Why do we exist? Because we must!
The Open Door Centre exists to make a positive difference in the lives of adults with learning disabilities, enabling our Members to achieve their highest potential. We do this by providing a range of activities within a safe, supportive and non-judgemental environment, and crucially the Members are involved in every level of decision making about the running of the Centre.
Members are encouraged to be independent adults, understanding their rights and choices, in order to become respected, confident, valued members of society.
We are the largest independent organisation in the area and have been going for 35 years, opening five days a week, fifty weeks a year. Many of our Members have been with us for decades; we are a huge part of their daily lives and, as more come, our family grows.
Why are we Crowdfunding?
We are a charity with incredibly dedicated professional staff and volunteers all doing a fantastic job of supporting our Members. Having lost £50,000 of Local Authority funding we need to fill that hole. Our Members, along with other volunteers, are keen fundraisers and we have the support of many local community groups, but we can't do it alone - so we need your help, please!
How would our Members cope without The Open Door Centre?
The Members describe the Centre as their family. The loss of that security and stability would mean a lack of information about jobs, health, housing and benefits. There would be increased isolation and vulnerability.
Many have no idea how to go about making simple appointments and there would be no one to do it for them. For many the simple task of budgeting for a day or a week needs support.
We would see a considerable deterioration in mental, emotional and physical health amongst those we support and there could be an increased vulnerability to physical, sexual and financial exploitation or involvement in crime, as many can be so easily led.
It is hard for members of the learning disabled community that live around us to gain value in society. The idea that we are all the same and all catered for is a wonderful one, but things are not always that simple. As a result, we have to ask for money to help these amazing people do life. They don’t want charity but they need our support.
Without your support, we won’t be here.
- To continue allowing our Members to grow in confidence and keep what control they have over their lives, we need your help.
- To prevent them from losing the ability to choose their options with confidence and understanding, we need your help.
- To ensure at least one hot meal a day, we need your help.
- To make sure they always have a place to be with friends, socialise and feel valued, we need your help.
The impact of The Open Door Centre not being here would have a hugely adverse effect on the other, already overstretched, social care agencies, trying their best to deal with the cases they already have.
Add to that the impact on the extended families and carers, which could in many cases be life-changing, and you can see why it is so important that we continue to not just survive, but grow.
Who are the amazing people we support?
Swindon and the surrounding area has a growing population of adults with learning and intellectual disabilities. These range from young adults who have gone through the excellent special schools and are now moving into adulthood, through to the elderly who fell through the net earlier in life.
The charity model we continue to operate after 35 years is very specific in that it encompasses a multitude of issues rather than just one. The Open Door Centre has a growing membership of over one hundred amazing individuals with combinations of mental health and learning disabilities.
We believe absolutely in a philosophy of empowerment, encouraging our Members' involvement in the service we provide. We hold monthly Members' meetings to discuss what we have done, good and bad, and any new ideas for the coming months. We have members on the Management Committee, elected by their peers, who take part in aspects of the running of the centre including staff interviews.
The Open Door Centre received one of the first Queens Awards for voluntary service, and for the work done with these incredible people we have been recognised with invitations to ‘The Pride of Britain Awards 2018’ and ‘The Pride of Sport Awards 2018’.
All our Members are respected as adults and are given every opportunity to exercise their right to be heard. The Open Door Centre recognises that people with learning disabilities have the same needs as the rest of society – to learn, to undertake meaningful and fulfilling work and to socialise with a wide range of other people, but ultimately to exercise some control over their own lives.
Our members matter!
Our Tea Towel reward - this will come in lime green only