Determined Sue Brett plans to expand her poverty tackling schemes

Sue Brett seeks council help to expand her poverty tackling schemes

Reporter:

Simon Meechan

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Determined Sue Brett plans to expand her poverty tackling schemes
Sue Brett

The driving force behind three home-grown schemes which offer a lifeline to the hungry hopes the borough council commits to helping them expand.

Determined Sue Brett wants to open a community cafe, a place to store donated furniture and a new food bank.

A report set to be heard by the Royal Borough's big society panel tonight recommends the council works with Sue to secure homes for her projects.

The borough has found no council owned properties which are suitable.

The report proposes the borough helps Sue's team approach landlords for a rates only deals on empty properties.

It also asks the council to waive rates for her organisations.

Sue, 50, explained voluntary organisations are on the frontline in the fight against poverty.

She said: "Everything is hitting those who were really struggling already. It's down to the charities to pick up the pieces at the moment."

She says communities in Furze Platt, Larchfield and Woodlands Park are among the hardest hit.

The mum-of-four runs three projects in Maidenhead.

Open Kitchen provides free hot meals. Foodshare collects surplus food and delivers 170 parcels a week to feed those in need.

The newly launched Brett Foundation secures housing essentials for those who can not afford them, helps people find accommodation and offers budgeting, and career advice.

Open Kitchen has proposed a new community cafe near the town centre which provides cheap or free hot meals.

Sue, who lives in Pinkneys Green, said: "Ideally we do not want it smack bang in the High Street. We do not want to give competition to what's already there."

Sue explained it will help the 'forgotten' elderly socialise.

Foodshare is desperate for a place in Larchfield where the team can distribute packages to people who live there. Currently Sue dishes out the parcels from her car.

She says it can be difficult for those there to access Foodshare banks elsewhere.

She said: "Some do not have money for buses. If you have a large family carrying six bags of tins, its really hard going and you can't do it in one go."

Sue is also looking for a place to store the furniture donated to her foundation.

The borough report says this, along with the cafe, could provide youngsters with work experience opportunities to boost their job prospects.

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