CEO blog October 2020

Over the next few months, there will be a trustee takeover on Ian's blog! This month is Phil Jones, who is chair of the marketing and fundraising committee and has been a Launchpad trustee for over three years.

We all need help sometimes. Life isn’t always a smooth and predictable path, and it will throw challenges at all of us. To paraphrase something I read about the impacts of Covid-19, which I think applies to life – we’re all sailing the same ocean, but we’re not all in the same boat. Our challenges will be different. A few times in my life, I’ve been lucky enough to have someone give me the support I need to get through tough times or advocate for me to help me achieve more than I felt I was capable of, and these experiences made me a passionate believer in the value of receiving a leg-up when things get tough.

Launchpad provides this vital support for the people of Reading who don’t have a stable place to live or are at risk of becoming homeless. I strongly believe that the security and peace of mind from having stable accommodation is a basic need that everyone should have – and is the bedrock of so many other important factors that help those in need to rebuild their lives. Helping those in need get the leg-up they deserve is why I joined Launchpad as a trustee over three and a half years ago.

I’ve spent a lot of my career involved in marketing and media (the last 10 years were at Google) and as well as sitting on the Launchpad board of trustees, I also chair our marketing and fundraising committee where I feel I can put that experience to use – supporting the excellent team of marketers and fundraisers at Launchpad as they drive awareness and raise funds to support the critical work that this charity does every day.  With Launchpad turning 40 years old last year and the exciting  work and life skills centre we’re opening soon – we’ve had a lot to do. Although as we look ahead to the next five years and the potential negative impacts of Covid-19 on unemployment (one of the largest causes of homelessness), I fear there’s still more to do.

I’ve lived in and around Reading for over 20 years and it’s a wonderful and vibrant town. My time as a trustee has done nothing but reinforce how I feel about Reading since the support and generosity of it’s people have helped Launchpad provide homes for so many who needed help.  If you’re reading this, you obviously care about supporting those in need and from the other Trustees and I, all the staff, volunteers and clients of Launchpad – thank you!


A few recommendations from me:

TV series of the month: : Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D on Disney+ 

It’s just great to detach with a well produced TV series that definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Book of the month: Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling

This was an amazing book that challenged the way I look at things and made me realise things actually were better than I thought!


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