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Guest post – Launchpad, #rdg – making a difference

I received this email today and it’s a great example of the difference that Launchpad, the local homelessness charity to Reading is making to people’s lives:

Jess* is 20 years of age and joined us under our Education, Training and Employment Project (ETE) in July 2011.  She became a client of ours following the deterioration of her relationship with her family that led to her becoming homeless.  With nowhere to live and no-one to turn to, she was referred to us for help with her housing and also to work with her to enable her to work towards developing a positive future.

Like many of our clients, Jess has a history of mental health problems and issues with alcohol.  Through our wide ranging programme of support, we were able to work with Jess (and continue to do so) to help her cope with these issues and develop sustainable coping strategies.

When she joined the ETE project she was encouraged to talk about her dreams and aspirations and what was holding her back.  She told us that her dream job was to be a make-up artist but she had no idea how to start, lacked the confidence to enrol at college and felt she would not be taken seriously. Aged 20, Jess had very little to show for her childhood and the prospect of college was daunting, but, with our support she enrolled at college where she completed her Level 2 Make-up Award together with the associated Level 2 in Health and Safety for the Health and Beauty Sector.  Unfortunately Jess failed her Level 2 Make-up Award the first time but we worked with her to encourage her not to give up but to work harder and re-sit the exam which she did. College has been a considerable challenge for Jess but she has shown dedication and determination and has even secured part-time work on the beauty counter in Debenhams where she is putting her new skills to practical use, engaging with customers and growing in confidence.

In addition to working with and supporting Jess we provided the funding required for her to attend college. This included £53 travel costs, £129.50 for her make-up kit and uniform, £200 to cover course fees for Level 2 City and Guilds in Make-up, £95 for course fees for Level 2 City and Guilds in Health and Safety for the Health and Beauty Sector and £20 for the exam re-sit.  Total cost: £497.50 plus staff support, motivation and encouragement.  Without this level of support and access to the funding required Jess would have been unable to turn her dream into a reality.  She still has a way to go, but is now able to make better informed choices and has the potential to fulfil her ambitions.

I hope this helps show what a difference your money makes.

Launchpad’s vision is that it ‘wants every person in Reading to have their own home and the opportunity for a positive future.’  We recognise that every person needs a home to grow and develop.  It is a core part of our belief in the importance of accommodation and the structures to enable people to move forward.

We also have a new Facebook page and Twitter account @launchpad_RDG if you are social media friendly.

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