There’s an opportunity for almost anyone at Launchpad: former teachers helping with numeracy and literacy to HR and IT experts and enthusiastic fundraisers. We currently have over 100 volunteers!
It’s great you’re interested in volunteering and helping Reading’s homeless. We’ve been overwhelmed with enquiries this winter and happily we’ve filled all of our voluntary opportunities after a massive response from the community. We needed to ensure earlier in the year we had volunteers in place who have, had training to support those that are homeless, in the most appropriate way.
If there is someone who you are concerned about, that you think is sleeping rough, please let StreetLink know and they will help connect the person to the services available in Reading.
Some people may have a long history of rough sleeping, local services may know them and these people may require longer term support to help them leave the streets. Their situation may mean that you don’t see a change take place straight away.
Here’s a few alternatives to volunteering:
We work with disadvantaged people in the town, providing accommodation and individual support to help them get their lives back on track.
Volunteering can also help develop new skills and boost confidence. It gives you a chance to meet local people who you might never have met otherwise. And it’s incredibly satisfying and rewarding.
Volunteering can even open up new career opportunities and broaden your mind – and it really makes you feel like a part of something.
Our Volunteer Team Leader, Sharon asks for a six month commitment from people who would like to volunteer regularly, for example those that help with our Job Skills and IT skills workshops. Often the people we support have chaotic lives and we may not see them for a few weeks when they’re struggling, we want the same friendly volunteer to be here when they return.
Ad hoc volunteer roles include micro volunteers who help us out at our fundraising events, for example marshalling at the Reading Half Marathon or looking after the registration desk at our Big Sleep Out event.
Diane and Pam volunteer every week with our clients: sewing, knitting, crocheting and textiles.
Pam’s take on volunteering at Launchpad is “It’s a two way thing, the clients tell me all sorts of interesting things and I’m really fascinated because their world is different from mine, and they add a dimension by the fact they have been in different places and done different things.”
Diane likes volunteering because “On a practical level, it structures my week, because every day could be Sunday, but I know if it’s Monday or Tuesday it is my Launchpad days. Having been a teacher I’m used to lots of stimulation. Every day is different, it can make you laugh one day and want to cry the next… I love the interaction with people… I think when you retire you could sit back and do the gardening but this is very rewarding”
We currently have over 100 volunteers and there are no specific roles we need volunteers for at the moment, please check back soon though.
Get in touch if you’d like to find out more by contacting Jonjo and Sharon by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0118 950 7656 and select option 4.
Are you at risk of being homeless, sleeping rough or worried about someone?