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Susan Brett won the South East of England Family Hero in 2013 for her commitment to Open Kitchen which is now called Food Share. Food Share offers food, warmth and love to a large number of individuals in Maidenhead who are homeless, disadvantaged, elderly or isolated. The charity provides a full cooked meal once a week, soup and also sandwiches twice weekly and distributes non-perishable food to those in need. With a new charity started, Susan took time out of her busy schedule to tell 4Children what has happened over the past year,
It was amazing to no be nominated, totally out of the blue but meant so much to me to feel appreciated for the work I do.
When I got the phone call from 4Children I couldn't believe it, to be nominated was one thing but to win, when there are so many wonderful people out there who do so many amazing things. I just couldn't believe it!
We travelled to the award ceremony in London which was just out of this world. We don't visit London often, so it was such a special occasion for us, especially getting the opportunity to talk to so many life changing people.
Winning a Family Hero award has made others aware of the work I do and in turn has opened the door to many people who need my help but were not aware I was there.
So many exciting things have happened since winning the award. Food Share has moved forward and now produces lots of home made frozen meals to those we support in the community. We opened a homeless shelter over the winter period, this was my proudest moment as it had been such hard work to get it up and running. We were only given a couple of weeks notice that we could open in January but this didn't stop us, we did it and made a huge difference to so many homeless here in Maidenhead.
There are so many plans going forward which I’m really excited about. I have started another charity called 'The Brett Foundation' which provides baby packs, homeless packs, new home packs and school starter packs to families and people in real need. I am very close to opening a community cafe, which will provide a free hot meal to all the lonely and isolated people in Maidenhead whilst training and preparing those who are unemployed with work experience. We also have a community garden and supermarket in the pipeline, again, both close to opening. Everyday things we take for granted make a big difference so we have also started giving birthday cakes to families with children who are in extreme poverty. I am passionate about teaching those who are unemployed new skills to give them a fresh start in life which is why I recently started up a furniture restoration project teaching those who are unemployed a transferable skill whilst providing furniture to those who were homeless but in need of furniture for their new home.
Please do nominate, if you are thinking of it do it. It means so much to be nominated and know that you are appreciated and that people notice just what you do.