A new strategy to increase engagement in Nottinghamshire
New Directions supports a number of individuals within the Eastwood area of Nottinghamshire. We currently have approximately 3,500 people in treatment and worked with over 10,000 individuals between October 2016 and September 2017. Nevertheless, we know there are a lot of other people in need who aren’t engaging with our service. So we worked with our local Community Safety Partnership to develop an action plan to increase public and partnership awareness of drug and alcohol services.
Broxtowe Borough Council gave us £1,000 to revamp our literature and target it at people who weren’t using our service within the Eastwood South district. On reflection we decided a rewrite wasn’t necessary, and that the money would be better spent by circulating our existing information more widely. So we came up with the idea of hand delivering our leaflets. On March 8th, seven of us, including three volunteers, posted 1,500 leaflets through letterboxes, covering every street in the south of Eastwood.
We really enjoyed going out leafleting and getting to know the patch better, while engaging with community members. We hadn’t done anything like it before and it felt like a really positive thing to do to raise awareness of our services and the support we offer.
Walking up and down the streets in Eastwood South helped us learn more about the neighbourhood. We also enjoyed chatting to residents who opened their doors or who were out and about while we were leafleting. They responded positively to us and what we were trying to do
I would certainly recommend this approach to services as it is another way to potentially improve accessibility, enhance knowledge and connect with the community.
We will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of leafleting in the coming months by asking people who come in how they found out about us. If we find leafleting increases referrals we will definitely do it again.