Contact Us

Portland House

For all enquiries relating to accommdation for single homeless or vunerable aged 16-24, emergency food parcels and meal vouchers:

Phone: (01638) 600 699



Charity Superstores & Training Centres

For all donations, collections and purchases of furniture etc. volunteering and training opportunities:

Newmarket Superstore

Phone: (01638) 660 900
(use voicemail if engaged or out of opening hours)

‚ÄčAlternatively, phone Portland House on (01638) 600 699


Mildenhall Superstore

Phone: (01638) 718 036



Open Tuesday & Thursday, 10:00am to 4:00pm, Friday 10:00am to 12:00pm

Phone: (01638) 561 711  or  (01638) 600 699

Charity Enquiries

For all charity correspondence and enquiries, please contact:

Portland House
188 High Street
Suffolk CB8 9AP


Phone: (01638) 600 699




Newmarket Open Door is a charity providing homeless and vulnerable young people with supported housing and training opportunities in Newmarket. As well as our houses, we run two Charity Superstores and Training Centres in Newmarket and Mildenhall to fundraise and the local Foodbank to support the wider community.

Newmarket Open Door

Newmarket Open Door was inspired and founded by a local Churches Together initiative in 1997 and now manages and provides:


  • Portland and Hypher Houses – supported housing for young single homeless or vulnerable people aged 16-24.

  • The Charity Superstores and Training Centres  in Newmarket and Mildenhall, retailing donated furniture and household goods to the general public, providing volunteering opportunities for our residents and disadvantaged people from the wider community.

  • The Foodbank@newmarketopendoor redistributes food and household products to those in need, other charities and their members and a discounted meal voucher scheme for homeless people in emergency need.


"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me". (Revelation 3:20)

Aged 16-24, Homeless or Vulnerable?

We can help you with accommodation, food and support.

To enquire ring: (01638) 600 699 


Newmarket Charity Superstore

Telephone 01638 660 900

for all enquiries, including collections and deliveries 
Please leave a message on the voicmail if there is no answer, we will ring you back.

Alternative telephone; Portland House on 01638 600699 
Unit 2
Craven Way 
Charity store opening times 
Mon  10.00am - 4.00pm
Tue   10.00am - 4.00pm
Wed  Closed
Thur  10.00am - 4.00pm
Fri.    10.00am - 4.00pm
Sat    10.00am - 4.00pm 
Sun    Closed

Good quality, saleable donations can be left at Unit 5 Craven Way, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
10am to 2pm
Please do not leave donations at the door without talking to a member of staff.
 Never leave "donations" when the shop is closed, West Suffolk Council treat this as fly tipping and are liable to prosecute you. We must check your donations are suitable for sale, otherwise we will incur costs disposing on them; this can be very expensive.

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment if convicted in a Magistrates' Court. The offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to 5 years imprisonment if convicted in a Crown Court. Fly-tipping is illegal.

Mildenhall Superstore

Contact the Superstore
Telephone 01638 718036
for all enquiries, collections and deliveries 

Mildenhall Charity Superstore 
20A Hampstead Avenue
IP28 7AS
Opening times 
Mon      Closed
Tue      10.00am - 4.00pm 
Wed     Closed
Thur     Closed
Fri.       10.00am - 4.00pm
Sat       Closed 
Sun      Closed 


Supported Housing

"Not just a hostel, but a place to call home."

Where is our supported housing?

Portland House is situated in the High Street, Newmarket, a few minutes from the town centre shops and on the main bus routes to Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge.

Hypher House, at 28a Park Lane is within a few minutes walk of the High Street.

What is the accommodation like?

Portland House is comprised of three terraced houses: Portland, Cranworth and Windsor Houses at 186-188 and 184 High Street. There are now nineteen bed sitting rooms of varying sizes with shared showers & toilets.

The large kitchen is fully equipped with cookers, microwave, fridge/freeze and washing and drying facilities. Cranworth House at 186 contains the Open Door office and staff overnight accommodation.

Hypher House is a five bed-sit house with a shared kitchen/diner and bathroom with a resident caretaker.

Portland House (left), Cranworth House (centre),
Windsor House (right)

Who can apply?

