- Campaigning and advocacy
- Arts, culture and heritage
- Children and youth
- Healthcare and medical research
- Education and training
- Grantmaking and funding
- Environment and conservation
- International aid and development
- Social care, advice and support
Getting subtitles onto most video-on-demand content
Since the Communications Act in 2003, broadcasters have been required to provide subtitles on ‘traditional’ TV, but there was no equivalent law around on-demand services.
Action on Hearing Loss knew that subtitling was the issue raised most often by its members, and so it launched the ‘Subtitle It!’ campaign in June 2015.
The campaign was two-pronged: it aimed to secure commitments from the government to change the law so that on-demand providers would be required to provide minimum levels of subtitles, and it aimed to convince commercial broadcasters of the benefits of increasing subtitled content.
The integrated programme of policy and campaigns work succeeded in holding the government to its promise to carry out a review of the issue of on-demand subtitling, but suffered a setback when the government chose not to act following this review.
The charity redoubled its efforts, lobbying hard for amendments to the Digital Economy Bill that was making its way through Parliament at the time. In January this year, the government tabled an amendment to the Bill that will make it a legal requirement to provide subtitles on video-on-demand services. This will benefit the UK’s 7.5 million subtitle users.
Action on Hearing Loss also held regular meetings with broadcasters, pointing out that two-thirds of subtitle users would switch TV provider for a more accessible service. This resulted in Sky and BT TV delivering significant increases to their on-demand subtitling provision. For instance, prior to the launch of Subtitle It! Sky subtitled just 4 per cent of its on-demand content; it has now confirmed a target of at least 80 per cent.
A happy by-product of the campaign was the recruitment of nearly 5,800 new campaigners to the charity’s campaigns network, growth of 65 per cent.
CC reg no: 207720
Successfully challenged an NHS decision on an effective HIV prevention pill
The National Aids Trust’s campaign to challenge NHS England’s decision not to make an HIV prevention drug (PrEP) available on the NHS resulted in the commitment to a three-year trial for up to 10,000 most at-risk people.
Clinical trials of PrEP had shown it to be 86 per cent effective at preventing HIV transmission, and the Trust had been working with the NHS for 18 months, helping it to gather evidence to help it decide whether to commission the drug. But suddenly the NHS announced that the commission was not its responsibility and it would not be funding PrEP.
The Trust gathered together a campaign team in the HIV sector and sought legal advice. Its board of trustees backed a legal fight and the charity took the NHS to judicial review. It aim was simple: to reverse the NHS decision and ensure that PrEP was made available to the 10,000 people that the initial proposal identified would be eligible and interested.
Alongside the legal challenge, the Trust developed and shared a media campaign to counter some of the homophobic and stigmatising coverage of the issue. It coordinated online activism and briefed politicians, keeping the campaign high on the public and Parliamentary agenda.
The Trust won the judicial review, and then went on to successfully defend the case in the Court of Appeal. Eventually the NHS agreed to a large-scale medical trial of PrEP for three years, reaching 10,000 people, with a commitment to full rollout after the trial.
The legal costs were capped and the Trust negotiated a highly unusual agreement that if it were to lose, it would not have to pay the legal costs of the other side. The charity’s costs were partly covered by the losing side, plus a contribution of just under £9,000 which the Trust raised through crowdfunding.
In December 2016, five sexual health clinics in London announced reductions in new HIV diagnoses of up to 50 per cent. Once PrEP becomes available nationally, the Trust expects to see these reducing levels of HIV continuing.
CC reg no: 297977
Delivering creative arts projects to empower disadvantaged people
Disability prejudice and access to the arts are directly correlated. By the same token, both disabled and non-disabled people can equally benefit from disabled people having access to the arts – as it can boost self-esteem, confidence, visibility and acceptance.
In an increasingly fractious society in which the Arts Council England found that hate crimes against disabled people have risen by over 40 per cent in the last year, creative arts charity Create identified that disabled children and young people across the United Kingdom needed a tailored creative arts programme.
After conducting extensive research on the topic in 2013, Create’s creative:connection programme was born.
