Every year the charity community come together to celebrate those who have inspired us most in the sector and honour their achievements at our Inspiring Communicator Awards. This year is no different and in a year that has been filled with unimaginable challenges we are more grateful for these shining lights of our community than ever.
But what is it that has kept these Inspiring Communicators’ spirits up this year and where have they found inspiration themselves? Here’s what they had to say…
British Red Cross’ Kindness campaigns
The way the British Red Cross have used ‘kindness’ has been wonderful to follow on Twitter. It’s a nice clear message and one that we needed to hear this year. They have used the idea of kindness and being kind as a thread through most of their posts – from highlighting stories about the #PowerOfKindness, to sharing tools to help people listen with kindness and show themselves kindness. They also tied in covid-19 guidance which I loved.
Alana Genge – Communications manager – Health in Mind
Born Free Foundation’s Creature Discomforts
One campaign which really stood out to me this year was Creature Discomforts by Born Free Foundation. They worked with Aardman Animations (who created the original stop motion comedy series, Creature Comforts) to create a short film, which uses people’s experiences of lockdown to highlight what it’s like for wild animals living in captivity.
It’s very powerful to hear other people’s experiences of lockdown, but to remind us of the plight of these animals at the same time, I thought was extremely clever.
Alissa Johnson – Senior digital communications officer – Mayhew
'Hundreds of thousands of wild animals are held captive across the world in zoos which vary in size, scope, resources and quality, yet are all united by the fact they exhibit animals to visitors.'— Born Free Foundation (@BornFreeFDN) July 30, 2020
Become a Born Free supporter: https://t.co/ifnGrtcVns pic.twitter.com/EPTgQz2Xi6
The ‘Studio You’ campaign
This year has been challenging for everyone and we’ve all dealt with it in different ways. Some of us have exercised more than ever while others haven’t seen our running shoes since March! Hopscotch Consulting partnered with Sport England to create Studio You, a new element to the successful This Girl Can campaign. Studio You supports PE teachers working with young women and girls to lead a variety of sports sessions.
When I saw the campaign, it took me back to my own school days where I lost interest in sport around the age of 14. In this, I am not alone and I found the Studio You resource a firm step in making sport accessible and in motivating young women to feel like sport is for them too. I think young women present in sport is an important step in supporting long term wellbeing.
Charlotte Gallagher – Programme manager – Breadwinners
Childline’s ‘Nobody is Normal’
My inspiring campaign of 2020 is Childline’s Nobody is Normal.
I grew up feeling like a random jigsaw piece, never quite fitting in. As a mother of four, aged from 20 down to 8, I feel this campaign speaks to children in a way that’s natural to them, especially the pre-teen and teenager.
I love that it visually references Monsters’ Inc – I’m a big fan. It makes use of stop motion – a great pandemic creative device. And it’s set to Radiohead’s Creep – was there ever a more perfect tune to convey battling to keep an inner creature hidden beneath a ‘human’ disguise?
Dee Russell – Content lead – Parkinson’s UK
Every year our Childline service hears from thousands of young people who feel like they don’t fit in. That's why Childline’s launched a new campaign, Nobody Is Normal. Find out more, here: https://t.co/LbYKAmYezN pic.twitter.com/UsBwqLJtlV— NSPCC (@NSPCC) November 9, 2020
Shooting Star Children’s Hospices’ COVID-19 emergency appeal
A charity campaign that inspired me was Shooting Star Children’s Hospices’ COVID-19 emergency appeal. Their tiny team, led by their Communications Manager, Hayley Epps wrote, designed and marketed their appeal and impressively they launched it on the first day of lockdown. It raised over £700k including Gift Aid and secured extensive national media coverage significantly increasing their profile.
Fiona Brydon – Head of communications and digital – Cruse Bereavement Care
COVID-19 EMERGENCY APPEAL: We have already had to shut one hospice and now face the real threat of closing completely. Please help us to stay open for the vulnerable families we care for. Donate today: https://t.co/9A60AjyYXD #coronavirus #covid19UK pic.twitter.com/UxOMG0TsWx— Shooting Star Children's Hospices (@SSChospices) March 24, 2020
Channel 4 #TogetherAgainstHate
It’s not strictly a campaign by a charity, but Channel 4’s recent TV advert collaboration with Nationwide Building Society, Co-op and Network Rail really caught my eye. Highlighting the abuse and violence carried out against customer-facing staff it was really inspiring for its simple authenticity.
