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How are we safely welcoming clients back into our building for support?

 

During lockdown, we have adapted our services so we could continue providing vital support to our clients, and vulnerable individuals, couples and families, while keeping everyone safe and well. This included providing daily telephone support to clients instead of face-to-face meetings; taking housing and homelessness enquiries over the telephone instead of seeing people at our drop-in service; and ensuring staff wear hazmat suits, visors and gloves when moving individuals into our accommodation.

For the last few weeks, we have been working hard to ensure that we can safely start to open the building to clients and people in need of support, ready for when lockdown started to ease. This has included renovating our meeting rooms so we can socially distance during support and assessment meetings, stocking up on gloves, visors, masks and hand sanitiser, and thoroughly cleaning the offices at regular intervals throughout the day. There has also been, and will continue to be, a limited number of Launchpad staff and volunteers in the office so social distancing can be observed.

Please watch this video before you visit us, for more details about the changes we have made and the guidelines we have put in place to keep staff, clients and visitors safe.

As of Friday 10 July 2020, we are safely starting to welcome back clients and people who need support to our building in the following way:

Drop-in:

If you have a housing or homelessness issues and would like face-to-face support and information, we are now accepting visitors to our drop-in service, which is operating at reduced hours. You don’t need to be referred or book an appointment – simply visit our offices on a Monday or Friday between 11.00am and 1.00pm, and one of our team members will be able to help. Sessions will be kept to 20 minutes and please note that you may be asked to return at a later time or date if we do not have capacity to see you.

Information and support will still be available for anyone with a housing or homelessness issue from 10.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday, by calling 0118 929 1111 or emailing support@launchpadreading.org.uk

Supported housing clients:

The supported housing team are continuing to support clients over the telephone in the first instance but can offer pre-booked, face-to-face meetings in the office if necessary. There will now be a limited number of face-to-face assessments and sign-ups in the office and fortnightly property visits will be reintroduced where staff will use appropriate PPE and observe social distancing guidelines. Please speak to your support worker if you have any questions.

Floating support clients:

The floating support team are continuing to carry out the majority of assessments and support over the telephone in the first instance. Pre-booked, face-to-face meetings may be offered to clients if necessary. Please speak to your support worker if you have any questions.

Activities for clients:

We are continuing to suspend our activities – such as sewing, art, and our education, training and employment hub – to protect our clients, staff, volunteers and the community. All clients will be contacted directly to notify them when activities are reinstated.

External meetings:

Launchpad staff who do not directly support clients have been asked to work from home and will not be booking face-to-face meetings in the office with external visitors. The following departments are contactable via email – Marketing and Fundraising, HR, Finance, Volunteering and Activities.

Volunteers:

Over the coming weeks, we are welcoming back a small group of volunteers so we can run a reduced drop-in service and start to offer face-to-face counselling – while still observing social distancing guidelines in the office.

We currently have no requirements for new volunteers, and we have asked the majority of current volunteers and students on placement to remain at home. All volunteers will be sent communications via email from Launchpad’s volunteer manager, and alerted when the situation changes.

Our aim is to keep our clients, staff, volunteers, partner agencies and the community safe at this time, while we continue providing vulnerable people in Reading with the vital support they need.

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and please check back for regular updates as we continue to review the situation and respond as necessary.

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