How many people work for The Door? That’s a question I get asked quite often, sometimes when I’m talking to business leaders, sometimes in applications for funding, sometimes in general conversation. I’ll be honest, its not the easiest question to answer. It starts pretty easily – there’s myself, Graham & Pat, Anne & Lizzie behind the scenes, then there’s James, Annie and Sam, David, Emma, and the newbies Francesca & Kathleen (welcome to the team guys!) our amazing Youthworkers. In Family Support are Victoria, Shelagh (who’s leaving this month, we’re sad to see you go) and the ‘contract mentors’ Paul, Dawn and Sandra. Running the Tranzform shop are Anne and Susan, and last but no means least is Pete who keeps the place clean and tidy (no mean feat with the rest of us and hundreds of young people, parents and customers around). That’s 20!

But that’s not the end of it, because the team is much bigger, and more complex, than that. We have volunteers. Volunteers in the shop sorting, steaming and serving. Volunteers in mentoring and family support listening, empathizing and enabling. Volunteers in our three youth centres engaging, encouraging, befriending. Volunteers helping at events unloading, marshaling, chatting. Volunteer trustees overseeing, governing, praying. Volunteer street collectors standing, waiting, collecting. Volunteer prayer-warriors praying, praying, praying.

We stand on the time and commitment of every single one of these amazing volunteers who give their time, energy and devotion to the work of The Door. Being a volunteer isn’t always easy – trying to fit this into everything else that goes on in life is tough. Psalm 127 starts “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain” and it is important that every volunteer understands that, because The Door is the Lord’s ‘house’ nothing that they do, no single small effort, is every in vain – every contribution makes a difference in the lives of young people and their families.

So, I’d like to say a personal “thank you” to each and every volunteer – you are the team, I might not be able to count you all, but I know I can count on you all. You’re amazing! I love you, Jesus loves you. Thank You!

We don’t labour in vain