Music was on the menu at local charity Opening Doors’ summer luncheon held at Harrogate’s Masonic Hall last Thursday (19 June 2014).
The charity’s guests, who are all older, disabled or have a sensory impairment, were entertained by singers from the Yorkshire Decibelles chamber choir.
The choir singers, who will sing their summer repertoire in Ripon Cathedral on 3rd July for a lunchtime Grand Depart concert, performed a number of popular pieces including Scarborough Fair and Hallelujah. Guests were invited to join in with well known songs, including a medley of wartime favourites.
The lunch guests were joined by newly inaugurated Mayor of Harrogate, Cllr Jim Clark, and Mayoress, Cllr Shirley Fawcett. The luncheon was one of a series of social events laid on by Opening Doors and raises money to support the day-to-day running of the charity. Opening Doors works with volunteers to provide accompanied support to local people helping them attend appointments, as well as access social and leisure activities.
Rachel MacKenzie, Service Co-ordinator for Opening Doors, said: Many people would like to go out more often but access to transport and lack of confidence to go out alone can often prevent them from doing so. Our service supports local people to help them get out and also provides social contact.
Susan Walker, who has been using Opening Door’s service for the past three years, said: I regularly receive support from Opening Doors to do my shopping and go to social events. I really appreciate the service they provide as otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get out much. I also like going out with the volunteers as they provide good company.
Opening Doors has been running for over 15 years and promotes independence for older people or those with a disability or sensory impairment in Harrogate. The service supports over 80 people and has a team of around 20 volunteers who enable the clients to get out and about. It is just one of the services provided by the Harrogate Easier Living Project (HELP) which was launched in 2011, bringing together three services which provide support for older people and those with a disability to remain independent in their own homes. Opening Doors along with Help at Home and Carers Time Off are partly funded by a Big Lottery Fund grant and are supported by an army of volunteers.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the service, or becoming a volunteer, should contact Rachel MacKenzie or Anna Woollven on 01423 813095 or firstname.lastname@example.org