Aileen Leahy, client services manager in our Thames Valley office recently volunteered for No5 charity. As Aileen explained ‘As such a diverse organisation, we have a number of skills to offer our charity partners which aren’t necessarily about raising money. Being able to offer support to help raise those funds on a voluntary basis which other organisations would probably term ‘consultancy’ could significantly help our charities increase their reach and influence and ensure they squeeze every ounce of potential out of their campaigns – without having to spend those precious funds.
I was really happy to meet with No5 Young People, who are the only organisation in our local area to offer free counselling services for young people and are the chosen charity of the Thames Valley office. Currently, their waiting list stands a 349 young people in need of support which the charity are attempting to cut as soon as possible through the employment of paid counsellors. By creating paid posts, it’s likely counsellors will be able to offer more of a commitment to the charity, thereby increasing the number of young people they can see. Obviously this will take a significant sum of money and they are already up against the fact their grants have recently been cut. I couldn’t believe the size of the waiting list and couldn’t help thinking that there may well be some young people on it who simply can’t wait for help and need it now. Mental health is such an important topic and No5 believe strongly that talking openly and taking preventative steps to helping young people deal with their issues ultimately helps them for life.
I met with Carly Newman, Operations and Relationship Officer, who told me of two campaigns the charity are working on. Working within our own Business Development department, and being aware of the ways in which we ourselves convey particular messages out to the market, I was able to discuss a few different ideas around messaging and timing and also maximising the much appreciated support they already get from Shoosmiths. One way is through a direct appeal, which I helped to draft and the accompanying social media messages that the appeal was sent out with. The finished result is below:
You can also check out No5’s Facebook page for more information on this, and the other work they do.
I am also really excited about the next campaign the organisation is planning around Christmas and hope to be involved in helping to shape this too.'