Reading City announce support of Launchpad

Reading City vs Ascot United at Rivermoor.
Reading City vs Ascot United at Rivermoor.

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Reading-based homelessness charity Launchpad is set to receive a boost from the town’s non-league football club.

Reading City, of the Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Premier Division North, has announced the charity – based in Central Reading – will be the Cityzens charity partner for the 2023/24 season.

The club will be able to donate money directly to the charity through ticket sales thanks to the TicketPass platform.

Launchpad will also receive a boost from Football in Berkshire this summer with a Football Shirt Silent Auction to be held at the 2023 Berkshire Football Awards.

The club released a statement saying: “Home stadium. Home colours. Home game. As a football club, we know the importance of home. But each night across England thousands of people will be sleeping on the streets, with many more likely to be in hostels, on friends’ sofas or even sleeping in cars. This is something we can’t ignore.

“Launchpad is Reading’s leading homelessness prevention charity, providing vital information and support for individuals, couples and families who don’t have a stable place to live, or are at risk of losing their home.

“For every season ticket, membership, or general admission ticket we sell, our online ticket partner Ticketpass will donate 50% of their booking fee to Launchpad.

“We also have some exciting ideas in the pipeline in order to raise even more funds, including a charity football match.”

Ryan Sheehan, Head of Marketing, Communications & Engagement at Reading City Football Club said: “As a club we’re really looking forward to our partnership with Launchpad. I’ve personally supported Launchpad in the past through volunteering and participating in their Big Sleep Out event so I know just how hard they work.

“At a time where the number of people in the community suffering from homelessness is sadly going up, we felt that we had to do our bit to help and following positive discussions with Launchpad we’re delighted to formally announce them as our first ever official charity.”

Louise Wheeler, Fundraising Manager for Launchpad said: “We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with Reading City Football Club Together, we are committed to making a difference in the lives of those in need across Reading.

“Through this partnership, we will be able to reach more people, we are grateful for Reading City Football Club’s support and look forward to working together”.

Recent Figures released by the Government (Rough sleeping snapshot in England: autumn 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk), show that the number of people sleeping rough in England has risen for the first time in four years.

London and the South East accounted for nearly half (47%) of all the people estimated to be sleeping rough on a single night in autumn 2022.

The figures also reveal that in the South East in 2021, there were 445 rough sleepers and in 2022 this figure is 572, a rise of 29%.

Reading is the second highest area in the South East for rough sleepers which has risen since the previous count.

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