Making an impact in Reading

Creating Better Futures is a growing charity based in Reading. We’re not only improving the outcomes of orphans and vulnerable children in Zimbabwe, but we’re also having a local impact in Reading and the UK. This is the first of a series of blogs looking at various ways we’re making an impact here in Reading.

Dorothy moved to Reading with a scholarship to attend the University of Reading studying Psychology and Physiology. Since graduating Dorothy has made Reading her home and has become involved in various community initiatives, including serving as a Governor at a nursery school in Whitley and setting up a mother and baby group.

Shortly after the birth of her first daughter, Dorothy set up a regular group on Kennet Island, where new mothers could interact with other mothers, while their babies and toddlers played. Dorothy obtained funding and support from the local Sure Start centre ensuring the long term success of the group.

Throughout her time Dorothy has kept close links with the University of Reading and this year Dorothy was asked to participate in a short film celebrating 90 years of the University of Reading’s official charter. See if you can spot her during this short video.


These links with the University of Reading have led to Creating Better Futures being able to provide summer work experience placements for Reading students. In 2015 three students, Emma and Bethany (both final year students) and Vimbai (a second year student) worked at the Creating Better Futures office. Through the internship programme they developed valuable workplace skills and gained experience in digital marketing and event management.


Volunteer1 Small


Bethany worked at Creating Better Futures for three months, gaining invaluable digital marketing experience, which led to her securing a marketing role with a London company. Bethany says ‘I like that together, we’re making a difference to the lives of so many vulnerable children. I enjoy working with like-minded people who are so passionate about Creating Better Futures’.

Two of our interns, Emma and Vimbai, wrote articles about their time volunteering at Creating Better Futures.

Not only has Creating Better Futures provided opportunities for these students, but we have benefited from their energy, ideas and passion. We’ll be providing internship opportunities this summer and are looking for great individuals to join our team.


Through our interns the University of Reading’s official fundraising body, Raising and Giving (RAG), chose Creating Better Futures to be one of their three designated charities for 2016. RAG organise exciting events and experiences for fellow students, from themed union nights to hitching across the country and into Europe. All donations from these events and challenges go towards the year’s chosen charities. Please support RAG at these events or organise an event for us.

Overseas volunteering

We’ve also been able to provide volunteer placements in Zimbabwe for some Reading alumni. Melissa was involved with RAG in her final year at the University of Reading and found out about Creating Better Futures from Bethany. After Melissa got in touch with Dorothy, Melissa and her partner Ben arranged time during their trip to Africa to volunteer for Creating Better Futures in Zimbabwe, by assessing potential sustainability projects and seeing how the children we support live.

For Melissa and Ben, this was an answer to their prayers. They used their skills to benefit the charity and it gave them a focus for their time in Harare and Zimbabwe. Melissa says ‘Thank you Dorothy and all at CBF in the UK. We were two strange travellers asking for an opportunity and you blessed us with an experience we’ll never forget. It was an utter privilege to be able to help the incredible work you do in Zimbabwe’.

I want to get involved with your Reading based projects, what should I do?

Please get in touch at

We’ll give you more information and talk through ways you can get involved. Call our office on 01183 271154, which is staffed on a part time basis, or call 07898 784113.

If you’d like to make a difference to children we support, you can;

  • Volunteer in the UK and Zimbabwe
  • Help with admin, digital marketing and fundraising in our Reading office
  • Look at Indeed jobsearch for our current volunteering roles
  • Help teach children, construct boreholes, classrooms and toilets in Zimbabwe
  • Help us support the education of children in Africa
  • Promote us at your church, club, school and work
  • Dorothy Dix shares her experience of growing up in Zimbabwe by talking to groups and school assemblies
  • Organise activities and events using our fundraising ideas
  • Fundraise  for us, donate at JustGiving or text CBFZ10 £10 to 70070
  • Ask people who support your fundraising event to sign a Gift Aid form
  • If people sign your Gift Aid form, the government gives 25p extra for every £1 you raise so we get £1.25
  • Sponsor a child for £15 a month to give them skills, vision and motivation
  • Have fun choosing items to fill a shoebox and the joy of opening one lasts forever
  • Purchase from retailers at easyfundraising; we get a percentage of what you spend
  • Take advantage of retailer discounts at Savoo and we get a donation from every purchase you make
  • Use easysearch to search the Internet, instead of Google, so we benefit
  • Promote us by liking and sharing our blogsFacebookLinkedin and Twitter posts