Open Door for Asylum Seekers and Refugees




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East Oxford Community Centre OX4 1DD




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About Us

Founded in 1999

Open Door is a drop-in service for refugees and asylum seekers at the East Oxford Community Centre. We are a small charity run by volunteers offering advice, information, support, recreational activities and a free lunch. We provide a welcoming environment for people to meet, make connections, chat to volunteers and friends, gain training and participate in the preparation of our hot lunch (with halal and vegetarian options). Tea, coffee, biscuits and fruit are also available.

Between 30 and 45 people use our service on Thursdays, from a range of countries including, Iran, Iraq (Kurdistan), Afghanistan, Algeria, Uganda, Syria, Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia. Some are young asylum seekers who are recent arrivals but the majority are older, more settled refugees. Other refugee groups using the centre also join us for lunch.

We provide on-going opportunities for refugees to do voluntary work and to learn new skills as we invite our users to participate in the planning and preparation of our lunch and to gain nationally-accredited Food Safety in Catering qualifications. We also provide recreational activities (pool, table tennis, and chess) which are very popular, culminating in an annual competition.

We display information and leaflets about other local services and as a hub we direct people to the relevant local resource that relates to their needs and interests. We make weekly referrals to local education and training providers and to other services for advice, support, counselling and/or mentoring.

We also provide a space for various partner organisations to access and support refugees and to provide satellite services in the community by giving health, housing and training support. Volunteers are on hand at Open Door to help people with applications, forms, letters, correspondence and phone calls.

We are extremely grateful to our supporters past and present. Our current supporters are: the Oxford City Council, St Michael’s and All Saints Charity, The Allen Lane Foundation and The Oxford Food Bank.

Oxford City Council Logo Allen Lane Foundation The Oxford Food Bank Logo



Registered Charity Number 1150626