Preventing Homelessness in Reading

CEO blog August

When I joined Launchpad 12 years ago, I found a passionate and committed charity trying to help the vulnerable of Reading. I thought that I would stay for two or three years before moving on. Instead I fell in love with the charity, its ethos, its integrity and its burning desire to do the best for the community of Reading. Over the last twelve years there has been great successes and terrible tragedies, names and faces that appear in my head either mourning their loss or cheering on their success. I always described my management of Launchpad as that of Don Quixote, who tried for the best but normally never got it quite right but Sancho, his friend put it right. My Sancho was my colleagues; they made sure Launchpad got it right.

The thing I never doubted was the commitment and trust of my colleagues, our volunteers or the trustees. It was implicit in our work, it was in the DNA of Launchpad, and I trusted all the people working at Launchpad. We may have disagreed about the best way to go about things but never that a person would breach the trust that binds this charity to the local community.

When this trust is broken, there is a sense of disbelief, that it couldn’t be true and then a sense of anger and shame. Anger at the betrayal of everything we hold dear and believe in, the shame that we had not kept safe the trust the community of Reading had given to us.

Launchpad has had tremendous support from the community, support that makes me feel incredibly humble at what people offer to this charity. We, the staff and trustees of Launchpad will not fail the community.