Single people aged 16 to 24 are eligible with priority given to local applicants with connections to Newmarket and the Forest Heath and East Cambridgeshire District Council areas. However, the accommodation is not exclusive to those with a local connection and applicants from elsewhere have been successful if a need is demonstrated.

How to apply?

The accommodation is not direct access. Applications are submitted through the HRS Portal for 15 rooms funded by Housing Related Support from Suffolk County Council for the 16-21 age range. A further nine rooms are available for those 16-24, applications for which should be made through West Suffolk Council.

Supported referrals are welcomed from family members or social welfare organisations such as the local councils including Social Services, Youth Support Services, National Children’s Homes, Probation and other charities.

The Accommodation Manager or Deputy interview all applicants to assess suitability, taking into account their experience and need for support, current housing, if any, and future aspirations. Considerations are given to the mix of residents to maintain a peaceful environment but this is not to exclude those who have had a difficult past; rather to give prospective applicants a second or third chance.

How long will an application take?

Vacancies are rare at Portland House but applications are managed in advance to minimise waiting time and maximise capacity. The Allocations Panel is composed of representatives of Newmarket Open Door management, West Suffolk Council and the trustees of Open Door.

Successful applications are ranked in priority order.

Cranworth House

What other help is available?

Open Door also provides basic foods and beverages such as tea, coffee, squash, potatoes, bread, eggs, a variety of foods donated by local people and through our own Foodbank. Additional foods are donated from Tesco's, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and their customers.

Each room is furnished and Open Door is also able to assist with bedding, clothing, toiletries and home electrical goods for those in the greatest need.

Open Door is a gateway to other support agencies and can assist with:

  • Job searches
  • Career advice
  • Information on courses and training
  • Managing money and debts
  • Court appearances
  • Social activities
  • Applications for move-on accommodation

What must residents not do?

As well as paying rent there are a number of conditions of living at Portland House that are important to protect each resident’s right to the quiet enjoyment of their accommodation and encourage self-sufficiency and independence.

Overnight guests are not allowed and visitors are only permitted from 4pm to 10pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 10pm at weekends.

Alcohol and illegal drugs are banned and the use or storage on the premises will result in the termination of the licence.

Violent and offensive behaviour, physical and verbal, to staff or other residents are not tolerated and will also result in an eviction.

Windsor House

What must residents do?

  • Pay the rent.
  • Rooms must be kept clean and reasonably tidy. Regular inspections are undertaken.
  • And do their own washing up! But as a back-up we do have a dishwasher!

Why do we do this?

Open Door aims to provide a home for young people, supervised with a light touch and timely and proportionate help and assistance. This can be the second and third chance for some people that may help draw them away from antisocial and damaging activities and encourage self-respect to the mutual benefit of all. It does not work for everyone and may not work first time round but for many it has been a lifeline to a better place. Portland House is not just a hostel: many have been pleased to call this their home.

"When I came to Portland House I had nothing. When I left I had everything"

Housing Application Form

Suffolk County Council manages initial applications to Housing Related Support accommodation.

Click on the link below to visit their site and fill in the application form.

Newmarket Open Door has fifteen bed sitting rooms for young people 16 to 21, which are administered through Suffolk County Council's Housing Related Support.

Applications for a further nine rooms for young people aged 16 to 24 are made to West Suffolk Council.

Newmarket Charity Superstore




Unit 2
Craven Way

Opening Times 


10:00am - 4:00pm


10:00am - 4:00pm


10:00am - 4:00pm


10:00am - 4:00pm


10:00am - 4:00pm


10:00am - 4:00pm




We advise donors never to leave items at our stores when we are closed as they can be ruined in poor weather, stolen or vandalised. 
Always see a member of staff or volunteer when leaving a donation.
We do not take any plastic items, duvet or pillows (unless new), old electrical items, or anything not saleable in our store.

CCTV does operate in the area to record fly-tipping. 

Thank you for your understanding.



Call (01638) 660900 for enquiries, collections and deliveries.

Please leave a message on the voicemail.
Alternatively, telephone Portland House on 01638 600699

Mildenhall Charity Superstore

We also have a charity superstore located in Mildenhall



Hampstead Av.
IP28 7AS

Opening Times 


10:00am - 4:00pm 


10:00am - 4:00pm


10:00am - 4:00pm


10:00am - 4:00pm


10:00am - 4:00pm


Closed *


Closed *

*The store is also closed on bank holidays.



