Hi Shona, thanks for taking the time to meet today, let’s start with an easy one. What is your role at The Door?

Intensive Support Manager (at least that’s what it says on my badge!)

Sounds important!

Some days it feels more important than others. I think it depends on how many of the team have questions for me.

I’m sure it does, now, what does your day to day look like?

My day to day usually involves making sure that the parents who come to The Door have the support that they need. I am often the first person to meet with a parent who is stepping into support, either over the phone or in person.

During the week I run parent support groups and do some ‘one to one’ mentoring for parents myself. I also work with my team to train and support our brilliant volunteers. I spend the rest of my time ensuring that the team, both staff and volunteers have all that they need to be able to thrive in their roles.

Certainly sounds busy.

Every day is different.

So, how did you come to work at The Door?

Like many of the staff team, I started out as a volunteer. Back in 2014 I was working in a primary school and wanted to learn new skills to apply to that work.

That’s the thing about The Door, the impact of the work really gets under your skin. Every time I was offered a new mentee I just couldn’t say no.

That initial 6-month commitment felt achievable.  Little did I know I’d still be here and finding joy in the role 8 years later!

You must enjoy it then

I really do. The two-way process of being a mentor surprised me. I got more out of it than I could ever have imagined, seeing the progress my mentees were making, celebrating the small stuff that they didn’t always see as progress. Having someone who simply believes in you is a powerful thing!

Do you have a favourite part of your role?

It’s so hard to pick but I think I can sum it up as ‘the people’ The team I work with and the other amazing professionals I talk to every day. And of course, seeing the flourishing young people and parents we work with. That two-way process has never stopped.

And what makes it more challenging?

The challenge of the role is also one of the best parts when you overcome it. Those moments when you can see what’s possible for a person you are supporting but they can’t yet see it for themselves.  It’s a privilege to spend that time investing in a person whether through a volunteer mentor, group or myself personally.  We can create that safe space for them to flourish.

So as we finally come out the other side of the pandemic. What are you looking forward to?

(Besides going abroad again!) I look forward to every day, I know it sounds cheesy but my role takes me to any number of places with any number of people and they all lead to making that positive change for somebody. No matter how small, it’s always worthwhile.

That’s so good to hear. Now onto the fun stuff!

Oh no!

Firstly if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?

That’s easy Mushroom Stroganoff – I’ve been a vegetarian for over 30 years now and it’s still my favourite.

Our second question is what kind of sport are you a fan of?

 I love cycling and am looking forward to taking part in another 100kinmay this spring. It’s great for motivating me to get outside every day and this year (although they don’t all know this yet) I’m hoping to get the Parent Connections group on board too!

And finally, do you have a favourite quote you would like to share?

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must. But take the step.”

 Thank you

Introducing Shona

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