In August 2020, Government supplied food boxes for previously shielding and vulnerable families were brought to a stop.

Inspired by a BBC South news feature, the Ismaili Civic Reading team leapt into action and partnered with Churches in Reading Drop-in Centre (CIRDIC) and Whitley Community Development Association (WCDA).

Working with Marks & Spencer and Morrisons, Ismaili Civic started by donating fruit for the food boxes previously supplied by the Government. The scheme’s success has resulted in an ongoing collaboration with the retailers and the local support centres, that continues today.

Every Monday, Ismaili Civic Volunteers deliver donations from the Jamat including breakfast items, kitchen cupboard staples and fresh dairy, fruit and vegetables to the CIRDIC and WCDA centres. Over 150 vulnerable families receive help from these locally run centres.

As the festive season approached, Ismaili Civic volunteers went one step further, engaging with local Reading residents to bake and donate festive cookies. This formed part of a personalised food hamper for vulnerable individuals.

“These donations are put to good use, and we hear so many lovely stories about how much help they’ve been. As another lockdown kicks in we are again rising to the challenge and will work hard to ensure that we support our community. Thanks again for your help.”

T. Bennett, Community Development Coordinator – Whitley Community Development Association.

If you’d like to get involved, please register to volunteer at