This month’s SMT update comes from Service Delivery Advisor Barrie.
I started my ‘Door life’ at the beginning of July 2009 so you could call July my Door anniversary.
It seemed strange at the time to be starting a youthwork job in the summer. Most youthwork follows the academic calendar so youthworkers tend to move roles in September. However, the team were keen to get me started in time for the summer holidays, and I soon discovered why. The ‘6 weeks’ have always been a significant period for us. When other services, organisations, clubs and youthwork are taking a bit of a break for July and August, The Door ramps up! I remember my first summer being billed as “Six Weeks of Fun in the Sun” – and it was just that! We had plenty of fun (even if in the end we didn’t have a lot of sun).
As a needs-led organisation, we long ago recognised that the summer holidays can be difficult for many young people – no structure, no support, no access to friends and family. All of these things can lead to unhealthy choices, poor mental health or anti-social behaviour. The Door’s summer programmes are designed to be positive diversions, bust the boredom, stimulate the mind and provide just the right kind of interaction.
Although the uncertainty over COVID restrictions might influence our programme this year, it’s not going to dampen our spirits! Summer 2021 is still going to be fun. We’ve shown time and time again over the past year how willing and able to adapt we are – and I think that recent adaptability is simply a representation of how flexible we’ve been throughout our 30 year existence.
So this summer there won’t be mini-bus trips to the seaside or theme-park. There’s no wild-camping and carnival floats are long gone. But we still might throw in a pool competition or three, and movie nights and pamper sessions are always possible.
New for this year we’ll be going out into our communities more. We want people to see us and young people having a great time right where they live. We want to remind the community that social spaces are for everyone, and young people, families and friends can have fun right on their own doorstep.
Each Wednesday throughout August will see our youthwork team (and special guests from our other services and the community) having a Party in The Park with every young person and their families invited. The party will move from Stonehouse to Cam and Dursley, onto Stroud and Wotton. There will be football tournaments, basketball, craft spaces, chill out tents, games, face painting and more! There will even be our very own merchandise shop selling items inspired by ‘The Door At Four’ youtube videos.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing dates, times, and activities for each of the Parties. Keep your eyes on our social media and website – you’re not going to want to miss this!
And if you want to see evidence of how summer at The Door has changed since 1991. Why not join the Door Alumni Facebook group – we’re regularly posting throwback photos from our history and it’s a great place to reconnect and share your very own Door stories.
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Donate today to train volunteers, provide mentors and more to parents in need. All proceeds will go straight to supporting local parents. Find out more at thedoor.org.uk/shop