This month’s Director’s Chair comes from Operations Director, Graham:
“Most of us have now been working from home for over 6 months.
Endeavouring to keep our staff, volunteers and service users both safe and mentally well amidst constantly-changing circumstances and guidelines has certainly been an ongoing challenge.
Initially all face-to-face contact was out of bounds, and we reimagined and delivered our youthwork online, mentored on the phone and closed our charity shop. Later we could reopen the shop, look at how we could safely run youthwork sessions first outdoors, then also indoors, and get mentoring face-to-face again. And then having got all that under our belts, things tightened up again and we’re back to reviewing all our risk assessments and making more adjustments to how we operate. It’s not been a great time for people who struggle with change.
Currently our offices are not generally open, and as directed we’re currently trying to use them as little as possible – a number of us are in there occasionally when necessary. Home working hasn’t been great for everybody. Some staff have struggled with a difficult home working environment, and despite an explosion of Zooming have felt isolated – really missing face-to-face contact with colleagues, volunteers and service users. And when your job is to support young people and parents who are really struggling with keeping things together through a pandemic, there are times when it’s all rather overwhelming and the tank is empty.
So it’s really important in these times to maintain open and honest communication and mutual encouragement within the staff team. We have our own in-house blogger Alistair giving us his daily rendition of the sometimes quite severe ups and downs of life in ‘the Big Brother House’, laced with a smattering of Christmas cracker jokes and a riddle to solve; attendance at our Monday Zoom staff and prayer meetings is way up; there’s our Door Team WhatsApp group which sparkles with positivity and encouragement, and our monthly quizzes which engage the competitive juices of the wider Door family.
There might not be much to look forward to in the near future (unless perhaps you’re an Everton fan) but if you know a young person or parent who is struggling at the moment, or you are one yourself, we at The Door are very much here for you – please do take a look at the support available to you from our teams.
And here’s to the next 6 months of home working???”