What is Jolly January?
Our focus is on reconnecting individuals with the various local services and activities within their community. For many, the third week of January can be a particularly challenging time.
Why do we do it? We want to connect with those people who don’t use social media and are still unaware of what support and local services are available in their immediate area. Those people who seem to fall through the cracks.
So, what do we do?
We choose the second week of January because this is NOT a “jolly” time of year and is known for being the lowest time of the year for many people, and we knock doors. We are armed with information about all the wonderful local activities, groups and support available nearby, and if someone isn’t in, we drop this information through their door, but if they are at home then we stop and have a chat.
The campaign is organised by Northfield Community Partnership, but we invite local partners and volunteers to join us, and they too bring their information and leaflets. This year we were joined by: Bournville Village Trust, BCC colleagues, Midland Mencap, Northfield Arts Forum, CASBA, Redeemer Church, Church Central, St Chads in Rubery, The Oaks Care home, West Heath CC as well as local citizens and volunteers.
We aim to cover all of Northfield Constituency and knock doors in each of the 8 wards.
What did we achieve?
We delivered 800 leaflets (100 in each Ward) and we had 282 conversations with local citizens.
Everyone we spoke to was grateful for the information shared and the opportunity to talk about how they were doing and how they were coping during this “cost of living” crisis. Having relevant local information shared with them directly was useful.
Several citizens were referred immediately to services in the area that could help them. Here are some examples:
A young mum who was caring for a child with a disability was linked up to Midland Mencap. An elderly gentleman who was struggling waiting for new sticks, his garden was overgrown, and he was feeling very low was referred to a local project for extra support and advice.
A lady who was new to the area was caring for a child with autism and was given advice about where to go for activities and support for her son.
A family struggling with bills and housing were referred to a local advice drop in.
Several community projects and Centres have reported an increase of people attending their services just one week after the Jolly January information.
It’s a great opportunity for local volunteers & colleagues from different organisations to meet and hear about the great work each are doing, and to respond to issues they hear about on the doorstep about what is important to local citizens.
Last year the door knocking in Shenley revealed a high number of people living in the area who did not have English as a first language. A local resident approached BVT and the group “Shenley Welcomes” was set up in Shenley Court hall attended regularly every week by families and citizens needing somewhere to meet, make friends and practice English.
This year some great connections were made between different support agencies who are already planning some joint initiatives for 2024…. we await to hear the outcomes….
And already there are some spin off ideas to increase the reach of Jolly January and to take it out to other areas where door knocking could make a difference.
Thanks to everyone who made this year’s Jolly January campaign such a success.
If you want a copy of any of the Ward leaflets that summarise the help available in each ward they are available to anyone. Please feel free to download and use them.