MP welcomes major boost for key Swindon charity

By Barrie Hudson - 2 February 2023


North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson has welcomed the success of an appeal to help The Open Door Centre.

The charity, based at the St Barnabas Church Hall in Gorse Hill, helps adults with learning disabilities. 

It supports around 100 people and encourages them to be independent and confident, as well as offering a wide variety of activities such as swimming, English and maths skills, yoga, and Karaoke. 

However, the charity has struggled financially in recent years, with Chair of Trustees Derek Fry writing in The Charity Times that 2022 that had been just about the toughest year in its 37-year history. As a result of this The Open Door Centre launched a fundraising campaign, with Mr Tomlinson writing in support of the initiative and calling on people to get behind the campaign.  

Mr Tomlinson said: "The fundraising campaign by The Open Door Centre has been incredible, and I am delighted to hear about the fantastic response. I am also pleased that I have been able to help and attract some support – including a donation of £500 from the Orbital Shopping Park earlier this month.

"The Open Door Centre is so important for the people it supports, and I am very pleased that the Swindon community has been so willing to rally around to offer their help and support. 

"I really would encourage people to support this fantastic charity and help it continue the important work it does.”

As a result of the appeal, businesses and other organisations came forward to offer their help, including Zurich, Nationwide, Asda, The Co-Op and The Orbital Shopping Park. In addition to this, The Open Door Centre organised its own charity events, such as pub quizzes, carol singing and choir performances, a market stall, and an upcoming Spring Ball. 

In his article for the Charity Times, Derek Fry confirmed that thanks to this effort The Open Door Centre was financially secure for 2023. 

He wrote: “The resulting support from our Local MPs Justin Tomlinson and Robert Buckland, and several businesses, has been overwhelmingly supportive. Thankfully, we are financially secure for 2023 and continue to work hard to secure a sustainable future for the Centre.”

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