Call (01638) 718036 for enquiries, collections and deliveries.

Charity Superstore Application Form

Click on the PDF icon below to download the
Charity Superstore volunteer application form.

Application Form


Newmarket Charity Store Location

The Charity Superstore & Training Centre

"A home in the world of work"

What is it?

The Charity Superstore retails donated goods and provides a furniture collection and delivery service with assistance from volunteers and trainees.

Open Door aims to raise funds and provide informal training and support to disadvantaged people who may be between jobs, recovering from illness or substance misuse, and give them a home in the world of work.

The Charity Superstore is situated on an industrial estate owned by West Suffolk Council at Unit 2 Craven Way, Newmarket, the first turning off Depot Road.

Terry Waite (President), John Durrant (Former General Manager), Steve Maddox (Former Operations Manager) and Mike Webb (Former Woodworks supervisor) at the opening of the store.

When are we open?

Our opening times are 10 am to 4 pm six days per week. We are open on the Spring and Summer Bank Holidays. We are NOT open Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

What do we sell?

Open Door retails a variety of items including a wide range of furniture including sofas, beds, wardrobes, chests of drawers, bedside cabinets, dressing tables, armchairs, computer and small office desks, dining room tables, chairs, small display units, coffee tables, bookcases…

There is also a wide selection of clean clothing, bedding, curtains, table lamps, china, cutlery, glasses, mirrors, books, dvd's, cd's, records, small electrical household items and all manner of bric-a-brac. We do not sell plastic toys.

If someone had it then we may have had it, got it or may be able to get it. Just ask.


You are welcome to bring items to the Superstore during opening times, though also see a member of staff or volunteer before leaving a donation.

For those who need help in transporting donations, especially furniture, Open Door will arrange a collection from Monday to Thursday between 10 am and 3.30 pm. Collections outside of these times are also possible but not easy for us to organise.

Call 01638 660900 to book a collection. We offer pick-ups within an hour on an agreed date in order to try and minimise any disruption to your normal routine and to make effective use of our vans. Should there be last minute problems we will telephone you to rebook.

Where do we collect from?

Our collection catchment area is generally from Cambridge in the West to Bury in the East and Mildenhall in the North and towards Haverhill in the South. We do travel further afield for sizeable collections.

We deliver!

We charge for deliveries: £10 for Newmarket and immediate villages, £15 for neighbouring settlements. and by pre-agreed price for further afield.

What do we collect?

These are not exhaustive lists...

  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Bric-a-brac
  • Books
  • Electrical Equipment in good working order
  • White goods such as tumble dryers, cookers and washing machines in good working condition
  • DVD's, records, CD's and audio book tapes
  • Tools
  • Household linen
  • Curtains
  • Good china and glass
  • Soft furnishings (beds, mattresses, sofas etc with a valid 1988 fire safety label)
  • Working flat screen televisions

What we can't accept

  • Sofas and armchairs without valid GB fire labels
  • Baby car seats
  • Fridges freezers unless nearly brand new
  • Photocopiers
  • Gas bottles
  • TVs, unless flat screen
  • Liquids, including paraffin, petrol, paints and other inflammables
  • Video and music tapes
  • Christmas trees out of season!
  • Large flat pack items

How can you join us?

All volunteers and trainees complete an application form and are interviewed, receive induction training and undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

When can you redeliver?

You can volunteer any time between 10 am and 4 pm six days per week. Hours are flexible to suit volunteers and trainees.

What can you do?

  • Drive one of our vans, provided you are over 25 and have a clean driving licence
  • Help with collections and deliveries, providing you are able to lift a reasonable weight
  • Repair and upholster furniture
  • Sort and display bric-a-brac, clothing and furniture
  • And enjoy yourself: helping others helps yourself
  • Be our communications and social media volunteer

The Foodbank

In an emergency, please contact 

Newmarket COVID community helpline 01638 667 227


The Foodbank is part of Newmarket Open Door and redistributes donated foods and household products to those needing support through our Foodbank shop, as well as via other charities and voluntary and social welfare organisations. 

The charity also operates the Shop ‘n’ Share scheme with donation boxes at Tesco’s in Fordham Road and the Co-op in Elizabeth Avenue and Burwell. We also have collection points at the Town Council Offices in the High Street and at the Leisure Centre on Exning Road. We recieve regular and one-off donations from retailers, wholesalers and local churches, businesses and organisations, including Sainsbury, Waitrose and Tesco. 

