Providing much needed support for people in Thurrock

About Open Door

Get to know more About Open Door. Since 1978 Open Door provided much needed valued services for the people in Thurrock. We help on average 4,500 people each year. Open Door was originally set up to provide help and support services for young people, families and vulnerable adults in Thurrock. As a local charity with well-established roots in the community, we develop and deliver very successful supportive services through collaborative partnership working, both with communities and other organisations, including Thurrock Council, Probation and Essex County Council.

Our Ethos

Constantly evolving services in direct response to local people’s needs, to work with people, and not on them.

Our Values

Our commitment to Social Value have been audited as providing £4.80 return for every £1 invested. We hold the, Social Value Quality Mark 1&2 and Approved Provider Standard for Mentoring & Coaching.

Open Door is committed to providing high quality, appropriate and valued services. As an organisation we recognise the need to constantly develop and be open to learn, from the people we work with, each other and the environments we operate within. We welcome the views of all, both positive and negative, to help develop and improve the organisation and the services we provide.

The values which underpin Open Door are:

  • To put our customers’ needs first and ensure our delivery is always based on them and not on what is convenient for us.
  • Justice, fairness and equality for all.
  • Challenge prejudice.
  • Valuing and recognising diversity both within the organisation as well as outside.
  • Professionalism- how we work with each other as well as outside agencies and clients.
  • Reliable and responsible.
  • Respect for service users as well as each other.
  • Being honest, open and clear with each other and our service users.
  • Being able to challenge each other appropriately.
  • Flexibility – to ensure our service users receive the best possible service and the organisation continues to succeed.
  • To value each other and the contributions we can make.
  • Fairness and consistency- following policies and procedures equally across all parts of the organisation.
  • Encouraging and supportive- helping each other in order that individuals and services are able to succeed.
  • To lead by example.
  • To empower our customers and help develop their independence.


Open Door governance is provided by a voluntary board of Trustees. The board meets Bi-monthly and works within the six principles of good governance, developed by the Charity Commission 2010. The Board employs a Chief Executive who is responsible for the day to day operation, management of staff and resources of the organisation- reporting directly to the Board.

The Board is made up of local people who are passionate about the aims of Open Door and helping the people we work with. Each year the Annual General Meeting is held, when the board are elected for a further 1-year term.

There exists 1 position for a Council nominated representative, who does not hold voting rights.


Open Door provides a range of needed and valued services that help people. It is committed to providing these in ways which encourage and build service user’s skills and social capital. There is however a fine line between helping people and doing for them. In the past there has been a tendency for many charities and the state to create dependency from service users on our help. Whilst this has helped address immediate problems it has also developed as an over reliance on ever reducing resources and often been detrimental to the long term wellbeing of those accessing help.

As an organisation Open Door believes that through allowing people to become dependent on our help and support we ultimately disempower them, taking away their control over situations and their ability to make decisions for themselves, making them reliant on long term help with any future problems. This can have a negative impact on self-esteem, confidence and increases vulnerability.

By supporting people to make informed decisions, providing tailored and tapering support we can help our service users to build their skills and social capital for the future. This means that many of our interventions are time limited with a tapering off, of the service as we prepare the individual to move forward with new skills and the resources that enable them to address recurrent and future issues with less intervention.

This is not only in the best interests of our service users but is also resource responsible. Allowing many more people to receive help as waiting lists are reduced and resources become available to others.

This does not mean that we provide short term responses and expect the service user to ‘get on with it’ but that we provide planned, staged, tailored support which involves a gradual moving on process encouraging people to take more control as they move through the service.