This month’s Directors Chair comes from Barrie Voyce, Business Development and illuminate Director

Volunteers Week is celebrated nationally, during the first week of June every year and has traditionally been a time for us at The Door to celebrate the diversity of our volunteering roles, and the wonderful contribution each volunteer makes to our impact and success. Despite Lockdown, this year is no different, although some of the volunteering going on is quite different from how it has been in the past.

We were blessed in that, earlier on in 2020 The Cotswold Primrose Trust gave us a grant to establish our Mentoring Gateway programme; a suite of services including telephone support for young people. We’d been trialling this service with a group of volunteers for several months – initially designed as a “holding programme” for young people awaiting a full mentoring relationship, young people were offered a weekly phone call with a trained volunteer. Not only had we established a need for this service beyond our original scope, but we’d developed the practices, protocols and procedures necessary. When mentoring face-to-face was no longer an option, it was fairly straight forward for us to enable our volunteers to offer “virtual” mentoring as an option. Its been amazing to see the team respond and adapt to this new way of working, and we’ve moved from considering this to be merely a way of keeping relationships going to seeing some incredible outcomes from young people as they get supported over the phone.

Social Distancing also meant we were unable to run some of our fundraising events, including street collections and concerts. When we launched #KeepTheDoorOpen we anticipated a hole in our income of around £30,000 between March and June The incredible enthusiasm of volunteers signing up for the #100kinMay challenge has been humbling, their efforts to run, cycle or walk throughout the month has raised nearly £10,000 towards that deficit. With over 50 participants giving time each day towards The Door is wonderful, and we are grateful to everyone one of them.

As the social distancing measures ease, we will be following government guidelines very closely. We hope we can reopen our shop some time before the end of this month, but doing that will once again rely on the generosity and commitment of our volunteers, who have been patiently waiting in the wings while we have had to be closed.

And finally there are our committed board of Trustees – overseeing the transformation of The Door throughout this with the same love, care and diligence they always show, plus dealing with property sales, contract discussions, and changes to government policy over zoom. We’ve even managed to recruit a couple of new trustees through this time too!

We really couldn’t do it without any of our amazing volunteers. So thank you to each and every one of you for giving up your time and resources for those other than yourselves.

Staying at home in Social Isolation is taking its toll on all of us. Whether you’re a young person struggling with learning at home and missing your friends or a parent trying to juggle the demands of working from home and educating your children, The Door understands where you’re coming from.

We are the leading youth charity in Stroud with nearly 30 years experience of supporting young people and their families when times get tough. One of our highly skilled professionals is there for you.

Directors Chair – Volunteers Week – Barrie Voyce

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