We are a member of IFAN, Independent Food Aid Network, whose vision is of a country which doesn’t need emergency food aid and in which good food is accessible to all.


Foodbank Location

Unit 5
Craven Way


Opening Times 




10:30am - 1.30pm




10:30am - 2.30pm


10:30am - 12:30pm






Accessing the Foodbank

How can you access free emergency food?

You need to be referred to the Foodbank through one of the referring agencies, such as Citizens Advice, Job Centre, GP Surgery, Social Services, West Sullolk Council or a COVID Community emergency helpline e.g. 01638 667227.
The agency will provide you with a voucher number which you will need to use at the Foodbank session.

Access to the Foodbank shop is by appointment on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, by telephoning (01638) 561711 or the Open Door office on (01638) 600699.

Free School Meal Families
Please contact us on the phone or better still email if you would like some help to feed your family, it's not easy making ends meet and just any little surprise expense like a new tyre for your car can leave you short for those food essentials. We want to help you and make a little difference, so please get in touch.


What do we stock?

Our stock is variable depending on the donations but can include:

  • Tinned soups, meat, fish, beans, fruit and vegetables
  • Packet soups, flour, sugar and dried vegetables
  • Jars of gherkins, beetroots, olives
  • Frozen foods including ready meals
  • Fresh fruit, salads and vegetables
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Biscuits, cereal bars, chocolate, sweets and cakes
  • Cooking sauces, tomato sauces, chutney, mayonnaise, salad cream
  • Water, lemonade, squash, cola, juices, milk and other soft drinks
  • Cat and dog foods, tins, pouches, dried foods and litter
  • Soap powder, bleaches, washing up liquid, toilet cleaners, dishwasher tablets and other cleaning products
  • Shampoos, conditioners, toothpastes, soaps, shaving gels and other personal hygiene products
  • Seasonal items such as Easter Eggs and Christmas Puddings
  • Fresh bread, cakes, doughnuts, fruit and vegetables
  • And much more!

Why are these products available?

Wholesalers and retailers donate items for a variety of reasons:

  • Incorrect or changes to packaging
  • Discontinued products
  • Insufficient shelf life for distribution through shops
  • End of trial runs
  • Damage to outer packaging
  • Donations from Shop 'n' Share and other public sources
  • Passed Best Before End Dates

Please note that all items are dated with the advisory code ‘best before end’ that means that the manufacturer does not guarantee the quality after the end date. We do not handle 'Use By' items except for fresh vegetables.

Our suppliers are:

FareShare, supermarkets, wholesalers, caterers, churches and schools (especially at Harvest Festival), sponsors, clubs and other charities. We can collect larger quanties of food and groceries.

Our thanks to

Tesco & Waitrose Newmarket for their donations of fresh food through Fairshare
Co-op Store, Newmarket and Burwell
J Sainsbury for groceries from their distribution centres


Donations welcome

If you or your organisation or business would like to make a donation, as a one-off or on a regular basis please contact Charles Dore on (01638) 600699 or 07931 864018.

Shop 'n' Share

Tesco Newmarket and Co-op Newmarket have kindly provided collection facilities for customers to shop and share their donated food and toiletries to the foodbank.

How did the Foodbank begin?

Emmaus Cambridge and Jimmy’s Assessment Centre worked in partnership to form the Foodbank as an independent charity in 2001, opening in a small warehouse in Coldhams Road. It was probably the first Foodbank in this country along with one founded in Salisbury about the same time by a legacy left by Betty Trussell.

In 2008 the Foodbank moved to Newmarket to co-locate with Open Door and benefit from lower rent and larger premises. The two charities completed a merger in 2009.

Foodbank Location

Support Us

How Can You Help?

  • Donate furniture, good bric-a-brac, books, clothing and working electrical items to the Charity Superstore
  • Make a one-off or regular donation
  • Donate food and hygiene items
  • Tell your friends and family about Newmarket Open Door
  • Organise a social or fundraising event
  • Become a member
  • Volunteer at the Superstore, helping with sorting stock, display or repairs with hours to suit, or help with furniture collections or deliveries (download the Charity Superstore Application Form)
  • Volunteer at Portland House to lead a practical course or social event such as cooking, art or similar.
  • And of course go shopping at the Newmarket & Mildenhall Charity Superstores!

