TAUNTON homeless charity Open Door has received a £6,450 donation as it expands its service to offer clients creative therapeutic activities.

The windfall comes from NFU Mutual's £2 million Agency Giving Fund via the rural insurer's Rooksbridge agency.

It will enable Open Door to provide food, clothing, laundry, showers, warmth and company to the town's homeless community, as well as facilitating appropriate supported accommodation.

The charity is also expanding its programme of positive and creative therapeutic activities, with the belief that enabling people to be positively occupied and feeling good about themselves is crucial to getting someone off the streets.

Centre manager Mark Woodcock said: “We are so grateful for the concern and support being shown by NFU Mutual to some of the most vulnerable members of our community, and to the work at Open Door.

“As the pandemic begins to ease, we are sadly seeing an increase in the number of people who are homeless on our streets.

"Though still less than pre-lockdown numbers, the people on the streets now often have more complex needs, which, together with partner agencies, we strive to meet.

"This generous donation from NFU Mutual will help fund our work, and makes a huge difference to what we are able to offer."

Tony Monnington, senior agent at NFU Mutual Rooksbridge, said: “It was such an eye opener to go and visit the team at Open Door and hear about their vital work in supporting the homeless in Taunton.

"They continue to make a huge difference to our local community and we feel extremely proud to hear how our support has made an impact.”

NFU Mutual announced its £2million fund in February to help local frontline charities during 2021.