Fundamental life skills
Targeted support along with a safe, clean home gives our clients the very best chance of success.
Often our clients need professional support to overcome alcohol and drug misuse, or have a lack of numeracy, literacy and IT skills – essentials for people aiming to work and look after themselves.
Education, Training and Employment (ETE) Hub
We run a full range of activities in house at our ETE (education, training and employment) Hub.
Everyone deserves a good education and the chance to work towards their aspirations. But not everyone’s fortunate enough to get that opportunity growing up.
Our clients have aspirations, just like the rest of us. Our ETE Hub gives them the opportunity to work towards achieving their goals.
And there are down-to-earth benefits too. Ultimately, education and training enables our clients to get out there, get working and get on with supporting themselves.
Our ETE service is funded thanks to the Big Lottery.
Hard work is rewarding
People respond best to opportunities when they can see how their hard work can get them to where they want to be. Because everyone has different goals, each of our clients requires individual assistance.
- Plan. Our clients work with Karen, our Education Co-ordinator, to identify what their aspirations are before planning a way to achieve them. This structure is vital, and helps clients get the right mix of education, training and experience.
- Numeracy and literacy. You can’t get ahead without these basic skills. Even though Reading is a prosperous town, many of our clients lack fundamental skills. We have volunteers who give up their time every week to work one-to-one with people to improve their reading and maths.
- IT. We have our own IT Suite for clients (the computers were kindly donated by our IT supplier, MFG) . IT literacy is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’. The fundamental and complementary benefits are endless:
- Finding a job. Evidence shows that having digital skills helps improve the likelihood of a person who is unemployed finding a job. It also encourages people who are inactive to start looking for work and motivates them to participate in adult training.*
- Reducing isolation. Clients who have access to the internet are able to communicate with their community, friends and families. And as a result of increased communication, we anticipate they feel part of modern society and are less lonely. *
- NHS savings. A report found (Tinder Foundations’ NHS Widening Digital Participation programme) a third of people with basic digital skills made fewer visits to a doctor after learning about online health resources such as NHS Choices. Assuming these people reduce their annual number of visits to the GP by one, based on a cost to the NHS of £45 per GP visit, NHS savings would amount to £121 million a year by 2025.
- Budget and time management. Access to the internet can help save money and time. For example, it’s easier to shop for insurance deals, energy suppliers and other goods and services online. It’s been suggested people who shop online save £560 a year on average. Importantly for our clients, most public service benefit providers need to be accessed online.
*Government Digital Inclusion Strategy, 4 December 2014
- Job search. Gaining employment is a big goal for most of our clients, and achieving it is a huge landmark. Even with the right skills, the mechanics of finding and applying for a job are daunting. Our sessions help with everything from online searches to CVs and interview preparation.
- Online learning. From touch typing courses to Food Hygiene Certificates and the Construction Skills Certification Scheme, clients can study online and in-house at Launchpad.
Our ETE Hub is a flexible space to develop skills that clients want to focus on with the support of Karen our ETE Co-ordinator. It’s also a great place to start on a pathway to further education and training at college or other training providers including New Directions and Elevate Me.
Once we’ve found someone a place to live and given them that sense of stability, it’s often education and training that supplies the confidence and skills clients need to become completely independent.
Alcohol and substance misuse
It’s difficult to break the cycle of alcohol or substance misuse in any circumstance. For people also facing accommodation troubles, it can be even harder.
We partner with iRiS for essential drug and alcohol support for our clients. Launchpad’s support workers motivate and encourage our clients to engage with iRiS and we often hold joint meetings.
To start with there’s an assessment to identify the issues and needs around a client’s drug or alcohol addiction. Then an achievable plan is put together by iRiS, Launchpad and our client, with lots of support and services available to give people the very best chance to change.
Once our clients are in stable accommodation, with iRiS’ support we help them confront and manage their addictions.
Structured, appropriate support
Our clients receive high-quality, targeted help with their alcohol and substance misuse issues. While treating the immediate problem is important, an all-round approach is vital if we’re to help people make lasting, positive change to their lives. Clients need to understand the effect alcohol and substance misuse has on their bodies, how it has an impact on their relationships and the community and how, ultimately, it can drive them into joblessness and homelessness.
iRiS’ programme of support includes:
- Weekly drop-in sessions. Regular access to support and help.
- Individual sessions. One-to-one advice and assistance for clients.
- Day programme. Giving structure and purpose to clients’ days.
- Aftercare. Ongoing support for clients who’ve finished programmes.
- Peer mentoring. A safe hub where people can share experiences with their peers.
- Help entering detox or rehab. Clearing the first hurdle is hardest.
- Educational workshops. Helping clients face these issues.
The support we provide at Launchpad is holistic; when clients are referred to us we work to help the whole person. By helping with housing, support, and fundamental and complementary life skills we give our clients the best possible chance of success.