Open Door is here for the community during lockdown 3.0

Claire White and Barbara Appleby supporting parents at the Open Door Centre

Claire White and Barbara Appleby supporting parents at the Open Door Centre - Credit: Helen Tribble

‘If you find yourself in need of someone to talk to, we’re here for you’ - that’s the message from Exmouth’s Open Door Centre. 

In light of the current lockdown situation, they have adapted their services to focus solely on support work. 

The independent charity will offer 1:1 support for anyone facing unemployment and needing support with job searching and CV writing as well as helping those making benefits applications or follow up phone calls. 

Maureen Jackman (left) and Kit Rolla-Baxter of the team at Open Door

Maureen Jackman (left) and Kit Rolla-Baxter of the team at Open Door - Credit: Helen Tribble

There will also be support for anyone experiencing or at risk of homelessness, including the use of showers, laundry and food provision. 

Help to access accommodation, domestic abuse and mental health services as well as addiction support will be available.  

Helen Tribble, projects director at the Church Street centre, said: ‘Whatever the problem, you will be assured of a hot drink, a listening ear and the support to try to find a way forward’. 

She added: “In light of the latest lockdown measures, we took the difficult decision to close our Community Café Takeaway service so we could focus solely on our support work.  

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“In the first lockdown, we found that there was only so much we could do supporting people over the phone, sometimes we just need to see people face to face.  

“Therefore, we want to extend the invitation to anyone experiencing hard times at the moment, if you need someone to talk to, we are here. On the end of the phone or in person, by appointment.  

“From counselling to signposting, we will do our best to help. Whether you’ve been to us before or this is the first time you’re hearing of us, we want to help if we can.” 

The Open Door Centre has also developed a ‘parent care’ 1:1 service specifically for families facing challenges specific to parenting. 

Helen said it’s a ‘safe space’ to talk through concerns and develop an individual support plan specific to their family’s needs.  

The Open Door counselling service has also waived it’s suggested donation of £5 per session, and in light of the difficult times we are in, is offering counselling sessions with fully qualified, experienced DBS counsellors, for free. 

As well as this support, the Open Door Community Craft Room has adapted its support in light of lockdown and is now offering virtual craft workshops and a doorstep delivery of craft materials for anyone based in and around Exmouth, to help connect people and enjoy meaningful activity together.  

Helen Plant, Community Craft Room project leader, said: “The Community Craft Room has always been about providing a safe space, where people are welcomed.  

“We know that it can be a very daunting thing to come along to a new group so we really try to make it as relaxed and unintimidating as possible.  

“During lockdown we’ve had to adapt but the message is the same – you are welcome, whether you are experienced with crafts or completely new to it, it’s much more about connecting with each other and supporting each other through this difficult time, and if we learn a new skill or two in the process, that’s a bonus.” 

To book an appointment with the support team, parent and families team, or counselling team, or to find out more information about any of our support services or Community Craft Room, please contact info@opendoorexmouth.org.uk or call 01395 224218. 

To find out more, including how to financially support their work or volunteer when the projects reopen, go to www.opendoorexmouth.org.uk. 

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