Introducing the founder of Open Door Stoke on Trent, Vanessa Renshaw who answered a calling to feed the homeless and vulnerable of Stoke on Trent.
The charity was founded in November 2013 with three other likeminded people, with a kettle and toaster and the support of St Marks Church in Shelton.
We are now a registered charity led by a board of trustees.
It has now grown into a large operation that offers two drop in sessions a food bank as well as clothes/furniture bank and a substance free house.
All of these are projects are organised and facilitated by our wonderful team volunteers.
Our two drop in sessions are:
Tuesday and Thursday - The Salvation Army, Bridge Street Newcastle under Lyme
Christ Church in Cobridge Stoke on Trent on a Friday morning.
We provide a non-judgemental safe environment along with support, advice and friendship.
During these drop sessions we aim to provide a hub of support under one roof where everyone is valued and welcome, along with serving a hot cooked meal and drinks to the vulnerable and homeless of Stoke on Trent and Newcastle under Lyme.
Our friends have an opportunity to leave the drop in with a food bag containing a meal and for those with no cooking facilities a “packed lunch” style food bag.
We are well supported each week by the Samaritans, Drug and Alcohol Support Workers and Mental Health.
The food, furniture and clothes banks are situated at our unit on the Spode factory site.
We are fortunate to be supported by organisations such as Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, and Greggs Newcastle who donate weekly to our food bank and drop ins, as do the general public.
Our volunteers ensure that the food and other items are sorted, stored and distributed accordingly.
Our Substance free house is a lovely addition to our charity and there is a page dedicated to it on our site.