A pioneering initiative by two church members in Cove, Farnborough, is being supported with a grant of £2,000 from the Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation (BGF). ‘Open Door’ started as the vision of Sally Brett, a community worker and Sue Davis, a pastoral assistant at St John’s Church, Cove, to help those isolated by mental health difficulties, loneliness or struggling to cope with life for whatever reason. Currently there is little in the way of support for people in the area who have significant mental health issues.
Open Door provides a drop-in facility on the first three Wednesday evenings of each month and offers a listening ear, a place to make friends, signposting to other services and a home-cooked meal. Other activities have included have included bowling nights, gardening, crafts, model-making, live music and meals out. It also supports people outside group activity times and networks with other local mental health organisations and groups. The service is run by five volunteers. “Setting up this service has been a very challenging and rewarding experience,” says Sue. “Our first year has proved that the need is there and we feel that we are making a real difference to people’s lives. We are immensely grateful to BGF for the grant which will help with the costs of running the group – including training volunteers, food, equipment and transport for trips out.”
Grant-making by the BGF is managed through the Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS), an independent trust which is part of the national network of community foundations. By making grants through CFS, the Foundation is able to keep its costs to a minimum.
Find out more about the work of the Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation. You can also donate to the Foundation online.