Christmas Information

Each year, Open Door runs a 24/hr Christmas Shelter for those who might otherwise spend this season alone.

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About our Christmas Shelter

The shelter is open to guests 24 hours a day from midday Christmas Eve until after lunch on 27th December – all completely FREE. 

Three hot meals a day are served, and hot drinks and snacks are available at other times. There are a limited number of beds for overnight.

We provide chiropody and hairdressing sessions, showers (with soap, shampoo and towels) as well as television, board games, cards and entertainment. A range of clothing is available from our clothes store.

We have Christmas trees, a proper Christmas dinner and all guests receive a present.

So that we have plenty of room, Open Door runs its shelter at:

St Luke’s Church Hall,
St Luke’s Place
Cheltenham
GL53 7HP

Find this on Google maps here.

Would you like to help?

There are many ways to help us give our guests a Happy Christmas. We always need donations of goods to keep our shelter going strong. Please visit our donate page to find out more. We need all the same things, listed on our page, as we need all year, to help us run the shelter successfully. However, if you would like to make a specifically-festive donation, we are always very grateful for:

  • Mince pies
  • Christmas puddings
  • Crackers
  • Tins of chocolates or boxes of biscuits
  • Non-alcoholic pop and drinks
  • Wrapped gifts for our guests
    • If you would like to bring gifts, it helps us find them the happiest home if you label them with male or female (if relevant) and make them accessible so we can check the contents. This is easily achieved with wrapped (but openable) shoe boxes or Christmas gift bags.
    • Please do not include any knives, blades, medication or alcohol. Safety raxors are fine.
    • Our guests like the same little luxuries anyone does – toiletries, food treats, books or puzzles, gloves, fun gifts. Anything you think might bring a smile to the face of someone on Christmas morning!

Financial donations make our shelter possible. If you feel able to contribute any amount, please follow the Virgin Money Giving link on the right hand side of this page.

Bringing us your donations

If you wish to drop off items for our Christmas Shelter, please note:

  • Until 24th December, we are available at our 39 Grosvenor Street base (map here) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9am and 1pm.
  • From 24th December to 27th December, we are available at Luke’s Church Hall, all day and evening.
  • Unless you are bringing very large quantities, we are very grateful to receive deliveries without prior arrangement. St Luke’s has ample parking and whilst there are yellow lines outside our Grosvenor St base, there are always willing volunteers to bring in your kind deliveries!
  • We are a very small team, working very hard to make our shelter a success! So we ask everyone to use these times as much as they can. However, in very exceptional circumstances, we may be able to arrange other times to be available. Please use the contact details below.

Would you like to volunteer at our Christmas Shelter?

We welcome applications for volunteers at the Christmas Shelter. For all the information you might need, and to apply, please click here. Please note that applications can be made between 1st October and 17th October (inclusive). After this date, if we still have any shifts left where we need volunteers, we will reopen applications. If you have missed the deadline, please keep an eye on the Christmas volunteering page.

We hope this answers most of your questions. If not, do feel free to email us at christmas@cheltenhamopendoor.org.uk or call our Christmas phone on 07504 337624 (answering service – please leave a message and someone will return your call).

Please bear in mind that we are a small team who work very hard to make our shelter a success, so it may take us a little while to get back to you!

Thank you for your interest in the work we do. Your contribution will help make Christmas a happy time for those who need companionship and warmth at this time of year.