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        We are proud to announce that we are now an award winning charity as of 2016 after winning the prestigious Expert Citizens Insight Award.

        The Expert Citizens are an independent group of people who have all experienced multiple needs – combinations of mental health and homelessness, addiction and offending behaviour.
        They use their unique skills and experience to be the voice of others.
        By sharing their experiences with services within Stoke on Trent to help guide and shape and improve the care of multiple needs citizens, they also raise awareness and reduce stigma and challenge stereotyping.
        They work in partnership with Voices a £10 million city wide partnership funded by Big Lottery. Open Door was incredibly proud to be awarded the certificate of achievement award 2016.
        This is a prestigious Voices award for leading others and a bench mark for good practice within the third sector.
        The award is a testament of good practice for those that are supporting the vulnerable and those with multiple needs, and setting a bench mark for colleagues to follow and generously passing on the skills and experience that they have developed.
        This is a testament to all the hard work and dedication of our wonderful volunteers.


        I was blown away by the warmth of the welcome that I received when I visited the Open Door Project and was delighted to see that the same welcome was offered to every single person who came into St Mark’s!

        This is exactly how it should be – Christians joining forces with other Community Groups to offer support to some of the most needy in our Community. I would want to thank all who are giving their time as Volunteers and congratulate them on providing an excellent Project!

        Our Patron, The Rt Rev'd Geoff Annas, Bishop of Stafford

        Paul is one of our residents at our substance free house and this is his recovery journey told in his own words.

        I had a very unsettled child hood as there were frequent housing moves and I was being brought up around substances and behaviour not suitable for children to be exposed to.
        I found that I had trouble fitting in at school. I was excluded from school in my first year of high school and had to be home schooled, due to wanting to be the class fool.
        I ended up going to live with my Nan, which was a positive move for me as she was a lovely lady but was not strong enough to control me.

        I was 12 years old when I first got into substances: lighter fuel, glue and gas.
        I stopped this when my cousin died doing the same thing but unfortunately I then started to drink and take amphetamines.
        I thought that this was helping with my confidence but the negative side was that I started to commit crime under the influence.
        This was usually taking cars without the owner’s consent, too many times to count.
        I first served a sentence at the age of 13 and then went on to serve many, many more. I often offended knowing that I would be sent to prison as this was better than living on the street.

        I am now 40 and have only ever spent 2 birthdays and Christmases out of prison.

        I think that the best move I ever made was moving into Open Doors substance free house and engaging with the support on offer and working with Voices.
        I have now been out of prison for 6 months this is the longest I have ever been out of prison and believe that it is a result of the input from these two organisations.
        I now volunteer at Open Door doing Friday and Monday drop ins as well as sorting things in the food/furniture and clothes bank and doing collections.
        This keeps my mind occupied, it also helps me to give something back as all that I have ever done in the past is take.
        Everything is good and I am now looking forward to a positive future.


        Linda A really warm and friendly atmosphere x
        Martyn Nice to be here chilled atmosphere!
        Neil I have been to Open Door for the second time today and found it brilliant. Kind and friendly. When I walk away I feel great. Thank you very much.
        Sanjay A very valuable service. Very warm, friendly and helpful.
        Ray Love the hot chocolate and can't wait to wash up!
        William I was a bit scared at first when I first came, but now I feel at home.
        Sibanda Open Door is a brilliant friendly place. I feel more than welcome - I wouldn't be here if it wasn't like that!
        Miriam When I come here I feel free with people I meet.They are so helpful and kind to me. They give me everything I need.
        Dave I really appreciate what has been done for me. Generosity and welcoming - amazing.