It has been one of the greatest partnerships that Reading Buses has formed with its Charity of the Year.
A ‘whopping’ sum of £11,719.61 has been presented to Autism Berkshire as their 12 month partnership with Reading Buses has come to the end of the road.
In what has been a memorable Charity of the Year relationship, there have been many highlights both for Reading Buses and Autism Berkshire.
Among those highlights were the company’s Open Day in June which raised over £9,000 and a charity sky dive by driver Darcey Harrington who raised £1,200.
This has been supplemented by raffles, bake sales and general collections at all Reading Buses depots which helped top up the total.
Speaking at a wrap-up event at their Great Knollys Street depot earlier today (Friday), Reading Buses Chief Executive Officer Robert Williams said: “It has been a great year once again for our charity partnership.
“I am delighted to be able to hand over a cheque for this phenomenal amount. It is great for me to come into an organisation that has such a strong background in charity engagement – with this being the 11th year that the company has had such a partnership.
“We are one of the biggest and most visible employers in the town and like to support the focus of charities such as Autism Berkshire and recognise the good work that they do. This has certainly been the case during 2018.
“Our employees love getting behind important local causes and have played a very important part in our fundraising activities.
“It’s not just about raising money, though. Through this partnership, we have helped to heighten the awareness of Autism Berkshire around the region through all our activity including the very visible charity bus.”
Robert revealed that Autism Berkshire is helping Reading Buses deliver their current driver training course to help staff learn about the needs of autistic people on a face-to-face basis.
The organisation attend every course as the latest of a line of groups helping the company make statutory “Certificate of Professional Competence” training far more targeted and helpful than the industry norm.
Autism Berkshire’s fundraiser, Sarah Brown, said: “We would like to thank everyone at Reading Buses for choosing us as their Charity of the Year and their amazing fundraising efforts over the past year.
“This has involved everything from bake sales to the brilliant ‘Out Of This World’ depot Open Day and bus driver Darcey Harrington making a sponsored skydive from 12,000ft.
“All the money raised will help to ensure that we can continue to provide the best possible advice, support and leisure services for autistic people of all ages and their families throughout Berkshire,” she added.