Preventing Homelessness in Reading

World Homeless Day

Just one day. World Homeless Day is Monday 10 October every year, an international day to raise awareness and encourage local communities to help those who are homeless.

World Homeless Day

We were lucky to have so much support from the local community for World Homeless Day 2016.


Our World Homeless Day Campaign started the Friday before at First Friday Club, a local networking event where everyone came along and did something good with their first new £5 note… donated it to Launchpad!

#FirstFiver has quickly become a national social media campaign to encourage people to do something good with the first new £5 note they receive.

Local support

We presented at assemblies at local schools: The Piggott, Theale Green, Reading Girls, Wren, The Abbey and Reading, and they pledged their support for Launchpad and our World Homeless Day campaign with non uniform days, Harvest Festival collections and Socktober (donations of socks with a toothbrush, toothpaste and toiletries for our clients in need).

And local companies Sopra Steria, Requiva and Pegasystems invited us in to talk about the vital work we do in the town.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Lots of people shared with us on social media what they wanted to be when they grew up. Highlighting that no one grew up wanting to be homeless, and in turn life doesn’t always turn out how we expect it to. A few of our famous Twitter Followers joined in and shared with us what they wanted to be when they grew up:

  • BBC1’s Matt Allwright (and our Patron) told us he wanted to be the first platinum selling top goal scorer for Liverpool FC!
  • Melinda Messenger told us she wanted to be a teacher
  • GB rowers, including Rio gold medallists: Phelan Hill, wanted to play for Liverpool FC. Andrew Triggs Hodge still doesn’t know. John Collins wanted to be a lorry driver and Jonny Walton an astronaut

The campaign was launched with staff and volunteers sharing what they wanted to be, which ranged from The Hulk, Wolverine and a cowboy to a pilot, a vet and a Blue Peter Presenter!

Local businesses joined in too:

  • Staff at our neighbours The Shed wanted to be a waitress, an actor and a vet
  • Phil at Tamp Culture Coffee wanted to a soldier
  • Cream Design when they grew up wanted to be a weather girl, plumber and a train driver
Sophie, Steven, Geoff, Sarah and Janice

The local paper The Reading Chronicle joined in with their support all week and every day told the story of someone we’ve helped at Launchpad. Sophie, Steven, Geoff, Sarah and Janice all benefitted from Launchpad’s support helping to prevent them becoming homeless.

Launchpad Tour

We offered our first ever out of hours tour to subscribers of our monthly newsletter, which was very well received by all who attended from local businesses, community groups, charities and supporters.

A tweet by Edible Reading at the end of the day summed up Launchpad’s World Homeless Day: ‘I think @Launchpad_RDG’s Twitter feed today has been lovely, thought-provoking stuff. However hard life can be, we’re all fortunate.’

World Homeless Day 2017

If you’re interested in supporting Launchpad next World Homeless Day, 10 October 2017, here are a few ideas:

  • Give up your lunch money
    Have a basic lunch instead of the usual £5 baguette and crisps. Why not provide soup for everyone instead? And donate the usual lunch money to Launchpad, just for one day.
  • When I grow up….dress up day
    Ask everyone to come in dressed as the person or profession they want to or wanted to be when they were little. Charge your astronauts, football stars and vets for the privilege of living their dream. Nobody grows up wanting to become homeless.
  • Bake a house
    Organise a baking competition. Cook up a tasty gingerbread house that can be sampled for a donation, helping to get people to stop and think about why everyone needs a safe place to call home.
  • Socks in a box
    Organise a collection of essential items to help the homeless and vulnerable. Ask everyone to put a (pair of) socks in a box for distribution for the Reading’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP).
  • Say yes we ‘can’
    Invite your friends to donate a can or packet of non-perishable food or top up the Launchpad toiletry cupboard with a toothbrush and shower gel amnesty. A collection of items makes people pause to consider life without such necessities.
  • Text donate
    Text LWHD17 £10 to 70070 to donate to Launchpad Reading and make a difference on World Homeless Day.

We’d love to come into your work place, community group or local school to help you tell more people about Launchpad. Email or call 0118 929 1146 to speak to Jason or Ele to find out more.