Doorway opened it’s door on the 5th January 2004 for the first drop-session. Originally called “North Wiltshire Homelessness Project”, the project has managed to survive both the good times and the bad times, thus enabling it to grow and evolve into the success that it is today.
I am incredibly proud of the effort and commitment given to the project by our amazing team of volunteers; and I really appreciate the sheer determination of everyone, both within Doorway and the local community, to ensure that we continue to provide an extraordinary service to the people who need it the most. Lisa Lewis, Project Manager
Volunteer Stories – Jan 2010 – Sue
“My name is Sue and I’m one of the original volunteers at Doorway. When I joined it was called the Homelessness Project and all we could offer was food, clothing, some sign posting and a safe, confidential place where no-one was judged and everyone could just ’be’.
Things have changed a lot since that January in 2004. We have developed what we can offer, strong community links have been forged, respect and recognition of what we try to do have grown in the town, we consult others but now we are consulted too so that we can offer a better and better service to our guests.
Being a volunteer at Doorway is a great joy and privilege especially when guests begin to change their lives for the better because of something said or learned or shared at the drop in. To see confidence and self belief slowly grow, to see courage to make changes of life style even when that decision comes at the cost of breaking away from the familiar faces and places, to see heads held high and faces determined – these are the things that make being a volunteer at Doorway, through the good times and the tough times, a hugely rewarding experience.Long may the very necessary work of Doorway continue in this town.”
Volunteer Stories – Jan 2010 – Beryl
“On the first Monday in January 2004, the 2 staff & 3 volunteers on duty had no guests – but the grapevine soon brought in more & more, particulary after the policy of serving ‘All-day Breakfast’ replaced the 2 course meal: apparently a Full English fry-up had more appeal than shepherd’s pie at 9.30am.
Numbers of staff & volunteers also increased and roles became more specialised with some concentrating on cooking, others dealt with sorting clothing – such as a sackful of socks from Lost Property at a boy’s school which took most of a session to pair up and still left many odd half-pairs – and food whilst a few developed a love-hate relationship with the washing machines.
Activities ranging from music & table tennis to I.T. & crafts have flourished. Guests can read or chat to the rhythms of Music Workshops upstairs or dodge ping-pong balls at the coffee table.
Attendance levels now average around 34, some of whom are ‘regulars’ who were amongst the original group. In the six years we have mourned the death of 3 and celebrated births of several ‘grandchildren’ of the Project.
Occasionally, those who have moved on into accommodation, work or new relationship, call-in with their news. This all contributes to an extended family atmosphere where current guests can access information & advice in the non-judgemental environment of the Drop-in.”