Volunteer Application Form

Click on the PDF icon below to download the
Volunteer application form.

Application Form


Gift Aid Application Form

Click on the PDF icon below to download the
Gift Aid application form.

Gift Aid
Application Form


Thank You!

Our thanks to the community of Newmarket and the district.

Without their generous advice, support and gifts, in cash and kind, large and small, Open Door would not be where it is today.

Donor Organisations

ACS, Exning
All Saints Landbeach
All Saints PCC Newmarket
Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge
Ashton Singers
Burwell Baptist Church
Burwell Community Print
Business in the Community, Newmarket
Cambridge Building Society
Cambridge Digital
Cambridge Evening News
Cambridge Foodbank
Cambridge Quakers
Cambridgeshire Recycling Network
Care Principles
Chase Charity
Checkmate Services
Cheveley Parish Choir
Cheveley PCC
Christchurch Newmarket
Colyer-Ferguson Charitable Trust
Dawe Charitable Trust
East Cambridgeshire District Council
Ebyon Trust
Edmondson Hall
Ely Cathedral
Emmaus Cambridge
Exning Methodist Church
Exning County Primary School
Exning St Martins PCC
Fairstead House School, Newmarket
Flagship Housing
Foley House
Forest Heath District Council
Forest Heath Crime Reduction Panel
Fordham Congregational Church
Hereward Housing
HPB Management Ltd, Newmarket
Injured Jockeys Fund
Jubilee Project
KB Servicing
Kirtling PCC
The Kitchen Choir (Stetchworth)
Lloyds TSB Foundation
Lynwood Associates
Michael Meeks

Marks & Spencer
Moulton Golfing Society
Newmarket Business Association
Newmarket Byerley Charitable Trust
Newmarket Catholic Church
Newmarket College
Newmarket Community Church
Newmarket Community Partnership
Newmarket & District Youth for Christ
Newmarket Journal
Newmarket Lions
Newmarket Local History Group
Newmarket Plant Hire
2nd Newmarket Rainbows
Newmarket Round Table
Newmarket Town Council
Peter Norman, local historian
Post Office
Probus Club
Racing Welfare
Robert Sayle, Cambridge
Salvation Army
St Agnes Church Newmarket
St Catherine’s Littlington
St Louis Catholic Middle School, Bury St Edmunds
St Mary’s Ashley
St Mary’s Hawkedon
St Mary’s Newmarket
St Mary’s Woodditton
St Peter’s Snailwell
Suffolk ACRE
Suffolk County Council
Suffolk Housing Society
The St Vincent de Paul Conference, Ely
Tony Jedrej, Photographer
Tuddenham Primary School
Tudor Trust
UGS Solutions
Unex Group
Waitrose, Newmarket

The History of Open Door

1997 - October

Formation of Newmarket Open Door with the first meeting of the Management Committee.
A supporter donated the first five pounds to start the company.

1998 - July

Registration as a Charity

1998 - October

Registration as a Company

1998 - 2000

Open Door undertook a number of fundraising events including:
  • A float was entered in the Newmarket Carnival
  • Sponsored walks and cycles
  • Sixties Night Dance
  • Quiz Night
  • Concert featuring local folk singer and songwriter Jancis Harvey
  • Festival of flowers and music

1999 - June

Winner of the Nationwide Regional Award for Voluntary Endeavour.

1999 - October

Opening of Portland House

The wife of local pastor and founder, Kevan Crane came across Portland House in the High Street and promoted it for conversion to a supported hostel. Forest Heath District Council financed the purchase and building works for Suffolk Housing Society with Open Door as the managing agent.

2001 - October

Opening of the Old Station Road Charity Shop

Following on from the successful regular fundraising stalls with donated goods in the Catholic Church car park Open Door leased 18 Old Station Road to retail donated quality furniture, bric-a-brac, clothing and books. The opening was supported by the Town Mayor, Cllr. George Lambton and Elvis!

Open Door was fortunate to have close links with Cambridge Emmaus, from whom the first van was purchased at a considerable discount, and for their invaluable advice and support.



