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Posted on: 4th June 2018

Open Road Newsletter - On the road - Issue 24

Welcome to our May newsletter


Open Road held a very successful conference on steroid use at Weston Homes Community Stadium in April with over 80 delegates. We had some fantastic speakers, which included Jim McVeigh from Liverpool John Moores University; Professor Susan Backhouse from Leeds Beckett University; Dr Ian Boardley from University of Birmingham; Katinka Van da Ven and Kyle Mulrooney from University of New South Wales and Dave Crosland from Crosland Harm Reduction Services. The day was chaired by Nick Alston, Open Road Trustee. Guests included many health professionals and officers from Police forces across the country. Bryan Burrough the new High Sheriff of Essex was also in attendance, along with colleagues from Essex University.

Sadly, Jack Tinson, a long term supporter and funder of Open Road, passed away in February, aged 94. He will be very sadly missed by all who knew him.

We are currently having a new website built as a result of funding from Transform Foundation in partnership with Raising IT. We hope this will be completed in the autumn.

We were delighted to host a lunch time visit for our patron Robert Halfon MP at our Harlow centre in March, where he came along to meet staff, volunteers and service users to find out more about our services. Thank you Robert, for all your support.

Congratulations to Laura Spink Bates for winning not one, but two High Sheriff’s awards in March. Firstly Laura was nominated by our Commissioner, Essex CRC, and presented with High Sheriff’s Interventions Award and then won the High Sheriff’s Prize for the overall winner 2018. Well done, Laura.

Congratulations also to Steve Wood who won the overall Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners award at their conference in March. Well done, Steve.

Open Road also received a High Sheriff’s award for the Chelmsford and Colchester SOS buses, along with a very nice cheque to purchase new uniforms for our valued volunteers.

Anna and I presented at a recent Chamber of Commerce business breakfast, where we told guests all about the numerous projects we deliver throughout Essex. We also launched our new “Wellbeing in the workplace” initiative. This new initiative is to raise additional funds to support the charity, offering a range of services to local businesses. We await our first commission.

Our annual Charity Ball has been organised for Saturday 15th September at Le Talbooth in Dedham. This is a great fundraiser, last year we raised over £12,500. If you would like to come along and join in the fun, please contact Nici Hardie on 01206 369782 to purchase tickets or donate an auction or raffle prize. Tickets are £65 per head and tables are of 10 or 12 guests.

Our AGM is booked for Monday 15th October at Weston Homes Community Stadium in Colchester. This is a breakfast event commencing at 8.30am. The Speaker will be confirmed in due course. We look forward to seeing you there.

And finally, in October this year, the Colchester SOS Bus celebrates 10 years of offering welfare and medical services on Friday and Saturday nights in Colchester town centre. We are celebrating this on Friday 26th October along with colleagues from BBC Essex radio. The bus will be in the High Street between 11am - 4pm, so please do come along to celebrate with us and find out more about the services we offer.

Our next newsletter will be published in August, 2018, so please do let me have any interesting articles you wish to have published.

Best wishes,

Sarah Wright, Chief Executive