Project that helps people with everyday essentials in Huntingdonshire is expanded

Essentials by Sue, a project established in East Cambridgeshire by Sue Loaker, has now been launched

Essentials by Sue, a project established in East Cambridgeshire by Sue Loaker, has now been launched in Sawtry. - Credit: Archant

A project that provides essential items for people struggling to make ends meet has been launched in Sawtry, following its success in Ramsey, Huntingdon and St Ives.

The deputy mayor of Ramsey, Councillor Adela Costello, brought the project, called Essentials by Sue, to Huntingdonshire to allow people across the district to gain access to toiletries and other small items.

The project was piloted in Huntingdon last year and proved a success.

It was founded in 2016 by Cambridgeshire police's crime reduction officer Sue Loaker, after two 12-year-old girls were caught shoplifting toiletries in Ely.

Mrs Loaker recognised the issue could be addressed by providing a foodbank-like facility for items such as sanitary products, shampoo, and other toiletries. The project was launched in Huntingdon in September, with the essentials being available at Huntingdon Youth Centre and the Medway Centre.

Toothbrushes, shower gel, deodorant, shampoo and sanitary towels are among the items that will be provided by volunteers for members of the community who may otherwise struggle to pay for essentials.

With the support of Sawtry charity Caresco, the food bank, the library and Sawtry Village College, Essentials by Sue is set to make its debut.

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Cllr Costello said: "Donations of these essential articles are requested and stored at the library and then young people can collect them in a discreet and confidential manner.

"Anyone who wants to use the service can drop in, and write down the items they would like and the team will endeavour to provide them.

"The service is run by volunteers and is always looking for people to get involved."

If you would like to donate, you can take items to the Broad Leas Centre in St Ives, the Medway Centre, in Huntingdon, and the libraries in Ramsey, Yaxley and Farcet as well as the new venue in Sawtry library.