Our Gather Outreach team were recently saluted at a special event organised by London Borough of Redbridge to recognise key organisations that have supported their public health Covid-19 response. The event gave our Managing Director, Dominic Will, the chance to reflect on the last few years as Gather used its face-to-face expertise to adapt and repurpose to support in the fight against the pandemic.
A little over two years ago and in keeping with many across the country, we were at a crossroads.
As Covid-19 began dominating every landscape, face-to-face fundraising ground to a halt with the first national lockdown coming into force in March 2020. As a company that had built its reputation on direct dialogue, it’s fair to say this was a worrying and uncertain time. We knew we had to adapt with agility, using our expertise and repurposing this in a very different environment.
We became aware that London Borough of Redbridge wanted to launch a community outreach pilot project to support their Covid-19 response. And the fact that we could put teams on the ground quickly and deliver campaigns effectively saw us team up with the local authority in 2020 – and continue working with them to this day. Our work began when the first PCR tests became readily available and we started visiting households and talking directly with residents in Redbridge, and later also in Tower Hamlets and Birmingham.
Amid high infection rates and relatively low levels of testing, our teams were able to utilise all their face-to-face skills to talk directly with residents, understand any concerns and offer crucial public health information around Covid and the available tests. As we moved through the various stages of the pandemic, we continued to work on Covid response, supporting several local authorities, while also beginning to evolve and engage on other health matters. Our teams spoke to residents about engaging their local GP services as well as broader public health messages and awareness-raising for diabetes, HIV testing and mental health campaigns.
Last month, we were delighted to attend a special reception (above) hosted by London Borough of Redbridge to recognise individuals and organisations that have supported their public health Covid-19 response. Our Gather Outreach team were joined by dignitaries, health professionals, NHS workers and a range of local authority and agency teams.
It was a chance for the Redbridge authority to say thank you and recognise the contribution of many unsung heroes of the last few years. For Gather, it allowed us to reflect on the achievements of our team since March 2022.
We did adapt, we did show agility, we did diversify and show a partnership approach at its best to support the most vulnerable members of our society. Overall, we engaged with over 70,000 homes, distributed over 40,000 LFD test kits and completed 38,000 Covid and health surveys with residents.
We are very proud of everything our teams have achieved and continue to achieve.
They have done an amazing job in supporting such crucial outreach, displaying the utmost professionalism at all times and being a credit to Gather Campaigns.
It is our time to thank them all.
Dominic Will, Managing Director, Gather Campaigns