Work and life skills centre

Launchpad 135 - Reading's first work and life skills centre - will help vulnerable people rebuild their lives.

It takes more than a home to break the cycle of homelessness. Which is why we have expanded our services and opened a new centre – called Launchpad 135 – so people who are homeless or at risk of losing their home can learn new skills, build confidence and get back into work.

Launchpad 135 is just ten minutes’ walk from Launchpad’s town centre offices and was completely renovated in 2020, thanks to the incredible support from our local community who helped raised £80,000.

The centre now boasts the following bespoke facilities for vulnerable people in Reading:

• a training kitchen for cooking and barista courses
• a DIY workshop and laundry area to learn how to maintain a home and practise self-care
• an IT suite for job searching and online learning
• a counselling service for talking therapies
• a space for creative writing, art, photography and wellbeing activities such as yoga and meditation.

Unfortunately, the pandemic and subsequent restrictions prevented us from starting our timetable of activities when the centre was finished in November 2020. But Launchpad 135 will open its doors to clients as soon as we are able in 2021.

In the meantime, here’s a first look at the completely refurbished space!

Plans and the renovation progress

Previously owned by a plumbers merchant, the building needed lots of work to make it suitable for our clients’ needs – including a complete overhaul of heating and electrics, and the installation of a suspended ceiling. Our teams have fitted new doors and windows, and installed a training kitchen, laundry and hair salon, and a workshop. 

There’s also a large space for group activities such as yoga, art and IT skills, and separate rooms for counselling. Work has been carried out on repairing some brickwork to the front of the building, and it’s been completely painted and decorated in a neutral palette.

Here’s a first look at our plans for Launchpad 135 from January 2020, and more photos from the renovations:

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