How do you ensure that citizens know what HeartsafeLiving is and so get people to sign up as a volunteer? In the municipality of East-Gelre, where neighborliness is still a great thing, it is quite obvious: you hit the streets. The working group members Dianne, Marloes and Anja tell.
With the support of the municipality of East-Gelre – with the main cores Lichtenvoorde and Groenlo – a group of volunteers created a working group last year. Four enthusiasts within this group wanted to increase the brand awareness of HeartsafeLiving. Dianne: “We found it important that HeartsafeLiving in East-Gelre was put on the map.”
Together they invented four kind of actions to promote HeartsafeLiving, including at fairs, summer markets and the four day walk. “Last summer we spent considerable attention to HeartsafeLiving,” says Marloes. “We rented a market stall and arranged all sorts of promotional material. With this we were at two events in Groenlo and Lichtenvoorde.”
By engaging in conversation with the visitors we found out that many people can resuscitate, but are not yet familiar with HeartsafeLiving. Then you realize how important it is to hit the streets. “During the four day walk from Lichtenvoorde four hikers walked in a shirt of HeartsafeLiving. For each activity, a report appeared in the local newspapers. The working group made a poster to recruit volunteers. This poster is now available in GP practices, pharmacies and shops.
The working group regularly appoints the term ‘neighborliness’. Anja explains what this means: “Being ready for your neighborhood, that’s what neighborliness is about. That is for many residents of East-Gelre a good reason to sign up as a volunteer. They want to do something for someone else.” A year after the establishment of HeartsafeLiving East-Gelre there are already three hundred volunteers. Anja: “With this number the response is sufficient when there is an alert. That gives peace of mind.”
East-Gelre is on track to win the title HeartsafeLiving. Dianne: “There only have to be placed a few cabinets outside to have a full coverage. Then we have a true heartsafe community with plenty of cabinets and volunteers to be deployed as quickly as possible. That is what you do it for. These four members of the group have their hearts in the right place and we hope to inspire other municipalities.” Marloes: “People are really willing to do something for their fellow man, that applies not only here but also in other municipalities.”