THE DOOR WAS FOUNDED IN 1991 IN STROUD, GLOUCESTERSHIRE
1991 – Friday & Saturday Night Coffee Bar Opens for the first time
Following a survey of young people hanging out in Stroud Town Centre, two volunteer youthworkers from local churches have a vision to provide a safe place for those young people to go. Within weeks scores of young people are packing out the tiny coffee bar at the bottom of Gloucester Street.
1996 – First paid youthworker in post
Having run for 5 years relying entirely on church volunteers, the ever growing work includes opening the coffee bar after school and providing a counselling service. Without a dedicated co-ordinator things will have to give, and founder Brendan Conboy is appointed into a paid role.
2001 – Support for Unemployed Young People begins
Long before the term NEET had been invented, young people not in employment, education or training could find meaningful work experience or learn new skills through helping out around The Door. Success leads to us becoming part of the Newstart Network
2002 – Undiscovered Youth Talent Competition begins
Running until 2014, the competition showcased talent from across the country, often giving disengaged young people a purpose and first experience of achievement. Undiscovered Youth also helped launched the careers of Nathan Sykes, Kieran Powell, Harry Jones, and our patron, Mary-Jess Leaverland.
2003 – Tranzform shop opens to raise funds
The ever changing services and opportunities turn to retail, and a small shop next door is converted to include an art and craft space alongside retail opportunities. We sell carpentry and art work made in house, as well as fairtrade goods.
2006 – Light at The Door Mentoring Begins
Having closed down our counselling service 2 years earlier (transferring staff and clients to Teens in Crisis) the need to provide 1:1 support for young people prevailed, and the first group of volunteer mentors were trained.
2011 – Family Support Introduced
Increasingly we found parents asking us for advice and help, or young people unable to move forward if home-life didn't change. With funding from Provident, we launched the innovate service specifically to help parent's of young people
20 unique events run throughout the year celebrating 20 years of The Door
2012 – The Door moves to 45 High Street, Stroud
Having started to ‘Push The Door’ in 2008, the vision to find a bigger more suitable home is finally fulfilled as we move up the hill to the top of the High Street. This gives us a larger, accessible Drop-In coffee bar, comfortable meeting rooms, more office space, and a new Tranzform Charity Shop
2014 – Youthwork Delivery in Dursley Begins
After a successful pilot year in Stroud Town, we start street-based Detached Youthwork in Dursley and continue in Stroud. Building relationships with the Dursley Tab church and the local council this work leads to us being commissioned to provide Community Youthwork in Dursley and Cam.
Brendan Conboy steps down from his role as Chief Executive
2015 – Support for young parents
It becomes evident that there is a need for a young parents support group in Stroud, the youthwork team launch the aDOOrable parent and toddler group for parents up to 25 years old with support from the local children and family centre
2016 – Youthwork continues to grow
Continued success in the Dursley area leads to new Youth Club sessions running in North Nibley Chapel from April then Wotton-under-Edge in September. Sessions in Cashes Green / Cainscross (Stroud) start in October
25 Years and counting, our 25th anniversary is celebrated in style with events throughout the year
2017 – Tranzform, transforms
“Tranzform” becomes “The Door Shop” with record donations and sales as well as a new name and logo. And we begin youth clubs in Avening.
2018 – More new centres and Family Support Continues to Grow
The role of Family Support team leader is reintroduced to oversee all support of Parents, Carers and whole families. Youthwork in Cashes Green and Cainscross comes to an end but Stonehouse youth club opens it's doors in May.
Do you have a Door Story to tell?
We love hearing about people's memories and highlights about when they used to come to The Door whether from the early days of 1991 in Gloucester Street or just something that happened last month we want to hear your 'Door Story', call the team on 01453 756745 or click here to tell yours