Launchpad is Reading’s leading homelessness prevention charity. They provide vital information and support for vulnerable individuals, couples and families who are homeless or are at risk of losing their home. The charity was initially founded as a soup kitchen in 1979 by students at the University of Reading. They now provide a holistic service, helping vulnerable people in the town to tackle housing-related issues, obtain and sustain long-term homes, and lead full, independent lives.
Launchpad's Services Work in Three Different Ways
Drop-In Service - One of the ways Launchpad works to prevent homelessness is with their drop-in service. This is for anyone needing crucial housing or homelessness-related information and guidance. Whether people are worried about how they can pay their rent, concerned about their landlord’s actions, or sleeping on a friend’s sofa, the charity is there to help. They are also able to provide guidance on claiming benefits and getting help for drug or alcohol misuse.
Floating Support - Launchpad’s floating support service works with vulnerable people to help them address the root of their housing problems. The service is able to provide bespoke support plans for three to six months. The charity works with people who have special educational needs or disabilities, victims of domestic abuse or those leaving care or prison, as well as people struggling with issues such as poor mental health, addiction, debt management and numeracy and literacy. Launchpad’s work aims to help build confidence, develop new skills, and ultimately help clients to achieve long-term independence and stability.
Legal Support - Launchpad also jointly funds access to solicitors by working in partnership with Oxford based law firm Turpin and Miller LLP. This is so that clients can obtain specialist legal advice if they need it.
Supported Housing - The charity provides and maintains temporary accommodation across Reading for up to 100 people and for periods of six to twelve months. Each client, along with their allocated supported housing officer, works through a personalised support plan during this time. This helps them tackle any issues that have contributed to their homelessness and to work towards moving into more permanent housing and living independently. Support plans are able to address areas such as client’s wellbeing, self esteem, personal safety, budgeting skills, wellbeing, education and employment.
Long-Term Homes - Thanks to welfare cuts, spiralling rents and a lack of social housing, many people are left without a safe, clean and stable place to live. This is why Launchpad offers a number of homes in Reading to rent, in order to provide sustainable and affordable long-term accommodation for those who need it. These long-term homes are for ten single people and two families.
The charity rebuilds lives in order to give clients the very best chance of success through therapeutic activities and support with education, employment and training. Launchpad’s programmes offer opportunities to socialise in a safe environment, develop coping strategies, build self esteem, and get back into work. These programmes include gardening, counselling, CV and interview skills, money management, arts and crafts and courses such as food hygiene and construction. Soon, they will be based out of the charity’s brand new work and life skills centre, which is due to open in late 2020.
How You Can Support Launchpad This August
In 2018, Launchpad helped over 1400 people in Reading to get back on their feet, and this is a figure that’s doubled in just four years. You can help them continue providing their vital services by voting for them in our August 2020 charity poll.
For more information about Launchpad, or to donate, visit: launchpadreading.org.uk.