The Wokingham Paper

Digital partnership helps homeless

A CHARITY that helps homeless people has gone digital thanks to a new partnership.

Launchpad, which aims to prevent homelessness in Reading and surrounding areas, launched a new website last month, with a bit of help from tech specialist AND Digital.

Its aim is to share information about its services in a more effective and contemporary manner.

This is its first website refresh since 2011, and is part of AND Digital’s goal of helping local charities thrive digitally.

It is Launchpad’s commitment to improving the lives of the homeless community that led to the tech group’s decision to help.

Club executive for the Reading branch of AND Digital, Shan Beerstecher, said: “It’s been extremely rewarding to work with Launchpad and give back to our local community in some way – and while it didn’t start out with responding to Covid-19 in mind, it’s been vital for the charity to have a fully-functioning, easy-to-use website at this time.

“We’ve worked closely with the whole team there to make the site more intuitive and user-friendly, and to ensure that uploading content is simple and straightforward to do.

“This will save the team invaluable time and allow them to focus on other critical tasks within the organisation.”

And Launchpad, which is based in Reading’s town centre, said that the new website has proved vital in communicating the organisation’s response to Covid-19 quickly and clearly.

One big advantage of the new site is that it has enabled Launchpad to announce an emergency fundraising appeal online to encourage local people to donate, providing direct support and assistance to the homeless or those at risk of homelessness during the pandemic.

Ian Caren, Launchpad’s CEO, said: “The Covid-19 outbreak has had, and will continue to have, a huge impact on housing and homelessness, and we are expecting an increase in need in the coming weeks and months.

“Having a new website has been crucial in helping us clearly communicate any changes and updates to our operations, and has also enabled us to launch an emergency appeal so we can raise funds to support our work during the pandemic.

“This would not have been as easy to do with our old website.

“We are hugely grateful to the AND Digital team for the immense value they have added. Their help, hard work and support has meant a lot to us here at Launchpad.”

Currently, donations to Launchpad can be made through its JustGiving page. AND Digital also plan to work with Launchpad on adding a function to the website which will enable the charity to collect donations directly.

For more information about the appeal or to donate, log on to www.launchpadreading.org.uk/campaign

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