Tesco musical extravaganza for Open Door Centre

By Barrie Hudson - 8 August 2022


A day of music is to be held to help a vital Swindon charity.

The Open Door Centre is a day resource for adults with Learning Disabilities (LD), some of whom may have physical disabilities or mental health issues. 

It exists to make a positive difference in the lives of people with LD, enabling members to achieve their highest potential.

On Sunday, 21 August, Tesco Extra in Ocotal Way will host a fundraising day of music from 10am to 4pm, with stalwart Swindon music figure Sheila Harrod, the Kentwood Show Choir and other performers.

The day is backed by Swindon music shop Holmes Music, whose owner, Alan Holmes is involved with the charity. 

He said: "The centre has a membership of 100 amazing individuals. Their common need is for a safe, non-judgemental environment that respects their vulnerability, whilst offering opportunities for growth and independence, smashing through barriers personally and socially.

"The Open Door has been part of the Swindon community for the last 37 years; we are a well known and respected charity within the community. 

"Grants and fundraising is how we fund ourselves. It costs £8500.00 per month to run the centre."

 As margins have become tighter, it is becoming a challenge for the charity to remain sustainable. It receives no Government funding.

Mr Holmes said: "Lockdown for our members and the centre was a challenging time. We noticed a change in behaviours of our members, they became more introvert, lonely and isolated, needing more support and reassurance. We were unable to provide face to face support, but we did offer a level of support through telephone calls and provided meals to some of our more vulnerable members. 

"Covid and lockdown also had a big impact on our fundraising opportunities, which has left a big hole in our budget. We are also finding that there is huge competition amongst the charitable sector applying to potential grant givers who are been overwhelmed with applications."

All are welcome at the August 21 day of music.

Mr Holmes added: "Any funding we receive will allow the Open Door to continue with vital services for our members. Without the services many of our members would have nowhere else to go for the service we provide, which would then result in them feeling lonely, isolated and excluded from the local community.

"We are the largest independent organisation in the area. Many of our members have been with us for decades, we are a huge part of their lives and as more come so the family grows. 

"The centre is a way of life for our members and they are treated like family."

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