Lottery grant gives green for go to Launchpad’s town centre allotment

A charity that helps homeless people resdicover their greenfingers is celebrating after receiving a large grant to make its garden grow.

For the last six years Launchpad has run an allotment in central Reading where clients grow fruit and vegetables. It gives a sense of ownership over the space, and the chance to design and plan each part of the allotment. It’s also a crucial place where people can meet, mix and get to know each other informally, building crucial social skills and confidence in a supportive environment.

A spokesperson for Launchpad said: “It doesn’t look or feel like ‘typical’ support but it really makes a difference. Getting outdoors and into the fresh air is good for everyone. And for the people we support getting involved in our allotment and healthy living project boosts physical fitness, increases confidence levels and health – cooking and eating the produce they are growing.”

Launchpad has evolved this project internally and our houses have gardens where it grows the healthy fruit and veg.

The Big Lottery Fund has recognised the invaluable difference the allotment makes and is supporting Launchpad Reading with funding of £240,722 over five years to support the continuation and development of the allotment project.

The project, to be re-named the Horticulture and Healthy Living Project, will provide opportunities for Launchpad’s clients to learn about and enjoy gardening, improve their diet and develop useful life skills and coping mechanisms.

The grant will also enable Launchpad to extend the project to a number of other homeless charities in Reading.

For more details, log on on Launchpad’s website.