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Posted on: 30th July 2015

Open Road Newsletter - On the road - Issue 13

Welcome to our summer newsletter, in which we continue to celebrate our 25th anniversary.


June is Recovery Month and all the centres have hosted a variety of events to celebrate service user’s successes. Here at head office we hosted a recovery lunch all sporting purple clothing to celebrate recovery.

Sadly in May, due to ill health our Vice Chair of Trustees, David Barron resigned after 7 years. Sadly he passed away on friday 3rd July. David was an extremely active Trustee, never missing board meetings and also an active member of the Personnel Sub Committee. He will be greatly missed, particularly his sharp sense of humour and of course, his expert attention to detail.

Lucy Lavender, our newest Trustee also resigned after a short period with Open Road.

Over the last three months, we have had a number of high profile visitors coming to our centres, which has raised our profile immensely. Hugo Fenwick, Director of the Fenwick Group, former High Sheriff of Kent, and owner of Williams and Griffin in Colchester visited head office in April to find out more about the work we do and was particularly interested in the SOS Bus. Baroness Angela Smith also visited Open Road head office in April prior to the general election. Lord Farmer who became a conservative peer in 2014 visited the Clacton centre and met a number of staff, volunteers, service users and recovery champions. Finally, our patron Robert Halfon, MP officially opened our new Harlow site in May.

Celebrating 25 years – we will be hosting a Charity Ball in celebration of 25 years of offering services to people with drug and alcohol problems. If you are interested in attending or know of anyone who is, please let me know. We are also looking for quality auction and raffle prizes, so if you can help, again please let me know, so that we can raise as much money as possible. The event will take place on Saturday 17th October at Le Talbooth in Dedham.

On 19th October we will host our AGM at Firstsite in Colchester, followed by our rewards and recognition event. In the afternoon we will be holding a staff engagement event for all staff and volunteers and will be looking for your ideas on the development of the new 3 year strategic plan.

Essex Stars – I know that it has been a challenging time for all staff at the Essex centres, with the co-location of colleagues from Essex Stars, sorting out accommodation and generally dealing with an increased number of service users coming through the doors. A big thank you to everyone for all your patience and for being so accommodating.

And finally again, I would welcome any comments and ideas anyone has on our services or items you would like to see in our forthcoming newsletters.