Taunton Open Door

Contributions to Open Door

1. DONATIONS - MyDonate (similar to JustGiving) increases gifts by 20% by claiming  gift aid 


This helps fund fresh foods (milk, bread, bacon  etc.), office supplies, cleaning materials and other day to day expenses.

help with catering, supporting clients, assisting with stores, IT/ admin, maintenance

Please see our colour coded section below

COLOUR CODING - for information

RED (we have a current need)

Kitchen Supplies

Baked beans​, Meat pies​, Spam

Cook-in sauces​, ​Ketchup and brown sauce​, Salad Cream and mayo​

Coffee​​, Long life juice​Squash, all flavours

Tinned fruit​​, Tinned and instant custard​, Tinned rice

Weetabix ​Cornflakes ​Other cereals

Biscuits and chocolate​Jams, marmalade​Marmite

Sugar​, Flour​, Cooking oil

Salt and pepper​, Vinegar​, Gravy granules

Herbs and spices, ​Dried fruit​, Cocoa powder

Cling film​, Greaseproof paper​, Kitchen foil​

Sandwich bags

Cleaning Supplies

Laundry powder, ​Anti-bacterial spray​, Black bin bags

Disinfectant​, Toilet cleaner​, Bleach​


Shampoo​, Shower gel​, Deodorant

Razors (disposable)​, Shaving gel​

Toothpaste​, Tooth brushes

GREEN  (we have lots in our stores -many thanks)

Pasta​​ Tea bags  ​Pulses​

Porridge​  Tuna,  tinned fish​  Tinned tomatoes

Rice    (packet)​Soup​

Washing up liquid,  ​Dishwasher tablets


The Open Door (Taunton) : Charity No. 1122040

Open Door is based 1A Mount Street near the Taunton town centre and provides meals, drinks, showers and laundry facilities for homeless and disadvantaged people. The centre offers a listening ear and helps with advice and signposting to services in the area. We have a lot of volunteers and a Project Worker who help the Manager run the centre. We aim to provide unconditional support to those who visit Open Door. The project is supported by individuals, local churches, schools, charities and Taunton Deane B.C..
PLEASE USE HOTMAIL EMAIL ADDRESS (except for website queries)

  Contact the manager of this GroupSpaces group
Tel: 01823 271996
Category: Other

Work of Open Door

Every day we help people who have no permanent home.
When people first arrive at the centre we ask about their situation to see how Open Door can help them in their particular circumstances.

We are assisted by professionals from partner organisations to find suitable temporary accommodation;more permanant solutions may take days or weeks and sometimes even longer . We have a store of clothing, footwear and bedding which helps with their immediate needs.

Volunteers provide a nourishing breakfast and lunch and help visitors to research housing and occupation possibilities. When our clients move to their new homes we help them with basic items they need.

Thank you for your interest in the work of The Open Door (Taunton) 

Latest news

Manager’s Report
Thursday 23rd June 2016

(1) Increase in numbers
There has been a significant and sustained increase in numbers of rough sleepers over the first 6 months of 2016,  reaching over 30 at times, compared with a previous average of 10-15. 

This is partly due to an increase in rough sleepers who have no immediate prospect of accommodation (eg from outside the area or barred from Taunton Association for the Homeless).  Once clusters of these rough sleepers form, they then attract others to sleep rough.  These issues are being addressed together with TAH and TDBC. 

(2) Strengthened Community Links
This year we are continuing to strengthen our support base through evening and weekend visits to church, para-church and community groups:
•    North Curry and Curland Methodist Church
•    St Andrews Church, Rowbarton – part of their year focusing on Open Door
•    All Saints Church, Trull  - sharing in Mission Sunday services
•    Halcon Baptist Church
•    Induction Course for new Street Pastors
•    West Somerset Deanery Readers Fellowship Meeting
•    Priorswood Ladies Group
•    New volunteers course for Citizens Advice Bureau

We have also deepened involvement with several partner agencies and groups:
•    Taunton Job Centre – weekly email contact, joint activities especially Makeover Day
•    Town Centre Police – weekly meeting to address issues affecting town centre rough sleepers
•    Taunton Sainsburys – variety of activities to promote awareness and raise funds, including art exhibition, jazz evening and family activities
•    Taunton Tesco foodshare – weekly collection of nearly out-of-date items, with a view to Tesco staff involvement with us
•    Keep Taunton Warm – local group providing fresh fruit and veg and other goods
•    Taunton Foodbank  -two-way sharing of resources (esp from M&S)

(3) Staff and volunteers
The solid core of volunteers is regularly being added to, 12 new inducted volunteers this year plus one administrative helper.

