READING’S leading homelessness prevention charity has been shortlisted for prestigious national awards.

Launchpad provides 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.

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The charities CEO Ian Caren and the charity’s volunteer team have been shortlisted for Third Sector Awards in the Charity Chief Executive and Volunteer Team of the Year categories, respectively.

The prestigious awards celebrate the outstanding work of charities, not-for-profits and voluntary organisations and the difference they make to society.

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Launchpad beat tough competition with over 300 entries for 24 categories.

The charity will be attending the awards presentation on Thursday September 19 at the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square to see if they have won.

Ian Caren, CEO of Launchpad, said: “We couldn’t be more pleased to receive the news that Launchpad has been shortlisted for two Third Sector Awards!

“It’s wonderful for Launchpad to get such high praise and have the hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers recognised and celebrated so publicly.

“For many in a housing crisis in Reading, our volunteers are a welcoming friendly face, a helping hand, a listening ear and a positive influence.

“They tirelessly dedicate their time to supporting vulnerable people in the town and it’s nothing short of awe inspiring.

“We simply wouldn’t exist without them and although we’ll have everything crossed at the awards presentation, to us they already are the volunteer team of the year.”

Launchpad’s volunteering team was set up in 2010 providing housing and homelessness-related information and support to those who need it.

They also run classes in sewing, help clients learn to use computers and search for jobs, counselling and more.

Mr Caren joined the charity in 2006 and under his leadership, Launchpad has transformed from a small organisation for single homeless men to a multi-disciplinary homelessness prevention charity which helped over 1,400 people last year.

Mr Caren added: “On a personal level, it’s an honour to have even been considered for an award and I feel privileged to be in such great company in the Charity Chief Executive category.

“I feel incredibly passionate about tackling homelessness in Reading and I’m proud of how far the charity has come - but that is all thanks to a first class team of staff, volunteers and trustees, and the ongoing support and generosity of people who support Launchpad.”