Portland House

Through an internal re-organisation the house was adapted to provide eight rooms.

Supporting People Suffolk

Achieved accreditation and awarded contract with Supporting People to provide housing support.




Open Door took a lease on a small industrial unit at Craven Way to start WoodWorks! to provide informal training opportunities in furniture repair to disadvantaged people. The Lloyds TSB Foundation funded the cost of a part-time worker in the first year and many other local organisations made donations of finance and equipment The Round Table organised a pantomime horse race at the Racecourse. Open Door’s entry came second from last but the winner was a panto cow. Our calls for a steward’s inquiry went unheeded!



Finalist Cambridge Evening News Community Challenge Awards.


Newmarket Past and Present. Calendars of photographs depicting the changes to Newmarket landscape were put together to raise funds for Newmarket Open Door, with the help of local historian Peter Norman and photographer Tony Jedrej.


Winner of the Newmarket Business Association Award for Community Engagement.

2003 - April

Rockfield House

Open Door was appointed the managing agent of Rockfield House by Forest Heath District Council on the retirement of the resident wardens. This is a temporary contract as the Council is planning to replace the house with two smaller hostels in Newmarket and Mildenhall.


2003 - October

Chairman of Newmarket Open Door, Father Paul Hypher, retires and moves to Yorkshire. He hands over to John Morris.


Church Hall Sales

Open Door continued to build the furniture business, using three garages on loan and a redundant church at Fordham. Regular sales were held in the Catholic Church and the old parish room was filled to overflowing!


2004 - October

Cranworth House

Hereward Housing kindly permitted Open Door to occupy their redundant neighbourhood office pending negotiations of development agreement to link the two houses and create a further five rooms of accommodation. With the achievement of planning permission Open Door increased the number of units on site to ten.Terry Waite CBE first visited Open Door and formally opened the Cranworth House office. He signed a replica of the postcard, the only mail he received whilst in captivity for nearly five years in the Lebanon. John Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress which now hangs in pride of place in the office.



Runner Up Children’s Support Cambridge Evening News Community Awards.

2005 - July

Second Van

After a successful Business in the Community visit focussing on rural social exclusion Open Door was fortunate to receive another van donated by the Post Office.


2005 - August

Following the success of WoodWorks! the Charity Superstore and Training Centre was opened at Unit 2 Craven Way. In the past year over 38 volunteers have assisted the core staff in building its success. Conversion works have been undertaken with the support of the West Suffolk Crime Reduction Panel and the Cambridgeshire Recycling Network.

2005 - November

Windsor House

Open Door completed the purchase in November after raising the funds through a commercial mortgage and a further mortgage at a discounted rate through another charity. The use is currently limited to two lettable rooms pending a planning application for conversion to a house in multiple occupation to provide a further two rooms.


Terry Waite CBE

Terry agreed to support Open Door as our President and Patron and attended the first anniversary celebrations of the Charity Superstore.

Since opening in 1999, Portland House resident numbers have exceeded seventy.



In 2009, having obtained planning permission and signed a twenty-five year lease with Sanctuary Hereward Open Door completed the building works to link Portland and Cranworth Houses and provide six bed sitting rooms, replace the bathrooms with shower rooms and toilets, upgrade the kitchen, open up the Victorian staircase and insert a new door from the office in Cranworth.  This was funded by a large grant from Forest Heath District Council with further support from East Cambridgeshire and funds raised by Open Door.  The three houses of Portland, Windsor and Cranworth now have a capacity of nineteen rooms.

In addition to the restoration of the staircase, a Victorian fireplace was revealed and a section of old wallpaper preserved in situ in a Perspex frame.



Took over the running and management of Newmarket Recycling Centre after its funding was withdrawn by Suffolk County Council.

What is Newmarket Open Door?

Newmarket Open Door is a registered charity and limited company and was formed from a Churches Together initiative when a group of people wanted to do something more about homelessness in the district. One person made the first donation of a five-pound note and Open Door was born.

The trustees/directors are drawn from the congregations of Newmarket and district and offer themselves for endorsement at the annual general meeting of the members.