The creative:connection programme brings young people with and without disabilities together through boundary-breaking creative arts workshops led by professional artists. The programme gives disabled young people access to these art professionals without having to navigate inaccessible venues, with each workshop focusing on instigating friendships as well as developing self-esteem.
To date the programme has reached 954 participants, with 97 per cent of those saying they had enjoyed the project and working with Create’s artists. Some 91 per cent of those participants also said the programme had developed their creativity, while 89 per cent said it had developed their teamwork.
The benefits of the creative:connection programme also extend to the its volunteers and artists and Create holds biannual ‘Artist Sharing’ sessions which give the artists an opportunity to network, learn from experts and share best-practice. Every volunteer said they enjoyed taking part in the programme.
CC reg no: 1099733
Using comedy to help Muslims come together
For a generation, the British Muslim community has faced a struggle to integrate with the rest of the UK, and many of Britain’s Muslims feel marginalised, distrusted and under threat.
Appreciating this growing feeling of unease amongst its supporters, as well as its UK-based beneficiaries, Penny Appeal organised its 11 city ‘Super Muslim Comedy Tour’ this year, in order to create a more constructive and effective dialogue among Muslims, and raise money at the same time. The tour had 13 sold-out shows across the UK and – as an additional benefit – has managed to raise over £600,000 for the charity.
The ‘Super Muslim Comedy Tour’ allowed the charity to provide a place for tour audiences to come together, through what the charity described as “the healing power of comedic art”.
The money raised will go towards supporting up to 25,000 vulnerable children around the world over the next year or so. The novel and innovative campaign was also awarded ‘Fundraising Campaign of the Year’ by the Muslim Charities Forum in February 2017.
While the money raised and the kudos earned have been important to Penny Appeal, its ‘Super Muslim Comedy Tour’ has also started a movement that encouraged artistic expression and comedy amongst the British Muslim community which can now be shared with the world.
CC reg no: 1128341
Helping young parents to prevent infant death
The Lullaby Trust, a charity which helps prevent cot death among infants, found that parents under the age of 20 were four times as likely to lose a child to sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. Infant mortality in general was 44 per cent higher for this group.
Faced with the spectre of unnecessary death among babies, the charity decided to reach out to young parents to discover the barriers which prevent them from accessing advice. It found that young parents in London experience disapproving attitudes from professionals, resulting an unwillingness to engage with the advice provided. But those young parents also display an almost cavalier attitude towards the sleep safety of their babies.
The charity also found that young parents experience a difficult environment. They are isolated from their peers, experience poor emotional wellbeing, and young mothers in particular are three times as likely to experience postnatal depression.
The charity resolved to completely change its communications approach. It redesigned its website, adopted a peer-led approach to providing information, and instituted a young parents panel to represent younger people in the trust. It also reached out to provide new training to professionals working with young people.
The trust saw considerably greater engagement. It reached 70,000 people online, and time on its website increased by 50 per cent. The trust built up its digital strategy, and learned new information. And of those parents contacted directly, almost all said they were either following advice had not yet set a baby’s routine, or would change their baby’s routine to meet the advice.
CC reg. no: 262191
Using the power of water to help those in need of healing
The Wave Project began with the long-held but unevidenced belief that contact with water has a healing effect on troubled minds. If this was the case, could surfing provide solace for young people with mental health issues?
The project began with a tiny grant from the local NHS trust in Cornwall, and helped just 20 people in its first year. But the charity was able to build a body of evidence, and by 2016, over 600 case studies showed that “surf therapy” was a powerful tool to tackle a variety of conditions, including bereavement, bullying, depression and disability.
The charity expanded the project to coastal communities across the UK, from South Devon to Scotland to Scarborough, working with local volunteers to ensure appropriate implementation. In five years, the charity’s turnover grew more than 33 times to almost £600,000.
This presented challenges, because rapid scaling up required changes in operations, particularly in internal management and communication. The charity invested in IT systems and regular communications, and is confident that the Wave Project can continue with its rapid growth.
