New-look Open Door Centre to support the community in latest lockdown
PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 November 2020
A new-look Open Door Centre, which provided food parcels and emotional support during the first lockdown, will extend a helping hand to the community again.
The community café team at the Church Street building delivered 1,500 food parcels and made more than 500 phone calls providing support and signposting information during the first lockdown.
Now that a second shutdown period has been announced, the Open Door’s cafe team, fresh off a refurbishment being completed, will be providing a takeaway service.
There will also be a support worker available for people to talk to offering help and guidance.
Helen Tribble, projects director at the Open Door Centre, said: “In light of the latest lockdown measures, we are pleased to be able to confirm that we will be staying open during the lockdown, but only able to offer takeaway food and drink.
“We will also have a support worker available to talk to 1:1 about benefits, debt, unemployment, homelessness or threat of, domestic abuse, addiction and anything else, if needed.
“We have spent the past week training our volunteers in our new Covid-secure measures, and we have a new layout and one-way system, signage, screens, sanitiser points and an extensive cleaning regime to ensure that everyone feels safe with us.”
The Open Door team took the opportunity during while the building was closed during the first lockdown, to refurbish adding a new coffee bat as well as sea-print wallpapered and yellow walls housing the gallery of art produced by Open Door service users.
The building’s new look was officially re-opened on Monday by mayor Steve Gazzard, his consort Diane Love and town crier Roger Bourgein.
Helen added: “We thought while we were shut, what better time to make some improvements to the building?
“We had been struggling for office and storage space for a long time so we moved some walls around and now have a new staff area, new store cupboards, and a new-look café.
“We are thrilled with the results and hope that all our customers will be equally as pleased.”
“We are disappointed that we can’t open for sit-down customers just yet, but we look forward to seeing our regular customers for takeaway, and hopefully to welcoming lots of new faces too.”
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