One of Doorway’s greatest strengths, and crucial to our success, is the team of paid and voluntary staff who bring a wide variety of skills and experience to the charity, united by their deep commitment to our guests and our community.

“Warm, supportive environment from both staff/volunteers. Eye opening…expected it to be interesting but didn’t expect to love it…I’ve worked in other voluntary roles but, without a doubt, this is the most supportive environment I’ve ever been in. When given thanks, it feels genuine.”
Doorway Volunteer

Our Staff

We currently have 6 part-time paid staff members:

Jo Kitching, Director:  responsible for day-to-day management of the project; recruiting, training and supervising volunteers; provision of direct support to guests; community engagement; fundraising; marketing and PR.

Amy Davis, Administrator  : responsible for all administrative support.

Gail Foster, Support Services Manager:  responsible for running all aspects of the open access drop-in sessions including supporting and signposting guests; mentoring volunteers during sessions. 

Sam Hancock, Support Worker & Women’s Group Facilitator:  responsible for supporting and signposting guests within drop-in sessions and facilitating the Women’s Group.

Sarah Dommett, Support Worker:  responsible for supporting and signposting guests within drop-in sessions & facilitating the Women’s Group.

Kev Long, Football Project Facilitator: responsible for running the weekly indoor football training sessions.

Our Volunteers

Crucial to our success has been our high ratio of staff to guests, ensuring that we maintain a safe environment where guests receive individual support when they need it. Most of our staff are trained volunteers who work to a rota. We need at least 10 volunteers per session.

“Doorway – caring, positive, non-judgemental, professional, unsentimental, led by example, always striving to improve, no wonder guests come back week after week.”
Doorway Volunteer

We have an excellent record for retaining volunteers and surveys show a high level of satisfaction with the training they receive. We currently have 45 trained drop-in volunteers plus trustees and the community-based Friends of Doorway. They are aged between 18 and 85 and bring a wide variety of professional and life experience to their roles. Some are seeking paid work and hope to enhance their CVs by working at Doorway. All volunteers have a DBS clearance.

Some of our volunteers move on during the year and we run a continuous recruitment programme. All drop-in volunteers receive a one-to-one interview/induction session covering our aims and our ethos, as well as elements of health and safety, confidentiality and equal opportunities. This is followed by practical experience at the drop-in. Only when we are satisfied that volunteers are suitable, do they sign a formal agreement and join our team.

“It has been an eye opener on some of the stories I have learnt. I always feel a lot better when I leave as it makes you appreciate what you have. I have loved working with the guests and the volunteers, the atmosphere is amazing and so friendly.”
Doorway Volunteer

The debrief after each drop-in session is a time to share information and offer mutual support and our monthly team meeting offers information and further training. In the last few years, training sessions open to all drop-in volunteers have included:

  • active listening
  • assertiveness
  • food hygiene
  • issues around homelessness, drugs / alcohol awareness
  • mental health awareness
  • first aid
  • benefits
  • financial management
  • child protection
  • domestic violence
  • behaviour change
  • sexual health
  • universal credit
  • understanding PTSD

Annual staff surveys indicate that volunteers feel well supported to do this challenging but highly rewarding work.

“I always feel valued as a volunteer and very much appreciated. It’s a pleasure to come to work, and to know a variety of people”
Doorway Volunteer

Our Trustees

Doorway Wiltshire Ltd is supported by a board of  trustees who meet bi-monthly:

Mark Barnett (Secretary)

Mark was born in 1964 in Oxford and left school to embark on a varied career. After working in Natwest Bank he embarked upon a business career in Purchasing and Logistics. Starting in janitorial – purchasing toilet rolls and black bags, moving to working as a production manager for a colostomy bag manufacturer, a commercial manager for a nursing aids company and finally as a commercial manager for a lingerie importer. He then moved to Wiltshire in 1996 as a Project Manager for the local schools and care home supplier, The Consortium in Trowbridge.

17 years later he was an owner and Director of this successful organisation and the business was sold to a national PLC.

Whilst in this role Mark had volunteered and sat on the UK Board for the United Nations Global Compact, and chaired the local Mid Wiltshire Economic Partnership organization.

For the three years since 2013, Mark has been a Board Member of the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Economic Partnership and has spent a good amount of time with his wife Melanie and their 4 children. He recently completed a Lands End to John O’Groats cycle ride with his eldest son and looks forward to the challenges that Doorway brings.

Mark joined the Board in 2015.