The trustees are:
Maureen Penney
David Staff
Cathy Staff
Ken Snare
Father Simon Blakesley (Chair)
Lyn Chapman
Val Russell
Father Christopher Smith
Ruth Kent

Charity Correspondent - Charles Dore

Independent Examiner: Geoff Mann

Minutes Secretary: Ruth Kent

Annual accounts and returns are available on the Charity Commission website:

The objects of the charity and limited company are 'the advancement of the Christian faith and education including the relief of persons experiencing poverty homelessness physical and mental disability and the provision of accommodation and support.'

Our President - Terry Waite CBE

Terry Waite was born in the county of Cheshire, England on the 31st May 1939.  He was educated locally and received his higher education in London.  On leaving college he was appointed as Education Adviser to the Anglican Bishop of Bristol, England and remained in that post until he moved to East Africa in 1969.  In Uganda he worked as Provincial Training Adviser to the first African Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi and that capacity travelled extensively throughout East Africa.

Together with his wife Frances and their four children he witnessed the Amin coup in Uganda and both he and his wife narrowly escaped death on several occasions.  From his office in Kampala he founded the Southern Sudan Project and was responsible for developing programmes of aid and development for this war-torn region.

In 1972 he responded to an invitation to work as an International Consultant to a Roman Catholic Medical Order and moved with his family to live in Rome, Italy.

From this base he travelled extensively throughout Asia, Africa, North and South America and Europe both conducting and advising on programmes concerned with Institutional Change and Development, Inter-Cultural Relations, Group and Inter-group Dynamics and a broad range of development issues connected with both health and education.

In 1980 he was recruited by the Archbishop of Canterbury and moved to Lambeth Palace, London where he joined the Archbishop’s Private Staff. In his capacity as Adviser to the Archbishop he again travelled extensively throughout the world and had a responsibility for the Archbishop’s diplomatic and ecclesiastical exchanges.  He arranged and travelled with the Archbishop on the first ever visit of an Archbishop of Canterbury to China and has responsibility for travels to Australia, New Zealand, Burma, USA, Canada, The Caribbean, South Africa, East and West Africa to name but a few places.

In the early 1980’s he successfully negotiated the release of several hostages from Iran and this event brought him to public attention.  In 1983 he negotiated with Colonel Ghadafi for the release of British hostages held in Libya and again was successful.  In January 1987 while negotiating for the release of Western hostages in Lebanon he himself was taken captive and remained in captivity for 1,763 days, the first four years of which were spent in total solitary confinement.

Following his release on 19th November 1991 he was elected a Fellow Commoner at Trinity Hall, Cambridge where he wrote his first book Taken On Trust.  This quickly became an international best seller and headed the lists in the UK and elsewhere.  Following his experience as a captive he decided to make a career change and determined to give himself to study, writing, lecturing and humanitarian activities.

His second book, Footfalls In Memory was published in the UK in 1995 and again was a best seller.  His latest book published in October 2000 Travels With A Primate is a humorous account of his journeys with Archbishop Runcie.  He has contributed articles to many journals and periodicals ranging from the Reader’s Digest to the Kipling Journal and has also contributed articles and forewords to many books.  He was elected Visiting Fellow to Magdalen College Oxford for the Trinity term 2006.

Since his release he has been in constant demand as a lecturer, writer and broadcaster and has appeared in North and South America, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa and throughout Europe.  There has been a particular interest in the lectures he has delivered relating to his experiences as a negotiator and as a hostage to the pressures faced by executives and managers.

Stress, loneliness and negotiating under acute pressure are but some of the issues with which he has unique experiences and his ability to communicate clearly and with good humour has meant that he is in constant demand as a speaker not only to the Business Community, but also to professionals in social work, education and the medical field as well as to religious groups.  He maintains an ongoing interest in current humanitarian and political affairs.

