So, I won't lie, when I saw a post from Leisa asking for people to help canvassing my first thought was, “how do I get out of this!”.
However, I was feeling guilty….for various personal reasons (new job, new childcare, kids…you all know the drill) I have not been giving the WEP or the elections enough time. I haven't attended meetings I was interested in and to be honest have hardly had the time to read posts.
Then it struck me, turning up and helping in a practical way was probably the best use of my time at the moment.
I was still dreading it!
I thought it would be the political equivalent of the paper round I did age 15: scary dogs, shouty people and a general feeling of intruding where not welcome.
I couldn't have been more wrong!
People were generally very interested to hear about the party. I think there is a real appetite for alternatives at the moment. Also, it was so interesting to hear what issues were important to people. These range from the global: Trump and Brexit; to national: childcare and the NHS; and local: planning issues.
People really wanted to chat and we wanted to listen. One thing that did strike me was how labour intensive the whole process is - In two hours we only got through one side of a (fairly long) road.
This is yet another area where the established parties have such an advantage: they have the ground-teams prepared to pound the pavements.
Where Worcestershire WEP are a small branch, consisting of people scattered across a large county! For many simply getting to Worcester is a time-consuming challenge. Add to that a few hours walking, for many, unfamiliar streets and it can feel like a daunting, even insurmountable mission before you even deal with the fear of the actual canvassing!
But, it really does make a massive difference – people are interested in what we have to say and equally it is so interesting and important to understand what matters to others.
If you do have even a couple hours to spare I would urge you to consider canvassing. Give it a go, you might surprise yourself!
Written by Amy Poole