“Hi, my name is Emilia, I’m 16, and I go to college in Stroud.

I first came to The Door because I was struggling to control my emotions and kept getting angry, I felt very depressed and wanted to talk to someone about my feelings.

Being at college was making me really anxious I was struggling to do the work which I think is down to having dyslexia. But, it wasn’t just college, I was getting really anxious most of the time, my emotions had become really erratic.

I was matched with a Mentor earlier this year, but I was too anxious about going out in public, so I kept missing the meetings. The Door team didn’t want to give up on me so I tried meetings over the phone instead, it makes things so much easier for me, because it takes away one of the things that makes me so anxious.

Since COVID-19 I have been feeling more worried again, because I just don’t know what will happen next. College has closed and I’m scared that I just won’t learn anything.

I feel like I am failing at life and staying still while everyone else keeps moving forwards.

Being able to talk to a mentor on the phone each week is a life-line for me. Together we are looking for other ways I can study; we found some online courses to keep me occupied.

Phone mentoring is such an amazing thing, to have somebody who listens, cares and helps me see things straight is incredible. It’s helping me build my confidence and reduce my anxiety:  I’ve even been going out for a walk everyday – that might not seem like a big thing, but for me being in public has always been a huge source of anxiety, so stepping out of the house each day is a big challenge, but I’m overcoming it.

The fact that even right now, when the world has been turned upside down, they’re still there to talk to each week is such a reassurance to me. I don’t know what’s going to happen next, I don’t suppose any of us do. I’m worrying about going back to college when this is all over but I’m sure that as long as I have a mentor from The Door at the end of the phone I’ll be ok. I don’t know what I’d do without them.”

Even though The Door’s doors are physically closed during this crisis, our support services are still as open as they can be, so that our teams of staff and volunteers can keep being a life-line for the hundreds of young people and families that we support every day of the year.

Demand for these services including telephone support is already increasing as more and more people reach out for help during lockdown and the team are doing what we can to support those most in need.

As well as having an impact on how we deliver our services, COVID-19 is having an impact on our finances. As a charity The Door relies on voluntary income to stay open but, with our charity shop closed, fundraising events cancelled and many trusts putting their giving on hold we will need generous donations from individuals, groups and businesses to keep The Door open for the duration of this crisis and beyond.  In fact we are losing £500 in income for every working day of lockdown.

We completely appreciate that these are financially tough times for us all, but if you are able, please do donate what you can, just £10 could make a real difference. Donate today at thedoor.org.uk/donate or call Anne on 01453 756745 to find out more about how you can ‘Keep The Door Open

Emilia’s Story

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