Sue founded the Playhouse with a small grant from the UK Association for International Year of the Child in 1980. She was concerned about the well-being of children in her local area of Belgrave in Leicester. Children in poverty, children of prostitutes, abused children and in particular latch key children. Sue led the Project and the staff team from day one, providing the vision and the inspiration behind its growth and success. Her belief that early intervention with families in need could improve life chances and avoid the reception of children into care is what led her to found the Charity. Sue works with all ethnicities locally providing jobs for women and providing whole families the support they have needed in so many ways.
Sue started The Playhouse with the original idea of providing radical alternatives for woman and children in desperate need. Her understanding of the stresses and strains of working parents and single parents needing good child care and her after school provision was the first in the country. Sue nurtured the children and helped with any problems with the high emphasis on Child Protection and equality. She began in an attic room and eventually The Playhouse expanded and acquired three interlinked terraced houses in the heart of the community of Belgrave, Leicester. The Playhouse has a self-built play area and basketball court, a garden, classroom, art and snooker room. Over time Sue has created a sensory room and nursery and a youth wing.
The impact on the thousands of children who have attended Playhouse after school and in holidays is immeasurable. She has enhanced vulnerable youngsters and supported homework when this is not possible in their home environment. Many of the children in the community that have attended The Playhouse have had a different perspective on life due to Sue’s care and dedication.
Sue is now confined to a wheelchair with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. The Playhouse project will unfortunately close in the Summer of 2018 as local authority funding will stop and alternative sources have been impossible to secure. Sue will ensure that buildings remain in community use for the future.