Christmas Information

20191219 RR when we are open jpgEach year, Open Door runs a 24/hr Christmas Shelter for those who might otherwise spend this season alone.

20180717 RR Xmas leaflet inside pages FINAL STYLE w layout checked FOR WEB v1

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.

Helping financially

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 or see all the easy ways to give here.

Items we need

Thank you so much for wanting to support Open Door’s Christmas Shelter!

There are many things that help make our guests’ Christmas brighter:

Gifts for guests:

Our guests love the same things that everyone loves! Our guests may come from all sorts of different life situations, and may have homes or not, but what they all love are little luxuries: the things that are usually not available in their lives. These might include:

  • Toiletries that smell nice – sprays, deodorants, shower gels, mini perfumes/colognes, hair brushes/products etc
  • Food treats – chocolates, nuts, sweets, biscuits, sweets, savouries, pop or juice cartons
  • Games or puzzles – books, little wooden puzzles, colouring books, jokes, etc. These are fun for those attending the shelter
  • Brand new pants and socks – for men or women!
  • Books (of a cheery nature!)
  • Stationery – pens, notebooks
  • Our guests love messages too – if you want to include a card, please do!

You may have many other ideas! The only things we cannot accept are alcohol, medication and anything with a blade (except safety razors: they’re fine!).

How to wrap!

If you would like to bring gifts, it helps us find them the happiest home if you make them accessible so we can check the contents. This is easily achieved with wrapped (but openable) shoe boxes or Christmas gift bags.

Gifts for the shelter:

If you would rather donate items that will help the shelter in general, that would be lovely! We have already been promised mince pies, crackers and Christmas puddings, but we always appreciate the following:

  • Pop, juice and squash
  • Tins of sweets or chocolates
  • Cakes/cupcakes
  • Board games/puzzles
  • Puzzle books

We also have a list of ingredients/items we use for the shelter meals (like gateaux/bacon/bread etc). If you would like to buy/deliver any of these items, please just give us a call on 01242 577418!

Thank you so much for wanting to support us!

Do remember that receiving the goods we use year round (like tins of corned beef or super noodles) is still really useful and important! These goods last all year and help us to produce food parcels for guests. Please visit our donate page to find out more.

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.

Buying us items on Amazon

Did you know? We also have an Amazon WishList! You can see a list of things we really need and buy them to be delivered to us, from the comfort of home! To view it, please click here

Would you like to volunteer at our Christmas Shelter?

We welcome applications for volunteers at the Christmas Shelter. We can only do it all with your help!

Please note:

  • Standard applications can be made between 1st October and 17th October (inclusive).
  • After the 17th October, you will be able to make an online application to be on our reserve list only.
  • Unfortunately, we cannot take email applications.
  • All the information you might need, and our application form page, can be found here

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.