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How face-to-face can get across crucial health messages

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

“I love talking to people and I love knowing I have made a difference.”

Hungarian-born Csongor, who has been part of the Gather Campaigns network since 2020, talks about the importance of face-to-face interaction when it comes to promoting important health messages.

Previously working in a pizza restaurant, Csongor wanted something different – and to make a difference.

As a natural people-person, he instantly felt right at home working on the Gather programme. Within weeks of completing his training and starting work, Csongor and his face-to-face colleagues were using their expertise to support the fight against Covid-19, delivering and collecting crucial Covid testing kits from thousands of doorsteps.

This partnership with the London Borough of Redbridge continues and last week saw Csongor and a Gather Outreach team speak with local residents about the importance of the polio vaccine booster for children aged between one and nine years old, sharing vital information that can help parents understand how immunisation can protect their children.

The team were also promoting the London Borough of Redbridge’s Community Health Champions scheme, which looks for local residents to sign up and help promote key health messages.

Getting the message across in the right way

Csongor explains: “When residents understand we are here to talk about health information, they want to engage. Speaking with them face-to-face means we can spend time talking about what it is, what it means to them and why it is so important. It also gives residents a chance to ask questions about more general health matters.”

Ahead of any campaign going live with the public, the Outreach team are given specific training on the topic in focus and useful guidance notes, which Csongor refers to alongside his own gift for engaging.

“I love talking to people,” he admits. “And the difference you can make to just one person makes everything worthwhile. I think we all understand that people might be wary of someone knocking on their front door. So, you have to be polite and respectful and concise in getting your message across. You often find residents then relax into the conversation and we can talk more about the importance of the health campaign, whether it’s about polio, cancer or mental or physical health.”

The importance of face-to-face conversations

Having been part of the Gather Campaigns team for almost three years, Csongor said he loves the variety of his work, being part of both face-to-face public health and charity campaigns.

He added: “If someone doesn’t enjoy talking to the public and going door-to-door, the work simply isn’t for them. It can be hard when people think you are just asking for money. Donations are important of course, but it can also be about talking about the importance of a charity or a particular campaign. This raises awareness and also starts conversations.

“I find people are willing to listen once they know the message is important or it could affect them. It is not just about giving someone a leaflet and walking away. When you really start engaging with someone about such an important topic, it can be truly inspiring.”

Csongor found a role that he loves, and most importantly he is now genuinely making a difference, positively impacting the lives of those people he’s speaking with every day.

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