Happy Volunteers Week!

Volunteers Week has now been going for 40 years; The Door is now in its 33rd.  When we started, we were entirely dreamed up, set up, managed, shaped, staffed and administered by volunteers.  5 years into our history Brendan Conboy became our first employee.  Another 28 years on and we’ve just hit the slightly scary number of 40 paid staff for the first time, but they are just the tip of an iceberg completely founded on volunteers, without whom we would be completely unable to stay afloat.

Now that The Door is a highly professional operation – contracted by town councils and primary care networks and working on a level with statutory providers – it can be easy for those of us privileged enough to be paid for our troubles to forget this.

But our volunteering roots are never far away.  Many of those 40 paid staff, including almost all of our shop workers, started our Door journeys as volunteers.  Some volunteered in a number of different roles before being offered a paid job.  Some who are paid still make time to volunteer out-of-hours on top.

The last year has seen a drive to recruit new volunteer mentors into the Door family at an unprecedented rate to try and keep up with the escalating demand for our mentoring service.  Two mentor training courses a year have become four, and we have spread out from Stroud to Cirencester and Dursley to deliver them.  We’ve also trained volunteer youthworkers on a separate course, and recruited new volunteer trustees.  We have young volunteers doing their DofE service or on work experience placements, our very own young leaders course and even a team from a local company coming in to paint our offices!

We have stressed all along the proven positive mental health benefits of volunteering (try it and see!).  And our current total volunteer count is an amazing 229.

Thank you so much to each one of you for keeping The Door afloat.  And there’s still plenty of room for more.

Graham, COO and the rest of The Door Team

Find out more about how you can volunteer with The Door at thedoor.org.uk/volunteer

Happy Volunteers Week

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