COVID-19 emergency appeal

 Feeling helpless stuck at home? You can still make a huge difference and support local people in crisis by donating to our COVID-19 emergency appeal.

We need your help

Launchpad’s services are vital, now more than ever. We are working tirelessly during the pandemic to ensure extremely vulnerable people in Reading have the help they desperately need, and we are extending our support to the local community with Launchpad’s ‘here for you’ phone line.

It is easy to feel powerless and frustrated, particularly now we have all been told to stay at home – but you can still make a huge difference because we simply cannot deliver these crucial services without you. Launchpad needs your urgent help to raise £30,000 so we can continue to support local people in crisis over the coming weeks, and as the outbreak worsens.

How can your donation help?

£5 could help fund a cleaning pack for a Launchpad client unable to leave their house for provisions


£10 could help buy single bedding and a towel for an adult moving into Launchpad accommodation after sleeping rough


Mobile phone

£25 could help buy a simple mobile phone so a client can contact Launchpad for the support they need during self-isolation



£50 could help fund new toys for children from a low income family supported by Launchpad, who are struggling with boredom while they stay at home


Sanitation equipment

£100 could help buy a months’ worth of sanitation and protection equipment for Launchpad support workers while they work out of our office and make deliveries to clients



£250 could help buy white goods for a Launchpad client who has no way to make a hot meal or clean their clothes at home


Phone keypad

£500 could help fund Launchpad’s increased landline, mobile and internet costs for one week while our vital services are run remotely


What urgent support are we providing?

Our clients

Our clients are homeless or at risk of losing their home, and many are battling issues such as poor mental health, debt and addiction. Now, because of the COVID-19 outbreak, they are also isolated, afraid and at risk of serious illness due to underlying health conditions such as COPD, diabetes and hepatitis. Launchpad staff are key workers during this national emergency and we are pulling out all the stops to ensure vulnerable people receive the urgent support they need as the pandemic spreads – while keeping our teams, clients and members of the public safe.

Launchpad staff are still working from the charity’s office and instead of providing our usual face-to-face support meetings, they are making urgent calls to our clients – over 160 vulnerable individuals, couples and families in Reading. Every day our teams are providing emotional support; checking clients are physically well and following the government guidance; assisting them to claim and manage their benefits; ensuring they are receiving any treatment and medication they require; and in line with support plans, continuing to help clients tackle their issues. Our staff deliver food, toiletries and cleaning supplies to those who cannot access what they need, and are able to offer resources such as white goods for clients who are unable to cook a hot meal or clean their clothes at home.

Launchpad’s housing solicitor is working hard to support vulnerable people being treated unlawfully by landlords, local authorities and housing associations during the pandemic – and our supported housing team are placing rough sleepers and those in housing need in Launchpad accommodation, so they have a clean, safe and stable place to live. Launchpad staff are also continuing to provide crucial information and support to anyone who contacts us with a housing or homelessness issue – and we working in close partnership with Reading Borough Council and other local agencies, such as the police and probation services, to ensure people in desperate need of support get help quickly and efficiently.

Our ‘here for you’ telephone service

Community is important to Launchpad and during these uncertain and unprecedented times, we want to do everything we can to support people in Reading. Our ‘here for you’ telephone service is for absolutely anyone in need – including those who are self-isolating or social distancing and feeling lonely; people who need support with practical issues; and those who feel concerned about the future and their loved ones. While we are unable to provide resources such as food packages and our staff are not trained counsellors, we can signpost to services in the Reading area and offer a listening ear at a difficult time. Please call our team on 0118 929 1111 or email from 10.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday.

A kind donation to Launchpad will mean our teams can continue to provide vital support and resources to extremely vulnerable individuals, couples and families, as and when they need it. You can make a direct difference to local people in crisis and help protect our community over the coming weeks, and as the pandemic worsens.

NB: In the event that we don’t raise enough money for this project or if surplus funds are raised, the money will go towards our general charitable activities to prevent homelessness in Reading.

Our client's real stories

Sophie sitting in front of a brick wall looking forwards
Meet Sophie

Sophie* is in her early 20s. She and her two young children, age five and seven, moved in with her mum to care for her when she was dying of cancer.

Daniel sitting looking to the left
Meet Daniel

Daniel* is from a small family from a nice part of Reading. He has just one brother, and both his mum and dad were single children so he had no cousins, aunts or uncles. Daniel says he was always very detached from his mum and his dad was always distant from him, which has led to problems in later life.

Sarah sitting looking forwards
Meet Sarah

Sarah* says she had a ‘normal’ upbringing (quickly adding ‘whatever normal is!’). She and her sister lived in a three bedroom house in Reading with her parents. She went to school and went on lovely family holidays.