Gloucestershire Funders’ Spotlight is a series aimed at raising awareness of some of the organisations we have helped to fund. Each week we speak with a representative and ask them questions about what it is that they do, what they have learned during the last few months, and how else they might be supported to ensure they can keep making a difference to lives in Gloucestershire. This week we spoke with Barrie from The Door.
Q1: What does the Door do, where are you based and who do you work with?
The Door is a youth organisation based in Stroud but working across the district and south of the county. We work with young people aged 11-25 and their families, creating safe spaces & a sense of belonging. By being positive role models we empower young people, parents and carers, giving them hope for the future.
Q2: How has The Door and the people you work alongside been affected over the last 3 months?
Obviously Lockdown meant we weren’t able to meet people face to face, and we had to close all of our youth centres, parent groups and support sessions. School closures meant the work we do there came to an end too. For young people, being forced out of the structures of school and their youth clubs was disorientating and difficult, whilst not being able to socialise made isolation really hard.
Q3: Have you learned anything or been surprised by anything during this time?
We made the decision right at the outset to “Keep The Door Open” however we could – creating lots of online content ranging from fun videos, to reflections and coping strategies. We created space for young people to chat virtually with youth workers and mentors, and used WhatsApp and Zoom to keep our parent help going. So we’ve learned a whole bunch of new technological skills.
What’s been really surprising is how all of this has made The Door even more accessible for people – they can watch a youtube video at home, or chat on the phone with a mentor without needing to leave the house. We’ve found we can support people with even more complex needs.
Q4: How will the money from Gloucestershire Funders be used by The Door?
Because of COVID our charity shop was shut for nearly 3 months. It provides an essential source of core funding for The Door, and the grants from the Gloucestershire Funders has gone a long way to replacing that. Its meant that we’ve been able to keep all of our staff on, as well as cover the ongoing costs of our work. We’ve also been able to invest in new equipment.
Q5: Are you still fundraising? How can people support your organisation?
As we move into the next phase of Social Distancing, we’re blending re-opening our face to face services with continued online content. In order to do that we have to find the money to do both. Meanwhile all of our fundraising events for 2020 are cancelled! People can give online at thedoor.org.uk/donate or pop into The Door Shop now its re-opened – at the top of Stroud High Street.