Design, Lush, Red Kangaroo, Argos and Must Wear Designs.
The John Sykes Foundation is here for the people of Reading, where no one else can help. If you, or someone you know, need our support, please get in touch. Applying for a grant is easy, for more information please visit johnsykesfoundation.org