Christmas 2021

Christmas at Open Door

Thank you for wanting support our Guests at Christmas! We’re so glad to be able to celebrate in person with our Guests again!

Below you’ll find:

  • Information on this year’s shelter
  • How to support our Guests by volunteering 
  • How to support our Guests with donations

About this year’s shelter

Our 2021 shelter  will be held at our new premises on Alstone Lane.

We will be open to Guests between 9am and 6pm on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. 

We offer three meals a day and treats, snacks and drinks in between.

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

We have Christmas trees, a delicious Christmas dinner and all guests will receive a gift bag.

Anyone who would like to join us is welcome. No booking, referral or ID is needed. Everything we offer to Guests is free.

How to support our Guests by volunteering

We’ll need lots of lovely volunteers to make sure our Guests have a happy time! There will be different types of volunteering. You can let us know in the application form which types and which dates/times of volunteering you are interested in.

The application form will be available on this page from 1-14 October. Please put a reminder in your diary! We can’t accept late applications. We’ll notify you of the outcome in early November.

On 20, 21, 22 and 23 December we’ll need lots of lovely people to help us get ready! We’ll be building Christmas gift bags and sorting out the wonderful donations people bring us. Also on the 23rd we’ll need people to help us decorate the new premises so that they look properly festive!

On 24, 25 and 26 December  we’ll be open to Guests and we’ll need people to help in the kitchen and people to help generally, looking after our Guests. There will be three slots (8.30am – 11.30am, 11.30am – 3pm, 3pm – 6.30pm). Each slot includes a meal time for Guests (breakfast, lunch or dinner).

On 29, 30 and 31 December we’ll need lots of help to make sure any donations delivered during the shelter are all sorted out and everything is ship shape so that we are ready to look after our Guests properly in the new year!

Please remember:

  • all volunteers must be 16 or over.
  • each volunteer must apply individually.
  • you must have been offered a shift before you come along; please don’t come if you haven’t had a formal offer.
  • please do not bring along friends or family if they haven’t applied and been accepted themselves. They won’t be able to volunteer.
  • Every shift is important  to the success of our Christmas shelter. If we don’t have help to set up and clear down, we can’t give our Guests the best possible Christmas or return to services in the new year. We’ll prioritise applications from those who are most flexible.
  • We don’t allocate shifts on a first-come, first served basis; all applications will be considered together after 14 October.

How to support our Guests with donations

MAKING A FINANCIAL DONATION

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.

HELP US FILL A GIFT BAG

We make individual gift bags for our guests from the donations we receive. Please see some suggestions below. Please make sure any gifts you donate are:

  • Unwrapped (so we can make up individual bags)
  • Marked as gifts and separated from other items

Our guests would love:

  • TOILETRIES: shower gel/bath products; shampoo/conditioner; spray/mini perfumes; gift sets; cosmetics
  • EDIBLE TREATS: chocolate; sweets; nuts; savouries
  • GAMES/PUZZLES FOR GROWN UPS: Puzzle or joke books; craft sets; small puzzles; colouring books
  • BRAND NEW PANTS OR SOCKS: for men or women
  • NEW GLOVES: for men or women
  • BOOKS: anything cheery!

You may have other brilliant ideas! Remember that not all our guests are homeless and all our guests love the same treats that anyone would appreciate on Christmas Day. The only items we can’t take are medication, alcohol or anything with a blade (except safety razors: they’re fine!)

DONATING FOOD ITEMS

We have a list of ingredients we need for the shelter meals (such as gateaux/bacon/bread etc). If you would like to buy/deliver any of these items, please just drop us an email or give us a call on 01242 577418 so we can tell you what we need!

Do remember that donating the goods we use year round (like tins of corned beef or super noodles) is 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.

  • Tinned meat and fish
  • Tinned fruit and puddings
  • Tinned ready meals
  • Tinned spaghetti
  • Tinned potatoes/instant mash
  • Instant or pot noodles
  • Chocolate, biscuits, chewy bars
  • Jams or spreads

DONATING CLOTHES

We can only take:

  • Men’s jeans
  • Men’s joggers
  • Men’s T Shirts
  • Men’s trainers
  • Men’s hoodies
  • Brand new men’s pants and socks

SORRY, WE CANNOT TAKE:

  • Men’s shoes/shirts/jackets
  • Women’s clothes/shoes
  • Household items
  • Bedding/duvets/blankets/sleeping bag

WHEN AND WHERE TO DROP DONATIONS

We are currently in the process of moving venues. We will update this page when we have details of where and when to deliver donations.

Download our guide to donating for Christmas


Want a copy of our Christmas donation guide for your workplace or fridge door? Download a PDF copy.