Preventing homelessness in Reading

CEO blog July

One of our clients, Nino*, came to the UK with his family in 2003 and settled here. Despite having the legal right to be in this country, earlier this year Nino was given notice of eviction from his housing association flat and told he was being deported back to Italy, where he has no family. In despair he turned to Launchpad and our support staff worked with him to appeal against the Home Office’s decision. The tribunal couldn’t understand how they had ignored the evidence that he was a legal resident and Nino won his case. Without the hard work of our support staff, he could have been street homeless and then illegally deported. I am so proud Launchpad was able to get Nino justice.

Poverty is still a very real issue in the UK and many of the families we work with are trying to survive with extremely low wages and ludicrously high rental costs. Jennie* is desperately trying to hold on to her rented accommodation after her partner left her. The majority of her income goes on rent and she is working with Launchpad to move to a property that is more sustainable. We are also helping to organise her finances. Earlier this month, Jennie told her support worker that she felt ashamed she couldn’t buy a birthday cake for either of her children, aged 5 and 9. We contacted a wonderful organisation – Free Cakes for Kids – a community service for families who find it difficult to provide a birthday cake for their child and they sent two cakes to Jennie on her children’s birthdays. The kindness of humanity!

A few recommendations from me:

Film of the month: Yesterday

A brilliant, feel-good movie about a singer songwriter who wakes up after an accident to discover the Beatles have disappeared from history! He starts his rise to fame and fortune with the songs of Lennon & McCartney. A truly lovely film.

Books  of the month: Cold Summer by Gianrico Carofiglio

As the Mafia take on the Italian state in the 1990s, and leading lawyers and police officers are murdered, the corruption and gang murders spread to the Italian province of Puglia. An exciting tale of corruption, friendship and terror in southern Italy.