Wokingham Borough Council staff sleep outside to raise money for homeless charity Launchpad

homelessness charity
Council staff will be sleeping under the stars this Saturday. Picture: JesseLeeRoper Flickr

COUNCIL staff will be sleeping in the cold this Saturday to raise money for Launchpad.

Wokingham Borough Council library and locality teams will be sleeping outside in Woodley Library’s courtyard garden for The Big Sleep Out.

It coincides with World Homeless Day, and will raise money for Reading homeless charity, Launchpad.

So far, they have raised more than £200.

Executive member for neighbourhood and communities, Cllr Bill Soane said: “Our team is taking on the challenge of swapping home luxuries and a comfortable bed for a sleeping bag outside.

“They’ll be braving the weather to gain an insight into homelessness at night, experiencing cold, autumnal temperatures, uncomfortable sleeping arrangements and limited sleep.”

The councillor said it would give staff an insight into rough sleeping, and praised Launchpad for its work.

“Homelessness can affect anyone and sadly, is a way of life for many individuals,” he added. “It has particularly been heightened during the pandemic with many individuals struggling to find work and safe accommodation.”

Launchpad takes a holistic approach and works to prevent homelessness, provide homes and rebuild lives.

Over the past year, the charity has helped more than 1,000 people get back on their feet, a figure which more than tripled in five years.

Residents can join The Big Sleep Out by camping in their garden on Saturday.

Anyone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless within 56 days can make a referral via the Housing Jigsaw website.

Once the referral has been received, the duty homelessness prevention officer at the council will make contact.

Residents unable to make a referral can email: housing.needs@wokingham.gov.uk or call: 0118 974 6000

To sponsor the council team, visit: www.justgiving.com

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