A Maidenhead charity supporting homeless people and those in need has set up a clothes bank in the town centre, giving people the chance to pick out garments of their choice.
Sue Brett, founder of The Brett Foundation explained that the charity has always operated a small clothes bank, however,
following the recent arrival of asylum seekers at the Holiday Inn, she said that the charity started receiving ‘an awful lot of requests for clothing’.
Sue said: “It’s great to be able to say ‘well, what size?’ and put a pile of clothes together and give them to social services or whoever was going up to the hotel to take with them.
“But I thought there’s dignity in somebody actually coming down and picking their own clothes, having a look on the rails – seeing what’s there, what they would wear, what they wouldn’t wear.
“Just almost like a shop, coming in having a look, choosing 4-5 items and then going away with them.”
She added that requests have ‘doubled’ over the past few weeks, following the increase in the cost of living and the charity has received ‘lots’ of calls for children’s clothing.
However, Sue explained that people have also been contacting the charity for a variety of reasons, not just for food and clothing.
The foundation also runs a fuel bank and Sue said that they have been receiving an ‘awful lot of enquiries’ about that, with people worrying about what will happen when the weather starts getting colder again.
She added: “It is really sad the situation we are in, and I think it will get worse.”
The clothes bank, which has unofficially been open, but is officially opening next Thursday, is located at 41 King Street, and features a range of items, donated by the public, some of which include: trousers, shirts, blouses, T-shirts, cardigans, shoes, jumpers, belts and bags.
“People are so kind, we have got some amazing items,” Sue added.
As well as the clothes bank, on Thursday the charity is also opened a community larder, officially called Maidenhead Larder a few doors down at 49 King Street.
People will be able to access a range of food, mainly fresh, including fresh vegetables, fresh meat, fish, and dairy produce and there will also be a seedling swap to try and encourage people to take seedlings away to grow their own produce if they can.
Praising a group of volunteers who helped to transform the storage unit into a working clothes bank, Sue added: “They have been absolutely amazing.
“I couldn’t have done this without them because they have literally come in, gone into our old storage unit, gutted it and put everything in crates, on racks, they have done amazing.”
“They have done a fantastic job.”
Sue added that the clothes bank will make ‘a lot’ of difference, especially to families, for parents to get clothes for both their children and themselves.
She explained that the charity currently has sufficient clothing supplies, however, it is appealing for the donation of clothing rails to hang the items on.
The clothes bank and Maidenhead Larder will be open together on Thursdays between 10am and 11am, along with the fuel bank.
The Brett Foundation can be contacted via its Facebook page, or email: [email protected]
Items can also be brought down during opening hours.