I found it really powerful the way the advert juxtaposed an employee talking so positively about their job whilst showing the dreadful real-life abuse they often face. It also made me think of my friends and colleagues who work in the retail sector. It was a heart-breaking advert to watch but relayed a vitally important message.
Scott Roberts – Media and communications manager – Barnardo’s
We stand up for diversity and inclusion. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees. One of the dark sides of this is online abuse. To highlight this disturbing trend, we’ve partnered with some advertisers to show examples of real abuse against real people in their ads. It may shock you. pic.twitter.com/guXXTsP8xA— Channel 4 (@Channel4) September 7, 2018
‘A 100 Smiles Campaign’
The ‘A 100 Smiles Campaign’ by Andrew Nyingi from Lagos State, Nigeria has particularly inspired me this year. It seeks to put smiles on the faces of less privileged children this Christmas by asking everyone to post pictures of themselves smiling every day during this 100-day countdown.
This campaign especially recognises how difficult this year has been and aims to encourage positivity and happiness towards the end of the year. It is supported by “donate-ng” an online fundraising and crowdfunding portal in Nigeria where individuals and charities with causes and projects can easily raise funds. The creativity in developing this avenue where upcoming charities can fundraise for worthy causes including improving people’s mental health and reaching children from less privileged backgrounds to make sure they enjoy Christmas is truly inspiring!
Joy Shu’aibu – Director of programme operations, Nigeria – Sightsavers
UNICEF’s ‘Read Aloud’
The UNICEF’s Read Aloud campaign inspired me to keep up my spirits during the pandemic. It started with some high school children filming themselves reading children storybooks and sending it to the children in the surrounding communities, the movement was later joined by parents around the world where they would read out storybooks and educational materials to their children.
This campaign not only addressed the risks of learning gaps in children’s educational journeys when schools were closed during a pandemic but also inspired meaningful connections between parents and their children’s learning endeavours.
Sumi Limbu – Communications officer – United World Schools, Nepal
One of my favourite charity campaigns over the last few years is #FixTheGlitch from Glitch, a charity campaigning to end online abuse and champion digital citizenship.
Their campaign is raising awareness of the scope of online abuse and its negative impact on individuals and society. Moreover, they’ve trained hundreds of people to improve their digital habits for a safer web experience.
I spend too much time on digital platforms and I’m passionate about making them a better space for everyone.
That’s why I am inspired by Seyi Akiwowo and her team who are consistent in sharing thought-provoking and interesting content while working hard to hold everyone accountable in the ways we can improve our online experience.
Tereza Litsa – Social media and content marketing manager – Lightful
It's vital to recognise the gendered aspect of online abuse. It's crucial to highlight how women – especially women of colour, LGBT+ women and disabled women – are disproportionately impacted by digital harms. We must #FixTheGlitch https://t.co/3lDTgaafod pic.twitter.com/nXgvlvMlPm— Glitch (@GlitchUK_) April 28, 2020
Free Period Scotland
Victoria Heaney has led the charge to end period poverty in Scotland for five years. MSP Monica Lennon won a unanimous approval in Scottish Parliament of the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill. This campaign is an incredible example of a grassroots movement catalysed by activism and tenacity, and with a clear end goal and success. The campaign used surveys to showcase the extent of period poverty in Scotland as well as tackling the stigma surrounding periods. The impact on education is another area, as it was found that many girls were missing school because of their period.
Proud to vote for this groundbreaking legislation, making Scotland the first country in the world to provide free period products for all who need them. An important policy for women and girls. Well done to @MonicaLennon7 @ClydesdAileen and all who worked to make it happen https://t.co/4lckZ4ZYIY— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) November 24, 2020
Tracey Bleakley – CEO – Hospice UK
You can read more about this year’s Inspiring Communicator Award Winners here.
Image: fotografierende on Pexels