How important are volunteers to Launchpad?
We simply couldn’t run our services without the support of our amazing volunteers. They work across all areas of the organisation and in all sorts of roles – and last year volunteers gave 4022 hours, which is equivalent to more than 536 working days. Their work makes a huge difference to the way we work and the people we support.
What is a typical volunteer role at Launchpad and how much time do people give?
There isn’t a typical role! Our volunteers work in both client-facing or back office roles – they provide counselling, support homeless people at our drop-in service, run activities at Launchpad 135, cheer on runners at our events, give community talks about the charity, and help with office-based administration.
Our regular volunteers work with us for a few hours or even days a week, and other volunteers support us on a more ad-hoc basis at fundraising events such as Big Sleep Out and the Pancake Race.
Volunteering is a fantastic way to give back to your community and it is incredibly rewarding – but it isn’t just about doing good. Giving your time to charity can help you develop new skills, boost your confidence, give you a chance to meet new people and open up new career opportunities. It can also make you really feel like part of something – especially at Launchpad where we consider our volunteers as one of the team.
Our volunteer vacancies
Office volunteers x 4
- Volunteering team
Based at Launchpad 135, our work and life skills centre, this role supports the volunteering team with general admin one day a week (Monday, Wednesday or Thursday).
- Fundraising team
Based at Launchpad’s offices in the town centre and helps the fundraising team with admin, organising events and processing donations up to one day a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday). More flexibility may be required closer to events.
- HR team
Based at Launchpad’s offices in the town centre, this role supports the HR team with data input, creation of spreadsheets, processing employee records, filing, research and co-ordination. The commitment is 3-4 hours, one day a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday).
- Launchpad 135 reception
Working on reception at Launchpad 135, our work and life skills centre, this role helps meet and greet visitors, staff and clients, and supports with the promotion of the service and general admin for up to 3 hours on Wednesdays (one of our busiest days at the centre).
Fundraising events volunteers
We always need volunteers for Launchpad’s fundraising events – whether it’s the Big Sleep Out and Carols by Candlelight or the Pangbourne Dragon Boat Race and Reading Half Marathon. You could be doing anything, from manning a stall and telling people about Launchpad, to cheering on runners and bucket collecting – and we can guarantee it will be lots of fun! It’s also flexible – we put a call out to all fundraising events volunteers on our list and you sign up to help when it suits you!
How to apply
If you are friendly, a good listener, have the ability to stay calm and be professional at all times – and you’re interseted in one of our volunteer vacancies – we’d love to hear from you!
Simply call the volunteering team on 0118 929 1135 or email email@example.com to express your interest in a particular role and start the application process.
NB: All Launchpad volunteers get a personal induction, regular check-ins, training, travel expenses and lunch allowance.
Launchpad 135 held it’s summer art exhibition this week – and displayed stunning pieces created by eight Launchpad clients, which included forms such as stone carving, collage and block printing.
The work in the exhibition, entitled It’s Only Words, was based on the theme of freedom of expression and meaning. The pieces were created in the art club and stone carving sessions held on a weekly basis at the work and life skills centre, which are run by art tutor, Phil and stone carving tutor, McAlistair. During these sessions, clients are able to communicate through creativity and enjoy the therapeutic aspects of art, as well as learn new skills and techniques, and socialise in a safe and welcoming environment.
At the exhibition, which was held on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 June, the artists showed visitors around the displays and talked about their creations, while Anonymous Coffee served delicious hot drinks. The Mayor of Reading, Councillor Rachel Eden, visited on the opening day and spent time learning about the inspiration behind some of the pieces, and the techniques used.
Phil Newcombe, the art tutor at Launchpad 135, said: “The art club is small in number but big in creativity. The purpose of it is to have time and space to follow one’s own creative input. What is beginning to happen is a real sense of individuality in everyone’s approach. We started off quite simply. By using old printing block letters, we explored how these could be used in creative ways to think about language in its broadest sense. There were no rules. Instead, by exploring the potential of these objects, we can see in this exhibition how the participants played around with not only words but colour, abstraction, composition and meaning.
“From here everyone begins to move on from one thing to the next at their own pace and with their own interests. There is no ‘house style’. Creativity comes from within and through exploration. The art club is a space to come and have the opportunity to enjoy this creativity. One of the things we all say to each other is ‘There is no right or wrong’. This allows for a freedom which is the crux of all art making. The capability to see the good in the happy accidents. There are no name tags next to the work as this group work together and encourage each other’s creativity and warmth and compassion.”
To see more photos from the exhibition, visit our Facebook album.
Hear from our volunteers
Amy was born and bred in Reading, and says that the flexibility of being a charity ambassador and fundraising events volunteer for Launchpad fits in really well around her full time job.
Paul volunteers at Launchpad’s drop-in service one day a week, where absolutely anyone in housing crisis can come for information and support.
Daniel is one of four volunteer trained counsellors at Launchpad, who offer clients a safe place to talk, free of charge. He has been volunteering with Launchpad since 2017.