IN CONVERSATION: SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM

Taken from our 2021 Annual Report, join The Door’s Senior Management Team for a look back over the year and forwards into 2022

Victoria Robson (CEO), Graham Gill (COO), Barrie Voyce (illuminate Coordinator/Service Delivery Advisor) and David Hellens (Income Generation and Marketing Director)

BV One of the big changes this year has been the expansion of the Senior Management Team and you, David, joining us. We shouldn’t underestimate the significance of bringing in a fourth person, but you’ve been such a blessing to us.

VR Done in part to meet the needs of us as an organisation in the same way that we meet the needs of service users –freeing you up Barrie to be a source of support and blessing to our team leaders means we can best serve our team.

 

DH  To join a team of three people who have worked so closely and intimately together is daunting, but I can only say thank you for how you have welcomed me into the team. I already feel like I’ve been here for years.

VR  There have been so many other new members of staff this year as we’ve continued to grow in size.
It’s been a real trajectory for us, and people want to come and work for us because of our reputation.

BV  It’s not just about service users’ growth – it’s about us growing too. We have seen people with immense potential and given them the opportunities to grow in that potential. The circumstances of this year have thrust a few people into new places, and we’ve seen them grow and develop. You only have to look around the staff team to see how many of us started as volunteers and are now working, leading departments, or even the whole organisation!

DH  It happens in all aspects of the charity. I look at The Door Shop, and the way they’ve coped, they’re incredible.

VR  We have so many amazing volunteers too, some of them really specialising in certain areas of need.

GG  And there are so many different pathways for volunteers now. The challenge is that we need to keep recruiting, especially post-pandemic when people might have less time on their hands than before.

DH  The number of volunteers we have, and the high calibre of them, is really humbling to me. They give so much for no return apart from a sense that they are contributing.

VR  They are all a part of the family – friends and colleagues. We are mission-led. No one is here to just “do a job” we’re all here because we have the passion to see change. We are connected and there is something in that which is replicated in our services. We connect on a much deeper level with each other and our service users. 

It’s what made the retreat we had in August so special. It was a time for us to connect together and get each others’ “energy” – to BE together rather than DO together.

GG  I think we all valued that time. There was a sense of us being a team, or a family, travelling together. We all have different roles to play, and though sometimes we’re a bit disparate, we’re all heading in the same direction.

DH  It was a way to understand more of the DNA of the organisation. A retreat like that is emotional in a way. It injects the DNA and understanding by giving the space to do that.

VR  The retreat also gave us an opportunity to share our new 5-year strategy.

  It will give us focus for the coming years, but we need to hold that lightly because we’ve learned in the past that when God wants us to do something, things might not go quite to how they were planned.

GG  Or when unexpected things happen, like a pandemic, we might have to throw the plan out of the window.

VR  We’ve seen this year that when we’ve been faced with a challenge, there’s an assuredness that we are going to get through it. I think that’s testimony to our faith, we’re not panicked by the challenges that have come our way.

DH Everyone has inner strength, a can-do attitude and is positive.

GG  And we have to make sure we don’t lose that inner strength as we expand, and hold onto that vital thread or risk losing our DNA. We can’t just look at the big thing we’re chasing – we need to keep remembering where we’ve come from.

DH If we lost that we’d just be an organisation, but we are something much greater than that!

BV It’s because of who we are that we’re strong. Being a Christian organisation shouldn’t be a barrier, because it’s the very rock on which our successes are built.

VR Our faith is the thing that doesn’t change, even when everything else around us has been changing.

But the other thing that hasn’t changed is the need – the needs of the people we work with.  Everything we’re working with is familiar to us, but it’s just “louder” now than it ever was.

GG  In the last year, it feels like mental health has gone mainstream.  Everybody knows more about it, has experienced some aspect of poor mental health themselves, and is far more tuned into what we do at The Door and the need for it.

BV  That recognition that what we do, and what we’ve always done, is the tonic to so many of the world’s issues.
But suddenly we’re not “niche” anymore, we’re mainstream because those issues are now recognised as being mainstream. We haven’t changed the way we do things.
We’re working the same way we have for 30 years, now others are seeing that it works.

DH      And it’s really valuable.

VR  The things we do change and adapt, but the core values and the relationships and hope at the centre of what we do doesn’t change.

GG  That message has got to places that it has never got to before. We’ve attracted new supporters and funding as other people’s needs and agendas have aligned with ours.

VR  We are seen as trustworthy by stakeholders, funders, communities, and service
users. People have been able to call on us because they trust us.

BV  When somebody represents The Door they are seen as a trusted individual because people trust the institution of The Door. In a society where institutions are increasingly mistrusted, to be a trusted institution is unusual.

GG And not to be taken lightly or for granted.

DH  It has taken us 30 years to earn it, and I’m overwhelmed by the way people trust us and regard us. It’s humbling how we’ve found strength in the adversity and challenge.

VR  That’s a really good word – “humility” is such an important value that we try to keep core. I’m just so very proud of what we’ve achieved again this year. It has been tough and not without injury, but we’ve got through this year gloriously.

DH     It’s a privilege to do this – to live this life, on this mission, as The Door.

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Read more from our directors each month in our online newsletter or why not go and read even more of Story of 2021.


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In conversation with the SMT
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