On Wednesday, after being in contact with our Lentara liaison, for the first time in my life I boarded the Cragieburn line. A 10 minute walk from the station and I would find the offices of Lentara UnitingCare. As this was my first personal. tangible experience with the organisation, I was very aware of its atmosphere and environment. I considered this especially useful in acquiring a first-hand idea of Lentara’s personality and identity, discovering and promoting the latter being my team’s objective.
As I was told my team members were still a few minutes away, I went inside to reception and began discussion with Jeff, our Lentara correspondent, who managed to solve a few of my queries about the company, and give new insights and information. For example, I was questioning Lentara’s involvement within social events, suggesting its ability to improve awareness. Recently they were involved in the Brunswick Music Festival, creating catering and cleaning jobs for the asylum seekers. While this is wonderful, of course, my task is mainly concerned with spreading awareness, thus there is certainly more (PR, posters, donation bins, co-campaigns, sponsorship, advertising deals, etc.) that can be done within event partnerships to promote the organisation.
As for the location itself, from the street, the building was a lot bigger than I imagined. I perceived that we’d be heading to only offices, however as our tour later uncovered, many of Lentara’s services are provided here on Camp Road. A Cross was viewable from the street, identifying the religious connection with UnitingCare Church, however otherwise I did not pick up any religious influence. The first thing i noticed as i entered the main building was a box of children’s toys in the reception area, followed by magazines and a food-donation basket. Good first impression. A sensed a welcoming, positive, environment, which is fantastic considering I realised that clients come in and out of this Lentara location frequently. A lady was sitting with her young daughter in the waiting room, who was full of energy, running around with a huge smile on her face. Posters and pamphlets were spread around the room, with encouraging slogans such as “Give Happy, Live Happy”. All these elements, enhanced by a kind receptionist, combine to deliver a very welcoming, friendly, helpful environment for any visitors, including the frequent underprivileged clients – exactly the notion we need to communicate and promote as the Lentara identity.
This visit was extremely useful, as I gained a significant amount of information and understanding. Talking with Jeff, Ann-Maree Colborne (CEO), and Sameer Sondhi (Growth & Strategy director) sparked a lot of ideas, communication and media related, that my team can help develop. But that’s for another blog post.