What is the Open Door Centre?
On 17 March the Trustees of the award-winning Open Door Centre took the painful decision to close the Centre to the public with immediate effect. This was in response to the latest guidance from Public Health England aimed at containing the spread of Covid 19.
In the almost three years since the Centre opened in May 2017 there had been some 40,000 visitors to the Centre. About half of these were people who dropped in to the Centre’s café open Tuesday to Friday and Saturday morning each week. They were able to enjoy the delicious snacks which were available all day and lunch, the full menu of which can be seen at this link.
Local community groups including the Chipping Barnet Day Centre for the Elderly, Age UK Barnet, Barnet Citizens Advice, Barnet U3A, a Dementia Choir along with exercise and dance classes as well as informal groups met regularly in the Centre. The Centre was also used for community group meetings, celebratory lunches and teas and children’s parties.
For the moment all these activities have had to stop. We look forward, however, to reopening at some point in the future and to welcoming back the literally hundreds of visitors each week whose company we so enjoyed and which we greatly miss.
The Trustees of the Centre (see link for details) have recently agreed plans for the final phase of the redevelopment of the Centre. This will see the insertion of a new first floor and the extension of the ground floor at an estimated cost of £700,000.
The ground floor extension will enable the Centre to cope more efficiently with the hundreds of visitors who drop in each week. As a result, there will be more space in the kitchen for food preparation as well as more storage space.
The new first floor will be at the heart of Christ Church’s vision for compassion ministries.
It will accommodate: the food bank currently run by the Church; an area where visitors can obtain one-to-one support and advice on, for example, benefits, finance, immigration and legal matters; a meeting room for church use or community hire, as well as use as a winter night shelter; and a reception area with space for showers, toilets, a washing machine and a demonstration kitchen.
If you would like to find out more about the Centre or have any questions please do contact us