We are delighted to announce that Starting Point, part of The Mustard Tree, have been awarded a grant from the John Sykes Foundation’s Reading Youth Fund, with match funding.
The grant will match a contribution of £1,000 by Amanda and Stuart Stephens, parents of Olly Stephens, a total of £2,000. The funds will be used towards Starting Point’s “Hub” – a safe space for young people to drop in during the Summer, access support, and build confidence and connections in the community.
John Sykes expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, commenting, “We are honoured to collaborate with Amanda and Stuart in this meaningful endeavour and are proud to support Starting Point’s mission with their Summer Hub sessions for young people who are experiencing challenges. We believe in the power of providing safe and nurturing spaces for the youth of Reading to experience fulfilment, connection, and a sense of belonging during the holidays. Together, we aim to make a lasting impact on the lives of young individuals in our community.”
Amanda and Stuart Stephens added, “We are proud to donate £1,000 from Olly’s fund to support Starting Point, an organisation who mentor and offer a safe place to our children, as they navigate an often hostile and unkind world.”
Katherine Shepherd expressed gratitude for the grant, saying, “We are very grateful to the John Sykes Foundation and Amanda and Stuart Stephens for their generous donation of £2,000. This funding will enable us to run our Starting Point hub for young people during school holidays, which is often a time when young people feel most isolated and alone. It is great to be partnering together to provide this much needed support for young people in Reading.”
Photo (from L-R) John Sykes (John Sykes Foundation), Amanda Stephens, Katherine Shepherd, Stuart Stephens, Sian McCoubrey).