Some of his responsibilities include

  • Founder President of Y Care International, the international relief and development agency of the YMCA in the UK and Ireland.  Y Care International works in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East to empower disadvantaged young people to lift themselves and their communities out of poverty.  Much work is done to assist street children.  In India there are several Terry Waite Vocational Training Centres. Founded 1984
  • Trustee, since 1986, of the Butler Trust (work within UK prisons).  The Terry Waite award is given annually to those who work effectively with long term prisoners
  • President of Emmaus UK, an international charity working with homeless people.
  • Trustee of the FreePlay Foundation, the Foundation primarily concerned with the development of self-sustainable energy in the Third World
  • Member of the Advisory Council of Victim Support.  An agency assisting those who have been victims of violent crime
  • Founder Chairman of Hostage UK (since 2005), a charity providing support for hostage families and encouraging research into post release care and related issues
  • Chairman of Prisons Video Trust (since 1998) a charity that makes videos for distribution throughout the Prison Service for both prison staff and inmates covering issues such as drug prevention, suicide awareness, self harm and information of interest to those working and residing in HM Prisons
  • Ambassador for WWF-UK
  • President of NICRO (National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders) UK Trust for a safer South Africa, since 2000
  • Vice President Suffolk Association of Local Councils since 1999
  • Vice President East Cheshire Hospice since 2001
  • President International Friendship League since 2000
  • President of the Suffolk Branch of Far East Prisoners of War Association
  • Member of the Advisory Board of Gorton Monastery since 2003
  • President of the International Musical Eisteddfod at Llangollen, Wales from 2006

Patron of

  • The Abbeyfield (Ipswich) Society since 1996
  • Amnesty International Human Rights Action Centre since 1997
  • Bishop Simeon C R Trust (incorporating the Living South Africa Memorial) since 1993
  • The Bridge Project Sudbury Appeal, since 1999
  • The British Friends of Neve Shalom – Wahat al-Salam, since 2003
  • Bury St Edmunds Volunteer Centre, since 1994
  • Canterbury Oast Trust
  • Children with Aids Charity, since 2004
  • COFEPOW (Children and Families of the Far East Prisoners of War)
  • Coventry Cathedral International Centre for Reconciliation, since 2000
  • English Springer Spaniel Welfare, since 1998
  • Friends of Commonwealth Institute
  • Friends of the John Bunyan Museum, since 2005
  • Friends of the Samaritans, Bury St Edmunds Branch
  • Habitat for Humanity, since 2004
  • Kingswood Foundation
  • Langley House Trust, since 1999
  • Lewisham Environment Trust, since 1996
  • The One to One Children’s Fund, since 2001
  • One World Broadcasting, since 1987
  • Rapid UK, since 2004
  • The Romany Society, since 1997
  • Save Our Parsonages, since 1999
  • Strode Park Foundation, since 1988
  • Sunderland Counselling Services, since 2004
  • Tymes Trust (the Young ME Sufferers Trust) since 2005
  • Uganda Society for Disabled Children, since 1995
  • Underprivileged Children’s Charity, Bristol, since 2003
  • Warrington Male Voice Choir, since 1996
  • West Suffolk Voluntary Association for the Blind, since 1998
  • And many other organisations

Some of the awards he has received

  • Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) 1982
  • Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) 1992
  • Templeton UK Award 1985
  • Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal 1992
  • Doctor of Civil Law University of Kent at Canterbury 1986
  • Doctor of Civil Law University of the City of London 1992
  • Doctor of Law University of Durham 1992
  • Doctor of Law Liverpool University 1992
  • Doctor of Civil Law University of Sussex 1992
  • DHC, Yale Divinity School 1992
  • Hon LHD Wittenburg University 1992
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, University of Southern Florida 1992
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Virginia Commonwealth University 1996
  • Honorary Doctor of Philosophy, Anglia Polytechnic University, 2001 (renamed Anglia Ruskin University 2005)
  • Honorary Doctor of Letters, Nottingham Trent University 2001
  • Honorary Doctor of Letters, De Montford University 2005
  • Freedom of Canterbury 1992; Lewisham 1992

Contact Us

Portland House

For all enquiries relating to accommdation for single homeless or vunerable aged 16-24, emergency food parcels and meal vouchers:

Phone: (01638) 600 699



Charity Superstores & Training Centres

For all donations, collections and purchases of furniture etc. volunteering and training opportunities:

Newmarket Superstore

Phone: (01638) 660 900
(use voicemail if engaged or out of opening hours)

‚ÄčAlternatively, phone Portland House on (01638) 600 699


Mildenhall Superstore

Phone: (01638) 718 036



Open Tuesday & Thursday, 10:00am to 4:00pm, Friday 10:00am to 12:00pm

Phone: (01638) 561 711  or  (01638) 600 699

Charity Enquiries

For all charity correspondence and enquiries, please contact:

Portland House
188 High Street
Suffolk CB8 9AP


Phone: (01638) 600 699