Phoning residents: how Hull Lib Dems are helping the community

Matt Wilcock on the telephone

Liberal Democrats in Hull made the most phone calls of any local party last week, calling residents to help their community through the coronavirus crisis. Here’s Matt Wilcock explaining what they’ve done and how you can learn from it:

The coronavirus outbreak has found us all indoors. That has not spelt an end to community support for our team here in Hull. We have put campaigning aside completely and instead we have put our foot to the floor with supporting our local community.

We are focussed on calling residents most at risk, particularly older residents who are single-home occupiers. We are asking if they need any help with groceries, picking up post or medication should they self-isolate and, if they do, making sure they know about the local support options available.

This has proven a great way to support our residents. Not only are we offering a great service, but all our councillors and volunteers are finding it an enjoyable and rewarding process.

I asked one of our super-callers, Cllr Maria Coward, how she was finding the process:

The residents are just appreciative. They couldn’t believe their local councillor was giving them a call! They were really shocked.

Although the regular staple of local Lib Dem campaigning, leafleting and knocking on doors, has gone out of the window you can still help your local community. The mighty phonebank is here to the rescue!

If you would like to set-up a phone-bank here are a few tips:

  • You can call at any sensible time. No need to stick to weekends or evenings, as people are in all day(!)
  • Have something of value to offer residents there and then over the phone. Perhaps you can have a few website links to hand or your local council’s telephone helpline number.
  • Do tailor your list using the Connect target pools and save yourself some work by using the template scripts set up by Lib Dem HQ, as we are.
  • Stick to help that it is appropriate to offer – and if you need to contact any official bodies on their behalf, make sure you have their permission do so first.

Our Hull Lib Dem team has called as many people as if we were still ramping up to the, now cancelled, local elections! It was a great start to the Monday morning to hear we had made more phone-calls than any other team in the country.

There you have it – the gambit has been thrown down. We look forward to being challenged for our number one spot this week – happy calling!

For more advice on what party members and supporters can do, see the party’s website and don’t forget the three steps you can take yourself to help the NHS. Other local parties are concentrating on calling members and supporters, such as Camden Liberal Democrats.