Hannah Mentor for Care Leavers aged 16-25 Stroud Cheltenham GloucesterHannah joined The Door team during lockdown as our “Door to the Future Support Worker” (part of youth emotional support team)

Hi Hannah, to start us off can you tell us a bit more about Door To The Future

Sure, Door to the Future is a mentoring programme; but unlike The Door’s other mentoring this is specifically for young people, aged 16-25, who are leaving care and need an extra bit of support to live independently. The project has been running at The Door for 3 years, funded by the Lloyds Bank Foundation and has just been funded for another 12 months.

Glad to hear it, so what will your role be?

I am a Support Worker; this means I will be helping Debbie who coordinates the project to match our volunteer mentors with young people that have been referred into the project for support.

Great! What type of things do mentors help young people with?

It varies a lot depending on the young person; mainly it’s about helping them with skills that they will continue to develop over the coming months and years; from cooking and cleaning to getting a job or accessing the benefits that they are entitled to. We tailor the support to the individual, and alongside the practical stuff, mentors are there to offer emotional support and help the young people with their mental health.

So that’s what you will be doing at The Door, but how is it you came to work in this role?

The Door team were delivering some training for The Pod youth club in Tetbury where I was working. They really got my attention because by the end of the course I’d signed up to volunteer with The Door too, as a volunteer mentor. I supported a young person for just over a year and then took a break due to time constraints. But I’d stayed in touch through the newsletter and when I saw the role I had to apply.

And now you’re here.

And now I’m here.

What is it you are most looking forward to?

I think I’m most excited about being able to match some young people with their mentor and start them on that road to their futures. I’m also looking forward to being able to help make the project sustainable long term so we can meet the needs of present and future young people.

As I’ve joined in this weird COVID-19 time, I’m also looking ahead to when we can be back in an office and getting to know the team properly rather than through a screen.

Connecting over video can be more difficult, what other challenges do you think you might face?

Remote working of course is going to be a challenge, and I only have a few hours a week at The Door so I want to make sure I make them count. There’s so much to do, and I’m excited for all of it, but all in good time.

Definitely, all in good time.  Speaking of which, what do you get up to in your free time?

Free time! That doesn’t really exist. I am currently training to be a medical herbalist and I’m just starting the final year of my four year degree. I’m scared that it’s ending but excited too. So when I’m not working I can usually be found studying, with my patients or looking after my plants at the allotment.

Do you have a favourite plant?

I should say Motherwort because I’m writing my dissertation on it! But I think Hawthorne is my favourite, the berries are great and can be good for the heart too. You can eat them if you know what you’re doing.

Talking of eating, if there was one dish you had to eat for the rest of lockdown what would it be?

I’ve really got into pizza making in the last few months so I think it would have to be pizza but with a twist, me and my husband made Stinging Nettle, Cream and cheese pizza a few weeks ago. I was so good we had it again the next day. And the nettles were free, that’s another plus.

Free vegetables! That is a win; I guess you just need a decent pair of gloves when you harvest them.

Oh definitely!

And finally, Hannah do you have any words of wisdom you’d like to share.

“Somewhere beyond the realms of belief and disbelief there is a field, I will meet you there’ (Rumi)

It’s great because if you have disagreed with someone then you are reminded that somewhere you share some ground.


Find out more about the rest of The Door Team on our Meet The Team Page


Introducing Hannah

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