Inverness Church Action with Poverty and the Unemployed
Launchpad was established by the Crown Church, Inverness, in 1987 as part of its outreach to the local communtiy. Launchpad is an independent charity which operates on a not-for-profit basis. Small grants (usually upt to a maximum of £250) are given to individuals who are unemployed. The aim is to help such individuals to develop an interest to pursue during their period of unemployment. This may, or may not, lead to employment.
Applicants are asked to complete a form indicating the purpose for which they wish a grant and to provide the names of two referees. Once references have been received, applicants are inteviewed and the award of a grant decided.
Since its formation, Launchpad has disbursed over £50,000 to applicants. The funds come from fund raising activities, donations from local churches, local businesses and individuals and from trusts. When celebrating its centenary in 1999, Crown Church donated half of the proceeds from fund raising to Launchpad, amounting to £10,750. To continue the worthwhile work of Launchpad there is a constant need for fund raising.
Over the years, grants have been provided to meet a wide range of needs. These have enabled unemployed and disadvantaged people to engage in useful projects. These have included, for example, the purchase of art materials, fishing equipment, tools, outdoor equipment, cycles, fishing permits, photographic equipment, horse riding equipment, computers. Fees for attending training courses have also been paid.
In all circumstances applicants do not receive cash; they are asked to identify a supplier of the equipment they need or the name of the course provider. The money is then paid directly by the Launchpad treasurer to the supplier or provider.
Most applicants feel uplifted and encouraged by this practical help towards their life style.
Launchpad much appreciates the throughtful responses given by referees and the supportive efforts, in particular, of Social Work staff.
To download an application form and information sheet please click here.
What they said...
"I am writing to thank the Launchpad committee for approving my application for a desktop computer. It is great to be able to produce minutes and letters for my groups without delay. I am curretnly looking into starting a college course in August."
"This is just to thank you for the funding awarded to me to purchase my guitar. It is my "wee dream" come true! Much appreciated!"
"Thank you for the bicycle. I love it. Thank you."
"Thank you so much for the £150 for horse-riding equipment. I was able to get a helmet, jodhpurs, full-length boots and a really good riding jacket. I will send you a photo of me on one of the horses when I get them developed. Many thanks again!"
What others said...
"This hobby has really boosted M's self esteem and filled his days with new ideas - plus he has had fun experimenting with his various gadgets. I hope that as he continues making things he will start believing in his own abilities and that sometime in the future he will gain employment with a company that can use his skills - or else begin producing things for sale himself."
"Mr R used the grant to purchase various items of outdoor equipment needed to allow him to undertake his role of a walking group leader. He led groups of walkers for a week long challenge to raise sponsorship for Children Fist. We have received very positive feedback about his abilities whilst undertaking his role from those who participated."