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Posted on: 17th January 2011

Open Road awarded Investing in Volunteers honour

Award for volunteer work celebrates 20 Years of Open Road

Open Road, the Essex based drug and alcohol charity, is celebrating its 20 Year Anniversary in 2010 and has just been presented with the Investing in Volunteers award for its commitment to volunteering. The honour is awarded by Volunteering England to voluntary groups who show a commitment to supporting the role of volunteers in their organisation.

Open Road began life 20 years ago from a front room in Colchester, founded by pioneering local residents Bridie and Richard Ashrowan. Since 1990, Open Road has expanded to become one of the largest providers of drug and alcohol treatment services in the East of England.

Open Road relies upon volunteers to fulfil much of its work and their dedication and support help to complement a professional employed workforce. Open Road volunteers undertake a number of roles including volunteer drugs workers, volunteer mentors, volunteer fundraisers, volunteer admin workers and SOS Bus volunteers.

Open Road has helped thousands of individuals and families change their lives and get them back on track

In its 20 year history, Open Road has expanded across Essex and now has bases in Colchester, Clacton, Braintree, Chelmsford, Brentwood, Basildon and Harlow. Open Road provides outreach services across the county to ensure that everyone can access the vital support we provide.

Open Road’s services are completely free and confidential. Open Road offers advice, information and support for anyone affected by drugs and alcohol, we operate drop-in services, assessment, harm minimisation and a range of treatment options from one to one to group work and family support.

Open Road also runs the Colchester SOS Bus a service staffed totally through volunteers. The service is co-ordinated by a full time employee and night time shifts on the SOS Bus on Friday and Saturday nights in Colchester Town Centre are run by volunteers, now a familiar and indispensable sight in their high visibility yellow uniforms.

Sarah Wright, Chief Executive, who has been with Open Road for 17 of the past 20 years, said “Open Road has grown over the last 20 years from the very small service it once was in Colchester. Everyone involved in Open Road, both past and present, should be congratulated for their contribution. Open Road has helped thousands of individuals and families change their lives and get them back on track.”

Notes to Editors:

Open Road is a registered charity and leading provider of drug and alcohol treatment services in the East of England. In 2015 Open Road will be celebrating 25 years of delivering high quality services to empower individuals and families to recover from the harmful impact of drugs and alcohol. Every year Open Road helps thousands of individuals and their families to combat their drug and alcohol addictions, offering a range of one to one support, group therapy and harm reduction services. Open road currently employs over 100 staff and has a team of over 200 volunteers who actively support our work.

For further information about Open Road please contact us.