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What inspires our Inspiring Communicators?

30 November 2018

Being named as an inspiring communicator is a big deal. It means you have the passion and creativity to make others stand up and take notice, and to spur those around you to strive for more. The 2019 ICA winners

That is why we are so proud of all the CharityComms Inspiring Communicator Award winners.

But what is it that inspires this year’s Inspiring Communicators we wondered. Well we asked some of this year’s winners and there was definitely a common thread – people.

So here’s what the CharityComms Inspiring Communicators of 2018 had to say:

People inspire me. Their stories. Their courage. Their resilience. During my career, I have also drawn strength and knowledge from being part of a community of communications professionals. We shouldn’t forget that we are experts at putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes and giving their truth a voice. Its highly sophisticated work. Not everyone can do it but, as charity communicators, we can. And, to me, that’s brilliant and inspiring.

Michelle Doyle Wildman, acting chief executive, Parentkind

Something pretty obvious that I took far too long to realise was that the most powerful stories come from people talking about their own experiences. But now that’s what inspires me – listening to what the people I work with (people with disabilities living in developing countries) want to say and trying to make sure their voices are heard as widely as possible. I’m also constantly inspired by the amazing comms I see from other charities that doesn’t resort to pity or guilt but creatively shows people that they can make a difference in the world.

Sarah Bourn, editor of policy and campaigns, SightSavers

AV UK inspired me to get more involved with charity work as they are the organisation that changed the whole course of my life, they helped me to talk and listen just like my hearing friends. Even though I am profoundly deaf, I have learned with the help of AV UK to communicate really well, this means I can lead a completely independent life which I love to do!

Beatrice Cadman, volunteer, Auditory Verbal UK

Through my work I have had the privilege of meeting some of the most inspiring people. Some of the wisest. The most caring. The most honest. When someone shares their experience of breast cancer, they allow so many others to know that they’re not going through this disease alone. If I can play any part in helping their stories reach more people, and in thanking them, then that is all the inspiration I need.

Claudia Knowles, digital content strategist, Breast Cancer Care

The main people that inspire me are Shonda rhimes, Beyonce, Michaela Coel and Marai Larasi. All women with the courage to tell their own story on their own terms.

 Carys Afoko, executive director, Level Up

 My inspiration stems from many years of observing good and bad communicators and enjoying the successes that come from ‘getting it right’. Much of my latter career was spent in stakeholder manager where managing the message was essential to maintaining a positive attitude and vital support. It was also key to maintaining the motivation to enable teams to deliver above and beyond. I have used the same approach to help St Luke’s spread the fantastic story that is their 30 year journey to delivering a wide range of fantastic and caring services to turn despair into dignity.

Peter Eates, Lead ambassador, corporate partner and volunteer fundraiser, St Luke’s Hospice

Finding new and creative ways to share stories inspires me to do my work in the charity sector. I was originally inspired to work in the third sector because I felt strongly about social justice issues and wanted to find a way to make a difference. I soon realised that it is the stories, opinions and feelings of those who we work with that inspires me most. When people step forward to share their story, I’m inspired by their bravery and aim to use my skills to ensure that their story is told in the most respectful and compelling way.

Rachel Elson, social media producer, The Children’s Society

In my charity roles I have been lucky enough to work with many brilliant people whose voices and stories have been my inspiration. It was a Girlguiding Advocate who gave me the courage to apply for my first Director role when my two daughters were still very young, and they also inspired some of my favourite campaigns of my career. Now at Changing Faces it is the amazing people with visible differences whose stories give me determination to speak out for a better world. One of our young champions, Nikki Lilly, who has a genetic condition called AVM, recently told politicians: “I have to be brave every day. But I am asking you to be even braver and do what needs to be done to make change.” It doesn’t get more inspiring than that!

Becky Hewitt, chief executive, Changing Faces

I work with university students and they are a big source of inspiration to me. Gen Z have a global outlook, are open-minded and care deeply about making the world a better place. They remind me to always keep exploring, to question and challenge assumptions, but above all to keep optimistic! Universities are going through a lot of change and as charities we need to find new and engaging ways to communicate our core purpose of advancing education and promoting research for the public benefit.

Amy Lothian, head of communications (entrepreneurship), Kings College London

If you want to see the full list of winners for the 2018 Inspiring Communicator Awards and why they were nominated go to our winners page.

Christine Fleming

Head of digital content, CharityComms

Christine is the head of digital content at CharityComms in charge of the commissioning and editing of all content on the site as well as leading on the project management of the new look best practice guides. A former journalist with a background in online news, she has a masters in Global Media and Transnational Communications and is passionate about comms and helping charity communications thrive.