(4) Premises
Premises continue to be improved through general ongoing renovation (2 volunteers, out of hours) and specific kitchen upgrading.  The Job Centre has now pledged to help renovate the main room in September. New issues to consider are an offer of more car parking, upgrading of the CCTV system and a new tumble drier.

Do More Report
Thursday 23rd June 2016

Overview of the ProjectThe DoMore project has become so successful that it is now putting a strain on the resources available to run it.
The demand for DoMore services has become such that it is not possible to meet the current need in the 2 afternoon sessions that have been allocated for it. An average of 25 clients currently use Open Door each day - compared with 12 at the end of 2015 - and up to a half of these are wishing to use the services offered.

From January 2016, over 60 clients have been seen. Not all these clients require ongoing sessions of work, often it is an immediate request for help with a benefit crisis or a deadline for a form to be returned. These require numerous lengthy phone calls, e-mails to be sent, appointments to be made and documentation to be gathered. Each of these can take up to 90 minutes and often need following up.  Although an appointment system is in place for Tuesdays and Thursdays, CB is often called in on other days to help with a client's urgent need. This may be to accompany them to a meeting with outside agencies or to deal with accommodation opportunities.

In addition to the above, some clients are seen regularly over a period of time. They may be actively looking for accommodation and need to bid each week for eligible properties through Somerset Homefinder; they may be seeking work and need guidance while accessing Universal Job Match. In addition help is given writing CV's and filling out application forms on-line. The majority need help using the computer.

Overall clients attend DoMore for help with one or more of three key areas; benefit advice, housing, employment and training. Most attend between 2-5 sessions, the majority is just a one off appointment

DoMore drop-in             Tues/Thurs

Craft                            Tues
Cooking                        Weds
Music                           Weds/Thurs

Agency liason                 Tues/Thurs
One-to-one literacy          By appointment

All DoMore volunteers have a full Open Door induction as well as a specific DoMore induction.
A volunteer needs to learn how to use Somerset Home Finder, Universal Job Match, how to write and format a CV, how to set up an email account, the different types of benefits and how to apply for them etc.
CB trains each new volunteer and encourages them to sit in on appointments to learn each new task this can take a very long time.

Future Aim: To have a volunteer trained specifically on each task and a set time for them to meet clients e.g. knowledge of what other agencies offer, CV writing.

Upcoming Activities Planned: furniture decorating, art, film appreciation club.
Future Aim: To offer an activity every afternoon and to have more DoMore drop in sessions.

"    Accommodation:
Nine clients have been found their own accommodation. All of these are long term rough sleepers with the majority having repeatedly failed with TAH accommodation. Without DoMore support they may well still be rough sleeping. Four of these clients are at Stoney Head Caravan Park due to the ongoing positive relationship built up with the owner who gives DoMore first opportunity to fill any vacancies that arise. All nine of these have been given a DoMore Kitchen and Bedroom Starter Pack. They have also been helped to set up Housing Benefit, get deposits from TDBC Bond Scheme and get electrical goods from the Besom Trust. Facebook has been a huge tool to ask for specific furniture requests e.g. sofa bed

DoMore worked closely with the job centre to select fourteen of our clients to attend a makeover and interview day at the job centre. In the morning they were offered haircuts, beauty treatments and interview clothes followed by help with interview techniques. In the afternoon they met with potential employers and were offered interviews or training where appropriate. As a result we have one client completing his security training, another looking at work with Mecca Bingo and another potentially starting work as a fork lift truck driver.

We have helped one of our clients to complete his NVQ 3 in plumbing and he has recently started a plumbing apprenticeship.

Recreational Activities:
Many clients have interests and hobbies that they would love to pursue. DoMore has helped 16 clients to do this since January by holding afternoon sessions.
The music session have been so successful that our very own DoMore band has formed and are currently practicing for their first gig
The cookery clients are planning to prepare a three course meal for 16 people here on Saturday 7th July where they will fundraise and raise awareness for Open Door.

Other Agencies
We have a very strong working relationship with the job centre as many of our clients find it difficult to attend appointments alone or to explain their circumstances and current needs. TDBC allow us to speak to them directly about housing benefit and bidding needs. We work closely with SDAS (Somerset Drugs and Alcohol) to help clients keep appointments and to pass on updates. Other agencies we are working more closely with include Probation, Foundation House, Rethink, Besom Trust, Dog's Trust, Cats Protection League, Acacia PGL, Reform, Somerset Skills and Learning, Taunton Area Debt Advice and many more.

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