Taken from our Annual Report: The Story of 2022, join the conversation with our Senior Management Team as they reflect on the last year at The Door.

Barrie: What one thing would each of us say has brought us the most joy over the last year?

Graham: I think getting the team structure in place – a resilient team who can run all aspects of the business has put us in a really strong position. We’ve got a great team with amazingly talented people across all areas of our organisation.

Victoria: The same for me! Knowing that it doesn’t all rest on my shoulders—that I’m not always needed on a day-to-day basis. We’re not dependent on any one person – there is a real interdependence and accountability that everyone has.

If you get real commitment from people they will go the extra mile and then some.

David: Because it really matters to them.

Graham: We’ve now got more staff than we’ve ever had. We’re covering a wide diversity of support in places that we’ve never been in before. Which means the whole thing is getting bigger to maintain.

Victoria: Which means that it is really important that we look after the staff – so things like the retreat, and group professional supervision, are vital.

Barrie: We’ve invested in those that are managing so that they lead their teams really well.

Victoria: And you, Barrie, have stepped back over the past year, which has meant that the shape of us as an SMT has changed too – Graham and I are very much holding the scales between us for the most part. That’s been quite a big transition.

David: The value is that you are still here, with knowledge and legacy, and you get to share that with us as a sounding board for us as we look forward.

Barrie: I’m conscious that the legacy is really important but it shouldn’t be a thing that holds us back. It’s there to inform us and guide us, but none of it is a sacred cow. I think it has been great to have Jenny a part of us this year to bring more of that objective,
outside view and guidance to help us shape what we’re doing.

Victoria: Her initial reflections are that we are delivering quality at a national level and a comprehensive service that is unique, to a standard that is way up there, and we’re only really in two districts.

Barrie: That’s been borne out in us receiving the NYA Quality Mark. We’ve been assessed at the Advanced Level, but the feedback was that in a lot of areas what we do is at the Outstanding Level.

Victoria: And yet I think it is true that we sometimes still underplay and undervalue the impact that we’re having.

David: The biggest thing for me was getting the CHK grant [for the Gloucestershire Mentoring Programme (GMP), and the trust they have placed in us, which should be a catalyst for us as we move forward. And it delivered the 5-year plan a few years early!

Graham: That a national funder has got hold of us, and commissioned us to manage a piece of work across the whole county in collaboration with other organisations has been a catalyst for change.

Victoria: It has been a significant shift for us this year, with GMP and with collaboration with the Primary Care Networks. Those connections have enabled the profile of The Door across the county to grow.

David: But a lot of funders and supporters still see as a little local charity. The collaboration and the NYA Quality Mark need to help us step up into that next big stage.

Graham: So the challenge for the next two years is how we capitalise on it.

Barrie: The thing that sticks out for me is the sports day at the retreat. The spirit of it, the togetherness, the teams being mixed up across the departments. It felt like a moment in time coming out of COVID and the restrictions. The enjoyment from being in that place of fun and laughter and having a great time together. Within our team, our attitude was “how do we do this activity in a way that enables each of us to work within our range of ability so we accomplish it as a team?”

Victoria: I think that sums up the culture and ethos of who we are. That mutual accountability across the team, so that no one takes the full strain of everything.

David: It was spiritually uplifting too, that time we spent in the outside prayer space, reflecting and praying together.

Victoria: Despite all the growth and development, we have stayed true to our mission, and to why we’re doing all this. The service user is right at the heart of everything. And that’s something that I really treasure about The Door – the service user and what’s best for them.

Graham: As we’ve expanded we recognise the need not to lose our identity and our DNA. So this year we’ve spent more time redefining our mission and our values, which has helped everyone lock into that DNA and our culture.

David: That’s really helped our identity and be secure in who we are as a Christian organisation. We are what we are, and have been for 31 years, and we should be very proud of that. We need to make sure we articulate it well so that people understand how valuable we are.

Victoria: That serves us well in preserving who we are and the “family” feel of it. That helps us to attract and retain staff. I’m looking forward to see how the work we’ve done on the ethos and culture galvanizes us as we enter a period where we know financially things will be a challenge because of what’s happening in the world.

In conversation with the SMT

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