The Open Door Community Café, like many other local eating establishments, is getting ready to reopen its doors on Monday 17th May, but this time, with a difference. As a means of helping the community post lockdown, Open Door is offering everyone the chance to ‘pay what you can’ for food and drink.
The menu is the same; a mixture of sandwiches, paninis, omelettes, jacket potatoes, main meals, breakfasts and specials such as roast dinners and fish and chips, as well as cakes and hot drinks; but the means of payment has changed. Once you’ve ordered, you simply place your money in a donations box rather than pay at the till. If you want to pay normal prices, they will be displayed on the menu, if you want to pay more to support the work of Open Door, it will be gratefully received, but if you’re financially struggling off the back of lockdown, and need to pay less, or even nothing at all, you are welcome to, and all payments will be anonymous.
Helen Tribble, Projects Director, says “We have been supporting our community in a variety of ways since the start of the pandemic, and have seen just how hard it has hit many people, with loss of jobs, debt, relationship breakdown, and in some cases, homelessness. We felt that offering everyone the chance to pay what you can, anonymously, would hopefully take any stigma away from asking for help. We understand this has been an extraordinarily difficult time for many people and we just want to say to everyone, ‘you are welcome at our community café.’ Whether you’ve never been to us before or have been coming to us for years, whatever you can afford to pay, you are welcome.”
“In terms of how long this initiative will last, we will value any feedback received as to how much it is helping. If it is helping our community and we can afford to continue, we will do so for as long as possible. If things get easier for people and it is no longer needed, then we will stop. One thing to note, at the moment we accept cash only, but if you need change before making your donation, we will happily provide that from our till. As and when we return to set prices, we will be able to accept card payments as well.”
The Open Door Community Café is open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9:30am and 3:30pm, located on Church Street opposite the Royal Mail parcel collection office. It is open to everyone, with additional support available if needed. Additional support includes 1:1 support with homelessness, housing, unemployment, debt, domestic abuse, relationship breakdown, parenting issues, mental illness, and addiction; counselling; free food/clothes/sleeping bags/baby supplies; and laundry/showers.
Open Door Exmouth is an independent charity that has been making a positive difference in our community and helping those most in need for over 25 years. Current projects are: Community Café; Community Craft Room; Haven (support groups for young people to promote mental health and wellbeing); ICE (supporting young people at Exmouth Community College); Men’s Shed; Nightshift and Parent Hub (providing 1:1 and group based support to parents and families). To find out more, including how to financially support their work or to volunteer, go to www.opendoorexmouth.org.uk.