Frances Critchlow

After studying Psychology at the University of Wales, Frances worked for Hewlett- Packard; starting in Bracknell, and stopping off in Germany, Australia and the US before returning in 1999 to do a master’s degree in Marketing Management at the University of Surrey, Guildford. Subsequent roles have been European Marketing Manager, Head of Marketing, Head of Sales & Marketing and more recently Commercial Director.

Born in Wiltshire and returning to the county in 2011, Frances wants to contribute to her local community and in particular support people who ‘fall through the gaps’ of the social welfare system. She is also a keen supporter of The Dogs Trust and Bath Dogs & Cats Home (where her 15 year old cat Parker came from).            

Frances joined the Board in 2014.

Hilary Dewar

Originally from Yorkshire, Hilary studied music at Birmingham University, then joined Lucas Industries as a management services trainee. This was the start of a thirty-year career in IT working for a number of major manufacturing and financial services companies, and later as a freelance consultant.

Practical music continued to be a major spare time activity, and further study on the viola led to an LTCL teaching diploma.  For a number of years Hilary combined IT contract work with private music teaching and freelance viola-playing in the West Midlands, and later in North Yorkshire, where she was able to work from her home on the edge of the moors.

After a short period living in rural North East Cumbria, where she enjoyed exploring the fells of the Lake District and the Scottish Borders, Hilary moved to Chippenham in 2009.

She continues to teach violin and viola, plays in a regular string quartet and also enjoys singing in local choirs.

Hilary joined the board in 2011 and has played a very active role in background activities during her time as a trustee. Hilary took on the fundraising role in 2012 on a voluntary basis and has achieved some excellent results with grant and trust applications.

Andrew Poole (Treasurer)

Originally from South Wales, and after studying and working in London for many years, Andrew and his wife decided to move to the West Country and settled in the Chippenham area in 1991. Andrew has a degree in Business Studies and is a qualified Accountant. During his working career he has worked in a number of industrial sectors including logistics, pharmaceuticals and energy.

In addition to being a Trustee for Doorway, Andrew is also a school governor of a primary school in Calne, and Trustee and assistant Treasurer of Chippenham Link Mobility.

Andrew is married with three children and his partner is also an Accountant who works for a company which operates in the environmental sector.

Andrew hopes that being involved with Doorway will allow him to use the skills he has developed over the years to the advantage of others who could benefit from his assistance.

Andrew joined the Board in 2014.

Emma Sambrook (Chair)

Emma is Director of Fundraising at Hft, a charity that supports adults with learning disabilities. She joined them from the University of the West of England in Bristol where she was Director of Development and Alumni Relations, having set up the department.

This was the latest role in a career working within charities as a fundraiser and senior manager. Her experience ranges from being the Chief Executive of KidsOut, a charity working with disadvantaged and disabled children and young people to working at New Philanthropy Capital in the city of London advising wealthy individuals about investing in charitable causes (their preferred term for a donation).

Prior to joining the voluntary sector, Emma worked for WHSmith News, responsible for all the marketing and distribution of magazines in the Reading area. It was this experience of the private sector that persuaded her to switch to something more rewarding.

She has co-authored a book on fundraising law and gives training on the subject for the Directory of Social Change. She is also a trustee of the PayPal Giving Fund which runs the eBay for Charity scheme.

Emma enjoys keeping her voluntary sector knowledge up to date and is happy that her skills allow her to support Doorway. When she’s not working, Emma can be found in the garden, out jogging or on the sofa supporting Wales play rugby.

Emma joined the Board in 2014

Eleanor Stirling

Eleanor was born in 1953 in Cardon, Venezuela of British parents working for Shell.  She was educated in the Isle of Man and went to college in London.  Starting work as a senior secretary, progressing to running her own retail business in London and then moved to Wiltshire in 1991 to work in public relations and freelance copywriting.

In 1993 she joined the board of trustees for Wiltshire Mind and later became the Chief Executive in 1994 growing the charity and its services significantly.  Her next move was across to the public sector starting by managing contracts in Wiltshire Council’s Adult Social Care Department and then moving across to the NHS as a Commissioning Manager working across a number of fields including third sector funding, Mental Health, End of Life Care, Housing and Drug and Alcohol Services.

In 2007 she joined the Board of Trustees for Julian House in Bath for a number of years. 

She took voluntary redundancy in order to retire in 2015.  Her driving passion is to address inequalities and to do what she can to improve the situation for those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged.  Joining the Doorway Board in 2016 is a means of continuing to contribute to this work.

We welcome new people to join our organisation. For further information please view our Trustee Job Description


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