The Door Is Always Open

The Open Door Centre is a charity which takes an innovative approach to providing mental health support for young people on the Wirral.

The awards and recognition the charity has received is a sign if one were needed of how successful they have been in their pursuit of that aim.

Most recently, they were named as the charity with the Best Volunteer Team at the Steve Morgan Foundation’s Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony, at which Director Lee Pennington and Operations Manager Greg Edwards shared their experience and expertise with delegates in a presentation and during workshops.

The Steve Morgan Foundation has provided several grants to the Open Door Centre during their formative years, including a current three-year award to help fund Greg’s vital role.

“Our valued relationship with the Steve Morgan Foundation and the funding for this project is vital for us to carry out our mission around immediate mental health support for young people on Wirral delivered in creative and innovative ways,” said Lee.

“The role of Operations Manager is crucial within our organisation.

“This grant enables us to develop opportunities and that role which is integral for the running of the charity as it has gone through a period of substantial growth in the past year. 

“As we have grown in terms of the number of beneficiaries we have supported, staff numbers, volunteers and the projects we are involved in, the importance of managerial function has naturally grown.

“The Operations Manager role is varied in the sense that it involves working closely and supporting staff internally, recruiting, developing and training volunteers whilst also looking at the processes and interventions to ensure a beneficiary’s journey is as successful as possible.”

What is also vital about the role is that it isn’t just about looking after internal procedures and strategies.

It also allows for proactive work out in the community to try and ensure the Open Door Centre carries plenty of influence and can have a positive impact on as many people as possible. 

“The Operations Manager delivers a lot of training and awareness-based work in the wider community which enables our work to reach more beneficiaries than just in the centre alone,” adds Lee.

“This includes companies, community groups and educational organisations. 

“The role also entails supporting and working closely with the charity director which, as we have grown, has become increasingly important to share work, develop opportunities around projects and contracts, and ensure that our quality of work is maintained. 

“The Operations Manager is also important within the organisation at positioning the charity appropriately across the sector and ensuring that relevant change can be widely influenced across the borough in improving mental health treatment.”

One major strength of the Open Door right from its inception has been offering volunteering opportunities, particularly with those who initially access the charity for help and then end up turning a negative into a positive.  One case study submitted by the charity outlined how one visitor who suffered with severe anxiety throughout school went through training in mentoring and went on to become a Behaviour Mentor in a Merseyside school. Click here to read more about this in our previous feature.

So it was that they were named the charity with the Best Team of Volunteers at last month’s Steve Morgan Foundation awards, Lee and Greg picking up the accolade from trustee Ashley Lewis.

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