Sunday 4 July will be Thank You Day. But what is Thank You Day, and how can council comms teams support and get involved?
The idea behind Thank You Day is a very simple one. After the last fifteen months we’ve all been through, we need an opportunity to come together in a safe way with neighbours, communities and families to say thank you to all those who have helped us out along the way, and to celebrate that community spirit which has got us through. That is what Thank You Day is all about.
Originally proposed by 13 individuals, Thank You Day is now being supported by hundreds of organisations from the Scouts to the Rotary, the NHS and the Football Association. Events being planned across the country include a special Park Run, a ‘Power Hour’ mass community tidy up, a Big Lunch, a ‘Cheers for Volunteers’ event, and a BB-Thank-Q (the nation’s biggest ever Cook Out led by Levi Roots).
Thank You Day is being supported by the Local Government Association and local authorities are being encouraged to see how they can get involved.
So, how can communications teams get involved and support? Here are three ways:
1. Say Thank You to your community
The simplest way for councils to get involved is by using the opportunity to say a big “Thank You” to their community as loudly and in as many different ways as possible. We’re encouraging everyone to use Thank You Day and the weeks around it to say:
“Thank You Leicester”, “Thank You Lancaster”, “Thank You Littlehampton” etc, and to say it as widely and in as many different places as possible.
You can do this through social media, obviously, but you could also make use of community noticeboards in parks or public libraries. You could use signage and advertising space where this is available. There are a range of assets on the Thank You Day website which you can easily use, but you are also perfectly free to adapt these, to joint badge them or design your own.
And it is worth noting that this isn’t just a ‘nice thing to do’! There is a solid evidence base for the positive impact which acts of collective gratitude can have on individual and societal well-being. Perhaps it’s the kind of thing we should do more often?!
2. Use Thank You Day to highlight and amplify existing work
You can say thank you in whatever way works best for your place and your local authority. A number of local authorities are finding innovative ways to say thank you, including through using Thank You Day to help highlight and amplify existing initiatives and work.
Camden are using Thank You Day as an opportunity to thank those who have been nominated under the ‘We Make Camden’ community recognition campaign. Bradford are using Thank You Day to promote their Citizen Coin scheme, under which volunteers and those involved in social and civic activities enjoy generous discounts from local retailers and businesses who have signed up to the scheme as a way of saying thank you.
Other councils are thinking about how they can use Thank You Day as a hook for existing plans to thank those who have volunteered their time to help others over the course of the pandemic.
3. Encourage your communities to say thank you
Finally, you can encourage, through your normal communication channels, your communities to get involved in Thank You Day in the simplest way possible – by saying thank you to each other and those they most want to thank.
Many schools are across the country are contributing to a giant national Thank You Card. Bradford’s Bradford for Everyone team will be out in the community in and around Thank You Day distributing ‘Thank You Bradford’ tote bags and cards with details about Citizen Coin, but also making videos with local residents about the people they most want to thank. A message of thanks by video, on Facebook or twitter is something any of us can simply and easily do.