Preventing Homelessness in Reading

Big Sleep Out

Get sponsored to Sleep Out, for just one night, so others don’t have to.

The date has been set for our 2017 Big Sleep Out event. Friday 1 September 7pm through to Saturday 2 September 7am we’re asking you to give up your bed for one night to help raise awareness of what life on the streets can be like.

Big Sleep Out

Our annual Big Sleep Out aims to raise money and awareness of the realities of sleeping rough in the town. Every year people sign up to spend a night sleeping rough to try and understand what it is like for those who are homeless.

The Big Sleep Out will be held on Friday, 1 September  and will run through to the morning of Saturday, 2 September at Queen Anne’s School in Caversham. Last year you raised over £15,000 and all money raised helped us support some of Reading’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged people and help prevent homelessness in the town.

Get sponsored to spend just one night sleeping rough. The night is a tiny insight into what it’s really like to spend night after night sleeping rough. We ask you to raise just £100 in sponsorship.

The evening

You’ll arrive for registration at 7pm with your sleeping bag and cardboard shelter, pick your spot where you’ll try to get some sleep for the night. You can browse the art and craft on show created by Launchpad clients. Then later on they’ll be entertainment from Launchpad clients, staff and supporters and a few words of support and thanks from our CEO Ian Caren. The Mayor will announce the results of the shelter building competition and then everyone will be encouraged to their bed of cardboard, concrete and a sleeping bag for the evening.

Ele Buckley Launchpad’s Event Manager says “our Big Sleep Out is very much a tiny insight into what it’s really like to sleep rough. Everyone is in the safe grounds of Queen Anne’s they have access to toilets and after 12 hours they head back to the comfort of their own homes and families. The reality of homelessness is sleeping out carries on night after night with no safe home to return to.”


If you’d like to register your interest and reserve a place or for more information call or email Sophie Adele Stokes on 0118 929 1121 email:

What we got up to at the Big Sleep Out 2016

63 people slept out on Friday 19 August and raised over £15,000!

After heavy rain during the day, the sun came out at 7pm when everyone turned up with their sleeping bags and cardboard shelters and to pick their spot where they’d try to get some sleep for the night.

At 8pm everyone gathered together to hear first-hand how they were making a difference – preventing homelessness in Reading by sleeping out.

We heard from a young woman affected by domestic violence. She was evicted with her two young children on Christmas Eve and moved into temporary accommodation that she described as ‘looking like a crack house’. Launchpad have supported her, helped her practically with a double buggy for her children donated by a kind supporter and helped her navigate Reading’s housing bidding system. Her temporary housing is now permanent so she can start to make it a home, putting up curtain poles and painting the bedroom for her girls. Her aspirations for the future are, she really wants to get a job and make a better future for her and her children.

Then followed praise from Reading Mayor Councillor Mohammed Ayub and Launchpad Chairman Roger Chester for everyone prepared to sleep rough for the night.

The shelter competition was won by Juliette and her beautifully decorated cardboard box – complete with bare feet painted on the end!

Everyone was then encouraged outside for the rest of the night until sunrise. Launchpad’s neighbours Shed Café had kindly made soup from vegetables grown on our allotment for everyone to tuck into.

Davie McGirr friend of our ambassador Matt Allwright serenaded us on his guitar before bed.

It was an unseasonably chilly August night and sleeping on concrete isn’t ever comfortable. By 5.30am most people were awake. Phil from Tamp Culture Coffee slept out before getting up super early so everyone could be on their way by 7am with a coffee.

View all the photos from the night here >