Interview: Open Door

Following their Mornings With radio show last month, we’re excited to sit down with one of Merseyside’s most dynamic and progressive independent charities, Open Door! A multi-award winning resource by young people, for young people, ODC aim to shape change within the lives of individuals and communities. They operate both regionally and nationally, by applying innovation and creativity within everything that they do. Based in Birkenhead’s Bloom Building, ODC deliver a holistic range of services on a membership format within empowerment, culture and opportunity, creating a place and space which is completely unique. Find out more about their ethos, their various services and how to get involved below… 

Hi folks! Hope you’re well. Can you please tell us about the Open Door charity?

We’re great thank you, hope you are too. 

Of course. Open Door is one of Merseyside’s most dynamic and progressive independent charities committed to shaping change in mental health. We’re based in Birkenhead, delivering a holistic and creative programme of services that support the wellbeing and mental health of young people and families, using innovation, arts and culture as a catalyst for change. All of our opportunities and services are free of charge, with no waiting lists for any of our experiences. We are committed to providing free, fast and effective mental health support at the point when people need it most, to ultimately save lives. In the last year we’ve supported over 1,000 young adults in Merseyside and across the country. 

How important were your services throughout the pandemic and each lockdown? Were you able to provide remote support?

Our services were so crucial to young people across the community throughout the pandemic. We were fortunate to have the ability to remain open for the majority of the last 2 years when many organisations weren’t able to, leaving a long-lasting trust for Open Door in the community. 

We created a totally bespoke lone worker version of our core 8-week CBT & Mindfulness, Bazaar, so we were able to respond very quickly to the demand for services. This made sure that no young people were left unsupported. 

What sort of programmes do you run at Open Door?

We run a variety of creative and holistic offers. ‘Bazaar blends elements of CBT, Mindfulness and more, to help young people and adults aged 17-30 to understand their minds. It offers training skills, tools and techniques to support yourself now and in the future. 

Colours’ is our newest initiative, which provides support and guidance whilst helping people to build resilience so they can tackle the various struggles life may throw up. Colours aims to capture issues at the earliest opportunity, so that people can move forward in a positive way.

Oomoo’ is a reimagining of what emotional wellbeing and support can be for young people in The Wirral. It’s built around the ethos of putting young people themselves in the driving seat of what is built around them, and shaping change within their own lives. Creative classes, therapeutic interventions, peer support and shared experience underpin this exciting shift in the status quo in this sector.

Can you please tell us a bit more about the building you’re housed in?

Bloom Building has been our home for 3 years now. It’s unofficially the most colourful building in Merseyside. Bloom sits at the heart of our community, providing a safe space for everyone that walks through its doors. It houses music, art and culture, as well as a community listening ear and supportive arms for whoever needs it. 

What kind of events do you put on at Bloom Building and how are they integrated with Open Door’s ambitions?

Our mission is to provide a safe space for everyone. This is reflected in Bloom’s event programming, which includes everything from life drawing and independent fairs, to open mic nights and our brand new LGBTQ+ social and support group ‘Apertura’. 


And there’s space beyond the Bloom Building now too! Tell us a bit about Lüft. 

Lüft is home to Oomoo. Its space was totally co-designed by those using it. Lots of exciting activities go on in here for all Oomoo members to get involved with. We also have a very exciting new addition to our campus coming soon, so keep an eye on our socials. 

What else do you have planned for 2022? How can we get involved?

For us and the community, 2022 will bring the first year of a true sense of normality since the pandemic. We want to harvest our mission to be the most responsive, creative and welcoming organisation of its kind. For us, this is and always will be the most important thing we can continue to achieve. Exciting, new events are released at the beginning of each mont, so keep an eye on Open Door and Bloom’s socials.

Be sure to follow Open Door to keep up to date with all of their exciting projects – you can also apply to become a mentor yourself, here. In the meantime, listen back to their Mornings With show on Melodic Distraction Radio below!