We have over 130 brilliant volunteers! And we trained over 30 volunteers in the autumn ahead of the winter to directly support those who are homeless in the town. We’re overwhelmed with local support which is a fantastic endorsement of the Reading community we’re part of.
We have lots of enquiries about the best way to help, especially during the winter. Here are the vital ways you can help:
1. If you see someone sleeping rough please let StreetLink know. They can make sure the appropriate, co-ordinated local professional support is offered. There’s lots of local support organised already, including food available to those that are homeless in Reading.
2. Please think twice about giving money to people begging. They’re likely to have an addiction and need professional help from charities and organisations in the town which is readily available. Funding people’s addictions has a detrimental effect on their mental and physical health and also their safety. See step one above which really is the best way to help.
3. Donate to Launchpad. Maybe you could do this instead of sending Christmas cards or set up a monthly donation and help us prevent homelessness in the town all year round.
4. Sign up to receive our monthly email newsletter and find out ways to help, support and prevent homelessness in Reading all year round. Also hear about our volunteering opportunities when we have them. Sign up to receive our monthly email newsletter here >
We work directly with disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Reading, providing accommodation and individual support to help them get back on track.
It’s not just about doing good. Volunteering can help you develop new skills and boost your confidence. It gives you a chance to meet local people who you might never have met otherwise. And it’s immensely satisfying and highly rewarding.
Volunteering can even open up new career opportunities and broaden your mind – and it really makes you feel like a part of something.
Last year our volunteers volunteered for 8,301 hours, equivalent to 224 weeks, that’s over four years of help in less than twelve months. 89.5% of those volunteer hours were directly related to client support.
Sharon, Volunteer Team Leader asks for a six month commitment from people who want to volunteer regularly, for example those that help with our Job Skills and IT skills workshop. The reason for this is our clients often have chaotic lives and we may not see them for a couple of weeks when they are 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 teaching 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”
Get in touch if you’d like to find out more about volunteering in general 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?