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Posted on: 22nd November 2016

Open Road Newsletter - On the road - Issue 18

Welcome to our final newsletter for 2016. Since our last newsletter, which was published in August, we have had a very exciting three months, facing a number of challenges and achieving some fantastic successes. So to begin:

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Our Essex Contract (Choices) went out to tender earlier in the year, so a team from Open Road, along with our partners at The Children’s Society spent many weeks during the summer working on the bid to ensure that we retained the contract. I am delighted to announce that we successfully retained this contract scoring 91% - our best winning bid to date!! Thank you to Ben Hughes, Head of Commissioning Public Health and Wellbeing.

This year our Charity Ball took place on Saturday 1st October at Le Talbooth in Dedham. We raised a record £13,500. A great night was had by all and we were delighted to welcome some very distinguished guests and supporters, including Stephen Kavanagh the Chief Constable for Essex, Roger Hirst the Essex Police & Crime Commissioner, the former Police & Crime Commissioner for Essex, Nick Alston and many more.

This was followed by our AGM on Monday 17th October, held at Firstsite in Colchester. 157 guests attended, including our Patron Sir Bob Russell, Mayor of Colchester Cllr Julie Young, Deputy Mayor of Colchester Cllr Gerard Oxford, Deputy Chair of Essex County Council John Jowers, Head of Commissioning for Health & Wellbeing Ben Hughes, Deputy PCC Jane Gardner. Our guest speaker was John Niland, CEO of Provide who gave an informative account of all the many services Provide deliver across the county and some innovative ideas on how to ensure you recruit and retain the best possible staff, touching on the many partners, including Open Road, that Provide work with.

After the main AGM meeting, we conducted our staff and volunteers annual Rewards and Recognition Ceremony, where staff and volunteers were recognised and received awards for going the extra mile, long service, best team and much more. Please see more on pages 4.

The Come Back Café opened in Clacton led by a team of committed recovery champions. Colchester also opened our rst Saturday recovery café with generous funding provided by ACE. A very big thank you to all involved for providing this much needed additional service, especially to Emma Shaw.

Sadly two of our Trustees resigned from the Board during the summer - Anne Carpinteiro and Sven Wair. A big thank you to both of them for all they have done and contributed to Open Road - they will be missed.

My husband and I (sounds a bit like the Queen) were honoured to be invited by John Aldridge, Chair of Essex County Council to the Chair’s Reception - this event took place at Chelmsford City Race Course in September. It was a really fun evening, meeting lots of new people and chatting to some very high pro le guests, including Lorna Rolfe, High Sheriff of Essex.

Night time economy Police Conference - Steve Wood and myself attended this conference at Chelmsford City Race Course in September, along with the SOS Bus. It was one of the best conferences I have attended in years, with some excellent speakers and also some very positive feedback and publicity for Open Road and our SOS Bus.

Partnerships and secondments - due to the success of our two seconded staff to NEPT for a three month period, this has now been extended until the end of March 2017 which has strengthened our partnership with the Trust and the rest of our treatment colleagues, including of course, The Children’s Society, Action on Addiction (SHARP), Phoenix Futures (Foundation 66 and OCAN), Dimensions and many more.

Our next newsletter will be published in February 2017, so please contact me if you wish to include any interesting articles.