CEO blog March 2021

Over the next few months, there will be a trustee takeover on Ian’s blog! This month is Hannah Powell, who has been a Launchpad trustee for six years and works in the Probation Service.

I’m Hannah and I have been a trustee with Launchpad for approximately 6 years. I’m a northerner but moved down to Reading to follow my ambition to become a Probation Officer 15 years ago.

My role has given me a lot of insight into the complex journeys that individuals have into all sorts of difficulties – homelessness being just one part of a wider picture. I never fail to be moved by the real stories behind the statistics. Humans are never two dimensional beings and we all deserve a second (sometimes third, fourth, fifth…..) chance. A roof over someone’s head is not enough to resolve homelessness, we need to create strong support networks and resilient communities so we can respond to the multi-faceted nature of homelessness. For me this is why charities such as Launchpad are so important, as they offer so much more than just a bed and understand the importance of getting alongside people to support them to make lasting changes in their lives.

I live, breathe and love Reading! I live in the town centre, I walk to work each day and I see the wonderful, diverse characters that make Reading such a brilliant place. I also see some of the pain and suffering – and the impact that local charities on the ground really make in people’s lives. At Launchpad we keep the individual central to all we do and we also recognise how important the staff are to making a difference. I sit on the Operations Committee and take a keen interest in the nuts and bolts of the delivery side of the organisation, and love to see how Launchpad is truly changing lives.

I am so proud of all who work to support and help others in our community and I feel a strong commitment to ensuring this continues, as we all have a part to play. I’m able to get involved with lots of Launchpad’s fundraising events and I love seeing the involvement of local people in fundraisers like the Big Sleep Out. People from all different political persuasions and backgrounds coming together for a good cause, because it’s the right thing to do. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us all what is really important: human connections; our physical and mental health; and very importantly, a safe place to stay. I am pleased to see all keyworkers, including all the staff at Launchpad who work alongside countless others across a range of services, being recognised for the important roles they have in keeping our communities strong. They’ve been taking care of our most vulnerable and keeping ‘the show on the road’. We should all be so proud of our community in Reading, I know I am!

A few recommendations from me:

TV series of the month: The Terror

The Terror is about a perilous Arctic voyage and is loosely based on a true story – but has a twist! I have enjoyed this immensely andI’m recommending this to everyone I see.

Album of the month: Not Your Muse, Celeste

I am very much enjoying Celeste’s soulful style at the moment. She is a fantastic British talent and if you’ve been watching Bridgerton, you may recognise ‘Strange’ which is simple yet beautiful.




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