Thursday, 12 March 2015

D-55 in words and pictures; an exciting day at West Kent Tower

Our day commenced with an 8am call at the printers, in my now familiar battered van, where I picked up another pallet of EA1 (Election Address 1) to drop off at the fulfilment house to have them data merged and sorted ready for Royal Mail. 

On my way back to West Kent Towers I received a call from Richard Piper Griffiths, who is working for the fabulous Maria Caulfield, our Parliamentary candidate Lewes. West Kent had stepped in at the last minute to print and mail merge 5,000 surveys after Maria's local printer let her down, and Richard had popped over to collect them. We regularly undertake activities like this (almost always without charge) to assist nearby target seats - and quite right too! Some people are critical at the time and energy spent in maintaining such a large scale organisation in West Kent, but doing so enables us to help and support the party's wider goals. By way of example, in the last 12 months West Kent has provided approximately 3,000 "man-hours" of campaign support to nearby marginal seats as well as £15,000 of printing and professional support. None of this would be possible if it wasn't for our strong local organisation.

One of our internal goals today was to pack 25,000 Voter ID surveys for our new Parliamentary Candidate in Faversham and Mid Kent, Helen Whately. These had been mail merged and folded yesterday and were ready for packing today. It was all hands to the pumps to get this done in a day, and the first packing team were already hard at work at West Kent Towers by the time I arrived. The team below consists of helpers from Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Malling and Maidstone - all working willingly and enthusiastically for a constituency to which they have no formal connection and for a candidate they have never met; how lucky we are to have such mutually supportive volunteers.

Clockwise from bottom left (red jacket): Brenni Wilson, Sue Nuttall, Glynis Coates, Gill Levine,
Pat Moss, Brian Moss, Owen Baldock and Chris Balock.

And 15 miles away another packing team were working just as hard on Faversham and Mid Kent's surveys at the home of Chatham & Aylesford President Joyce Gadd. 

From bottom left: Brenda Clewer, Malcolm Clewer, Jim Windsor, John Balcombe, Corinne, Allan Sullivan,
Joyce Gadd, Charles Gadd and Chris Parry-Waller.

Including help from a special woman who, despite fighting to retain her own parliamentary seat, is always first in line to help and support others who need it. I am of course talking about Tracey Crouch MP

Our other target today was to data capture the 1,200 Residents' Surveys which arrived in yesterday's post - and thanks to a marathon stint by four members of our data team, we cleared the decks (apart from another 800 which arrived in the post today!)

Finally, after checking the first 50 local government nomination papers I headed-off to Tonbridge School for our long-awaited fund-raiser "An Audience with Sir Nicholas Soames" which was fully booked with 300 guests.

Here is a photo taken 30 minutes before we opened the doors:

and here is another, an hour later!

Apart from welcoming Sir Nicholas and hearing about his extraordinary life and family, we raised over £2,000 for Party funds. But something else very special and exciting also happened tonight; we launched Tom Tugendhat's Campaign Video "Our Best Days Are Still to Come."

More about Sir Nicholas presentation and Tom's campaign video tomorrow. 

Goodnight from a very tired agent on D-55

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