1990 - Stroud Town Council carries out a survey asking young people that hang around on the streets what they would like to see provided for them.  The results indicate a cinema and a coffee bar (with no pressure to buy) as their main priorities.

1991 – Friday & Saturday night coffee bar opens for the first time

Following the 1990 survey, two volunteer youthworkers from a local church have a vision to provide a safe place for those young people to go. Within weeks scores of young people are packing out a tiny coffee bar at the bottom of Gloucester Street.

1992 – First support

Recognising that many of the young people coming to the coffee bar had a deeper need for support, The Door becomes a venue for local counsellors to work with young people.

1994 – Making it official

The Door becomes a charity in its own right. (Up to this point it had been under the umbrella of Stroud Youth for Christ)

1996 – First paid youthworker in post

Having run for 5 years relying entirely on volunteers, the ever-growing work includes opening the coffee bar after school on weekdays and a developing counselling service. Without a dedicated coordinator things would have to give.  Co-Founder Brendan Conboy is appointed into the first paid role of Project Coordinator.

TOTS (Toddlers of Teens Support) is launched as a toddler group for young parents.

 1997- Staff team grows

The first part-time staff members are employed.  Young people and staff also start fundraising by taking part in numerous challenge events, including mountain walking, sailing and other sports.  Young people work together to make a video (cutting edge for 1997!)

1999 – Support for unemployed young people begins

Long before the term NEET had been invented, young people who were not in employment, education or training could find meaningful work experience and learn new skills through helping out around The Door. Success leads to us becoming part of the NewStart Network.  The coffee bar is completely refurbished with a new shop front, creating a new private entrance for the counselling service. 

A satellite counselling service is started in local secondary schools.

2002 – Purchase of 26 Gloucester Street

Following an appeal, the team manage to raise enough money to purchase the building that we operate from.

 Undiscovered Youth Talent Competition launched. Running until 2014, the competition showcased talent from across the country, often giving disengaged young people a purpose and first experience of achievement. Undiscovered Youth also helps launch the careers of Nathan Sykes, Kieran Powell, Harry Jones, and our patron, Mary-Jess Leaverland.

Also we start working with young people that have been excluded from mainstream education, linked to the Gloucestershire Reintegration Unit, and renting the building next door to use as a training centre.

 2003 – Tranzform shop opens to raise funds

Our ever-changing services and opportunities turn to retail, and a small shop next door is converted to include an art and craft space alongside retail opportunities, selling woodwork and art work made in house by trainees, as well as Fairtrade goods.

 2006 – Light at The Door mentoring begins

Having closed down our counselling service 2 years earlier (transferring staff and clients to Teens in Crisis) the need to provide 1:1 support for young people prevails, and the first group of volunteer mentors are trained.

2009 – PUSH Appeal launched

Expansion of activities leaves 26 Gloucester Street creaking at the seams.  PUSH Appeal is launched to raise funds for the purchase of a new building.

2011 – Family Support introduced

Increasingly we find parents asking us for advice and help, or young people unable to move forward if home life doesn't change. With funding from Provident, we launch an innovative service specifically to help parents of young people.

20 events are run throughout the year to celebrate 20 years of The Door.

2012 – The Door moves to 44-45 High Street, Stroud

Having started to ‘Push The Door’ in 2008, the vision to find a bigger more suitable home is finally fulfilled as we move up the hill to the top of the High Street. This gives us a larger, accessible drop-in coffee bar, comfortable meeting rooms, more office space, and a new Tranzform Charity Shop.

2014 – Youthwork delivery in Dursley begins

After a successful pilot year in Stroud Town, we start street-based Detached Youthwork in Dursley and continue in Stroud. Building relationships with the Dursley Tab church and the local councils, this work leads to us being commissioned to provide Community Youthwork in Dursley and Cam.

Brendan Conboy steps down from his role as Chief Executive

 2015 – Support for young parents

Training Department is closed due to funding difficulties.

It becomes evident that there is a need for a young parents’ support group in Stroud, so the Youthwork Team launch the aDOOrable parent and toddler group for parents up to 25 years old, with support from the local children and family centre.

 2016 – Youthwork continues to grow

Continued success in the Dursley area leads to new youth club sessions running in North Nibley Chapel from April then Wotton-under-Edge in September. Sessions in Cashes Green and Cainscross (Stroud) start in October.

‘25 and Counting’ - our 25th anniversary is celebrated in style with events throughout the year

Community Café (later called Key Café) is started for 18-25s.

2017 – Tranzform transforms

‘Tranzform’ becomes ‘The Door Shop’ with record donations, sales and a new logo, we also begin youth clubs in Avening.

 2018 – More new centres, and Family Support continues to grow

The role of Family Support Team Leader is reintroduced to oversee all support of parents, carers and whole families. Youthwork in Cashes Green and Cainscross comes to an end, but we are contracted by Stonehouse Town Council to run their youthwork and our youth club in Stonehouse opens its doors in May.  We also win the contract to be the sole youthwork provider in Wotton-under-Edge, and have our Dursley and Cam contract renewed.

2019 – Expanding Intensive support for young people

Door Step programme is launched to help vulnerable young people transitioning from primary to secondary school, with some funding coming from the NHS CCG.  Exploratory youthwork starts in Hardwicke, Frampton-on-Severn and Slimbridge.  Telephone support service launched.

2019 – Expanding Intensive support for young people

Door Step programme is launched to help vulnerable young people transitioning from primary to secondary school, with some funding coming from the NHS CCG.  Exploratory youthwork starts in Hardwicke, Frampton-on-Severn and Slimbridge.  Telephone support service launched.

2020 – Pandemic leads to innovation of online support

The Door launched its own YouTube channel and steps up online support during lockdown. Telephone support known as ‘The Mentoring Gateway’ is launched and over £30,000 is raised to #KeepTheDoorOpen.

2021 – Launch of Gloucestershire Mentoring Programme

The Door is selected by a national charity (CHK) to deliver part of a county-wide programme to support girls and young women at risk of offending, and also to run the overall programme, coordinating 7 delivery partners.  Full face-to-face youthwork delivery resumes.

2022 – Back to ‘Normal’

As the world comes out of the Global Pandemic and life starts to look a bit more normal, The Door continues to adapt with more hybrid working. The Stroud Youth Centre at 45 High Street is returned to the landlord with youthwork moving to the YST Centre instead. The Shop and Offices remain as before.

We also start youthwork in schools in Cirencester, reopen our Avening Youth Club and start a new Youth Club in Fairford. illuminate in Dursley is launched in partnership with the Tab Church and we welcome our first SWYM intern to support the project.

2023 – Digital

Demand for mentoring and support for both young people and parents remains at an all time high. The Intensive Support and Youthwork Teams explore new ways to engage service users especially the more isolated. This includes piloting and online youth club space and engaging through gaming.

Do you have a Door Story to tell?

We love hearing about people's memories and highlights about when they used to come to The Door, whether from the early days of 1991 in Gloucester Street or just something that happened last month, we want to hear your 'Door Story' - call the team on 01453 756745 or click here to tell yours