Inspiration is a very special thing. It can provide a much needed boost for those who are struggling, energise those who are after a fresh perspective, and spark new ideas. So the ability to inspire others is truly something to be celebrated.
Every year our members are asked to nominate the charity communicators they find most inspiring. Providing an opportunity for us all to hear about the passionate and enthusiastic individuals that have made a mark on those around them. But where do these Inspiring Communicators go when they need inspiration themselves?
What platform and people do our sector’s Inspiring Communicators seek out to help trigger the strength and creativity needed to keep going?
Read on to find out…
Like many people, I’m addicted to social media and find myself mindlessly scrolling on a daily basis. But there’s definitely inspiration to be found there. Some of my favourite Instagram accounts are Colossal for intriguing and accessible art, Thiscabinvan for wholesome escapism, and comedy acts Charity Shop Sue and Bailey J Mills for general silliness. In different ways, they all help me to keep a fresh perspective.
Eleanor Newland, Senior content manager, Marie Curie
I have worked hard on finding inspiration in myself and it’s the one thing that has helped me to find a way to empower and inspire others and recognise inspiring people around me. There’s nothing more inspiring to me than someone who truly believes and loves themselves for who they are. Accepts their mistakes and grows from them. One account that’s really helped me do that is myselflovesupply on Instagram. I turn on notifications for this account so I can continue to reaffirm my self-love and self-belief. The same goes for organisations too. RNLI has really inspired me a lot this year. They’ve come out boldly talking about why they rescue people crossing the channel and faced some harsh criticism from their supporters BUT have remained true to their value of why they do what they do. That’s very inspiring.
Nana Crawford, Social media manager, British Red Cross
Working from home there can be many moments staring at the wall, searching for inspiration, or comfort you are not alone with a challenge. Rachel Miller’s AllThingsIC blog gives sound guidance and discussions on comms topics and when I am not sure where to start on something, it’s a launch pad for my thinking. But for instant energy and ideas I do not need to look far. I am fortunate to work with an incredibly creative team at Scouts. If I post a quick question or ideas challenge on our shared workspace the inspiration, ideas and support I need is there in an instant!
Hermione Clulow, Head of communications, Scouts
Working for a charity such as the RNLI I do not need to look hard for inspiration. Although it is often too easy to become tied up in the corporate side of things, I find by taking a step back and remembering why I work for the charity, the incredible people I have met, who give up their own time in an attempt to save everyone who gets into trouble in the water, and the incredible stories I hear of the people who have been rescued or have learnt a new skill to allow them to go on and rescue others is often enough. The impact lifeboat crew, lifeguards and fundraisers can have not just on one person’s life but the rippling effect on whole families is amazing, add the fact that the people giving up their time do so to help strangers is so inspiring.
Claire-Marie Mason, Senior media engagement manager, RNLI
I’m super lucky to be surrounded by some of the most creative, passionate and skilled people at Sustrans. Whenever I need a boost of inspiration or imagination, I turn to my colleagues and their expertise. CharityComms deserves a shout-out too. Their resources and webinars are filled with inspiration and innovative ways to help us comms professionals get into the zone. My best tip though? I’m a member of a fantastic Facebook group called the ‘Third Sector PR & Comms network’. The group is filled with the friendliest, most creative, knowledgeable people out there, sharing ideas, tips and resources. And as if that wasn’t reason enough to join, each post usually comes accompanied by a cute pet photo or a fun gif!
Lauren Mealor, Brand and content manager, Sustrans
When I’m in need of inspiration, I head to SOFII – The showcase of fundraising innovation and inspiration. They share many stories of fundraising activities taking place around the world, all of which I find so inspiring. SOFII is a unique free resource, provided to fundraisers by fundraisers because they believe that “brilliance is for sharing”. In addition to this, I follow many fantastic fundraisers on Twitter and, if I’m having a tough day, I head over to social media and allow people like Wayne Murray and David Lacey to remind me why I choose to do what I do.
Nikki Wrench, Founder, Furloughed Fundraisers Chat
As a media officer I share stories of the children, young people and families we support on a daily basis so to find inspiration, I turn to where they are talking, I read their stories first hand and tap into what is really affecting them to make sure we are helping to speak about what they want to speak about. Many young people we support have created their own Instagram channels to share what it’s like to be a young person facing cancer or living after cancer treatment. I find it really inspiring to read their words and their accounts of what they have been through. Our Hand2Hold campaign, with Teenage Cancer Trust, stemmed from conversations with young people we support and it had their voices at the heart of everything, which is what I believe made it so impactful. As well as writing, speaking and sharing, our main role as a communicator is listening and when we truly listen, that’s when what we do really makes a difference.
Emma Gibbons, Media and communications officer, Young Lives vs Cancer
I often turn to the fabulous world of social media for inspiration on how to campaign to bring about positive change for cancer services in the UK. Instagram in particular. Social media allows so many people to share opinions in a very raw, honest way and can be a space for contrasting views to be held alongside each other. The number of cancer influencers has greatly increased over the last few years and has been a great space for people to have their voice and express it in interesting and creative ways to inspire their community. Deborah James who goes by the name bowelbabe on her social media is one influencer that really stands out for me. She writes columns for the Sun about her cancer experience, is amazing with her social media and events campaigning efforts, and she was a great advocate for keeping cancer services running at the normal rates throughout the pandemic.
Mikki Phipps (nee Riddell), Professional development coordinator, Macmillan Cancer Support
Read all about 2021’s Inspiring Communicators by heading over to our 2021 winners page.