A Snapshot of a Drop-in Session (31st March 2011)



This is what all guests and visitors were given when they arrived at the lunchtime session on Thursday 31st March:

The idea, not to obtain the guests’ feedback on the service – they’re used to being asked for that; but instead to capture people’s thoughts, feelings, mood at that moment, to create a sort of Tweetcloud of ‘what’s hot and on top’. The idea was explained to people as they arrived, rather than just giving them the bit of paper, and help offered to those with literacy problems. The reactions were only in a few cases negative, and many guests showed initial puzzlement or surprise which was followed by enthusiasm. In some instances, guests encouraged and helped each other. 28 guests wrote and/or drew something, out of 41 who attended the 3-hour drop-in session.

Doorway’s Chief Executive, Lisa, said on Twitter that evening:

“It was very quickly apparent that the guests were shocked that we were actually asking them how they were “feeling today”. I don’t think people normally ask them how they are “feeling”. Once they got over the shock they were more than happy to have a go. Guests have produced some amazing drawings and v poignant writing”

As promised, here they are, unedited, unaltered, in no particular order. We double checked with guests who had put their names that they were happy for these to be published here:


(On arrival) “Very down because I went to a funeral yesterday. Very upsetting for me.” – Sue

“I think the government is rubbish”

“Feel like the whole world has gone mad and nothing leads to anything good. Satan reigns. I can’t make anything better and I can’t get out of my own mess and despair”

“Doorway helps you look on the bright side then the stormy side. I like coming here to meet different people”


“At this moment in time I have an issue with my partner’s neighbour and I am feeling a bit pissed off as I can’t get anyone to sort it out. It makes me feel very frustrated because the authorities take so long to deal with things. I would like to sort the problem but can’t because I would get into trouble and I don’t wish to do that. With help I do hope to get something sorted out”

“Writers block, fighting DWP re overpayments, I hate rap and hip-hop. Life pretty much sucked till I tasted Doorway shepherds pie & trifle”

“Doorway is a place where dysfunctional people can coalesce and feel better about themselves. The volunteers are uniformly excellent and frequently have direct experience of the clients’ problems. I am a lonely drunk. Without this kindness, I should wither and die more rapidly”


“I think the food is good but it would be cool if there was a little bit more food but apart from that everything else is fine…from Harley”

“A good meal a day…..keeps….depression away!”  – Colin B.

“Everything’s looking good, just got my own place. Thanks for everything”                                                      

 “Today I felt 😦 Now I feel good because of my visit to Doorway”

“Recorded by Supersonic Kane:

1: Doorway is the way forward

2: Happiness and tears will shed

3: To hear thoughts and smiles occur

4:Doorway to way success

5: To re achieve, re all I did, is success as re emphasized.

6:To rebuild success you need emphasis in reassuring a work community, a happy environment, no disaster, the right to vote, the right to oppose wrongs not to work! There is war. There is £s; only ones get, others don’t. If the! govt! voted! unanimously! Work, could float, people properly get paid. Happiness is a virtue, and productivity”

“Today started on a bit of a downer, owing to the fact that yesterday I found out that two of the rooms I was chasing had gone. However when there’s a down side, there’s an up side – financial situation improved by approximately 1/3 of my usual amount today. Looking forward to better to come today. Fingers crossed”  –  Brian


“Since I came to the doorway the Thursday my life is a bit more easier day after day. Before I meet the team of volunteers I was pretty much always in the fear. Now I can say I am a change man That because I thank I can for all the team of the stablishment. You have all my thanks and remerciement. When I leave at 3 o’clock with a food parcel I can say I will eat like in an hotel. Thank you very much for your help. I hope everything will go step by step”  – Frenchy

“I am feeling all good today. I love coming down here because it brightens up my day. and I enjoy all the meals you cook. Thank you all xxx”

“I think the Doorway do a brilliant job. I care about you and what you do for me”

“I am feeling nice and like coming here. The food is good and staff is nice. Thank you” – Brian S.

“What a great session. A big smile on my face”  – M, volunteer

“Many thanks to Doorway for their continued support during the last 2 years of my housing problems. Due to a relationship breakdown I was classed as intentionally homeless”

“All sorts happening today. Some writing & drawing as usual. Not to mention laughing and a surprising amount of swearing and thinking (deep thoughts from deep curses). Skillful eating and writing at the same time – how does that happen? Feeding the word, making sure it’ll get through to the end, I suppose. I can only do one thing at a time but I can be doing it eternally (or so they say)” – Bev – volunteer, creative writing leader

“Alun Morris says…..If you’ve got a big head because you’re too proud to get help…then you won’t get through the doorway. Humble yourself, and admit you need help, then you will”

“At this moment I am happy and a bit peckish”

“I think the Doorway do a brilliant job. I care about you and what you do for me”

“Happy guests, happy computers, happy IT chap!! Well done to all!”  – Chris, IT trainer

“I feel OK today. Food was great. Very well organised. Take care, Stephen”

Doorway is a ray of light in my life, which can be very dark.

“Thanks for the food once or twice a week. Thanks for your help which we all sometimes need – forms, counselling. Thanks for giving your time to help me and others like me. Michael Jackson do your moves, do your grooves, do your Michael Jackson moves, dance to music. Moonwalk how we started doing that, that was an escalator” – Pat

“Peace and calm. Fine food with friendly folk. Smile & be happy” – Tim B.

“Doorway has put a smile back on my face”

(On leaving) “ I feel happy now” – Sue


About calneeagle

Volunteer at Doorway. Health care professional. Degree in sociology and politics.
This entry was posted in Art, Charity, Chippenham, Homelessness, Mental Health, Wiltshire and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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