10:30AM, Thursday 29 June 2017
A food bank and homelessness charity is looking for a new base after being told it could be evicted with just 24 hours notice.
The Brett Foundation runs its services from a unit in King Street, Maidenhead, which it rents from the Royal Borough.
But that relationship now looks set to end after it was confirmed the council would be enforcing the terms of its current lease which would mean from January it would be free to end the contract whenever it wanted.
“They [RBWM] sent us a letter saying that from January they would be reserving their right to terminate the tenancy at will,” said Sue Brett, who is one of the charity’s founders.
“That will mean they only have to give us 24 hours notice to leave, which is fine [because that was the terms of the agreement], but we can’t wait until January.
“So we’ve decided let’s get going now and be independent of them.”
The charity received the letter earlier this month, but has only recently made the news public so it could ensure all its volunteers could be told first.
The drop-in centre has been in use for about six years, originally as Maidenhead Foodshare, before being re-branded as the Kindness Shop and later the Drop-in Centre.
As well as providing food packages for families through its role as a food bank, it has also expanded to help Maidenhead’s homeless.
This has included serving hot meals, providing clothes and a base for weekly counselling sessions.
The organisation is also increasingly helping people dealing with loneliness, social isolation and mental health issues.
The council’s letter comes at the end of a six-month period which has seen demand for the Brett Foundation’s services increase by about 50 per cent.
“We’re desperate to find new premises,” said Sue, who appealed for anyone who could help to get in touch.
“Ideally, we need a cafe so we can offer training and jobs and take it to a more professional level.
“We offer such a valuable service, it would be a shame to see it discontinued, and we need somewhere as soon as possible.”
In a statement, the Royal Borough said: “The Brett Foundation will have a home in their current location until the end of the year.
“Before then the council will ensure that an appropriate alternative is found.”
Visit www.thebrettfoundation.org.uk to find out more about the charity.
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