At Open Door we have been monitoring the situation closely over the past few weeks, listening to government and NHS advice, and reviewing our projects. We are working hard to ensure we act responsibly but also that we help those in need wherever possible, as this is the very heart of why we are here. In light of this, we have the following updates:


The Open Door Centre as standard is cleaned 4 times a week. In addition to our comprehensive cleaning schedule our door handles, light switches, fire escapes and surfaces are all fully sanitised. Our Café equipment is regularly sterilised. During Café hours, all doors and surfaces throughout the centre are being sanitised every hour. There is also hand gel available at the entrance, in toilets and at the coffee bar. We are also, of course, requesting all staff and volunteers wash their hands properly and regularly. We are also committed to displaying NHS notices displaying the latest advice throughout our premises.


Community Café: The Café will remain open as usual today (Weds 18th March) and Friday 20th March. From Monday 23rd March we will move to restricted operations and will instead be open from 10am – 12:30pm for the general public/those who need our support, and then from 12:45pm til 2:15pm for families who might need our support or who wish to access our Holiday Café scheme during school holidays. We will continue to offer our support services of showers, laundry, sleeping bags, clothes bank, mail collection, hot meals, food and toiletries parcels, and free telephone and internet use, as well as support accessing accommodation, benefits, domestic abuse, mental health and addiction services, as much as we can. If you know of anyone who is struggling or in crisis, please tell them that we are open if they need us. If they are unable to visit, they can call us on 01395 224218. We may struggle to answer, but please leave us a message (it’s a long answerphone message so please wait for the beep!) and we will do our very best to respond that same day. Finally, we are collecting contact details for those already or at risk of self isolating to be able to place welfare calls and potentially arrange ‘no contact’ delivery of meals and/or food parcels so if you wish to be added to the list or know someone who might, please do contact us, or if you might be able to help with deliveries, please let us know!

Men’s Shed: Will be closed to the public until after Easter, although there will be a small group of guys regularly attending to ensure security of the building. The closure will be reviewed after Easter.

Nightshift: Cancelled until further notice as we cannot effectively support people on the streets while also maintaining a safe distance.

Community Craft Room: Closed until further notice, but please email [email protected] if you would like to be included in their online craft group that has been set up as a way of keeping in contact and sharing creative ideas.

Chid Contact Centre: Will not be starting contact for any new families until further notice. Referrals can still be sent in for contact to start when things return to normal.

ICE: Based in the Community College so will operate within school guidelines.

Haven: Will run as normal on Monday 23rd March and be closed as planned over Easter holidays. Decisions whether to run after Easter will be made nearer the time in light of government advice at the time.


The safety of our staff and volunteers is of paramount importance to us so please ensure that if you are at risk, if you or anyone you live with is displaying a cough or fever, or if you have returned from any country listed on recently, please self isolate (and let us know!). Equally, as a volunteer, if you are concerned in any way, please err on the side of caution and stay at home (but please come back to volunteer with us when this is all over!). For those projects continuing to run, we are expecting much lower numbers so can operate with smaller teams. If, however, you are healthy and would like to help out, please let us know so we can plan our teams accordingly.

This is our plan, for now! It is, of course, dependent on the health of those who will still be working and on government advice, so it may change next week, or even tomorrow! We will keep you informed of any changes as soon as we can. If you pray, please pray for us as an organisation, as a team, that we can help those most in need during this time. If not, please remember us in your thoughts. And to all, stay safe.

In this together,

Helen Tribble

Projects Director

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