In the last year, 809 children completed a surf therapy course, with 91 per cent of participants and 91 per cent of participants’ parents reporting that they felt better after a six-week course, and 100 per cent of referring agencies saying that they would re-refer.
CC reg no: 1163421
Improving language skills for deaf children
AVUK is transforming outcomes for deaf children in the UK, by enabling them to get an equal start at school. Without specialist intervention in the early years of their lives many develop language at half the rate of their hearing peers, commencing primary school with the language of a 2.5 year old. As a result, they can suffer from poor academic progress and lower employment prospects later in life. They are also at higher risk of social exclusion and bullying.
The first 3.5 years are crucial for the development of listening and spoken language. But with access to hearing technology and effective support, deaf children can achieve the same listening, talking, thinking and social skills as their typically hearing peers. Approximately 80 per cent of children who spend at least two years on AVUK’s auditory verbal therapy (AVT) programme achieve spoken language appropriate for their age.
Among many achievements over the last three years AVUK has opened a new centre in London and increased its capacity to see more families of deaf children. It has established a new bursary scheme to enable access to the AVT programme for more families from low-middle incomes. It has also developed a new distance training package, and challenged perceptions of deafness through a series of events, including its first Loud Shirt Day in 2016.
CC reg no: 1095133
Encouraging participation in physical activity
Mencap’s round the World Challenge (RTWC) encourages people with learning disabilities (PWLD) to get active by logging minutes of activity as miles travelled on a world route. For example, three hours of activity moves someone from England to France. Postcards are sent out at key milestones to reward and encourage continued participation.
Fewer than 1 in 5 learning disabled people aged 14 and over take part in any sport or physical activity, a huge disparity when compared with the general population, 72 per cent of whom are in some way active. Loneliness and isolation is also a major issue. Mencap’s longstanding work in the disability sport sector had mainly focused on breaking down barriers to inclusion. With RTWC it aimed to create a project to encourage PWLD to want to participate in physical activity.
It therefore changed its approach from a strategy of providing information and advice to local organisations about available inclusive activities, to a creating a motivational framework for people to plan and take part in activities of their choice. The challenge is to complete a route by logging minutes and hours of activity to travel miles on a – UK (20 hours of activity to complete), Europe (40 hours) and World (100 hours).
In the 18 months to date, RTWC has reached 634 people, the majority of whom were physically inactive before starting the project, and who have collectively participated in 32,000 hours of physical activity. Participants have enjoyed taking part so much that many have been motivated to self-fund continued participation indicating a longer-term behaviour change rather than just short-term impact.
CC reg no: 222377
Offering mental health and wellbeing support to young people at risk of offending
Project Future works in one of the most deprived ward in the London Borough of Haringey. With a relatively large number of residents under the age of 20, crime and unemployment is high, resulting in deeply entrenched patterns of social exclusion and offending.
Project Future is a partnership between MAC-UK, Haringey Council and Barnet, Enfield & Haringey Mental Health Trust, set up to tackle these problems, offering a psychologically-informed service for young men aged 16 to 25 with experiences of offending, serious violence and gang affiliation. By offering mental health and wellbeing support, it aimed to reduce offending and improve access to education, employment and training.
The project was founded on the MAC-UK INTEGRATE approach, which has been widely recommended as best practice in this field. It involves streetherapy, which integrates proven mental health interventions into standard daily interactions such as writing a CV or playing computer games. Services are designed and delivered with young people’s involvement, reducing barriers to access and improving the way they are delivered.
The project’s most recent evaluation report demonstrates its success. In October 2016, 133 young people were attending the project. Some 65 per cent had accessed some form of mental health support, 62 per cent had accessed employability support, and 53 per cent had accessed offending support.
As one young person put it: “Right now people would be in the streets getting into trouble, but here people come to do their theory, music, English, maths – do something productive.”
CC reg no: 1126144
Improving end of life support in care homes
When given the choice, most people choose to end their life in the familiar surroundings of their home. Yet all too frequently people are admitted to hospital and die in a place that is not of their choosing.
Prospect Hospice was able to work closely with Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group to help care home staff learn more about how to provide palliative care to the terminally ill, and avoid the distress of unnecessary hospital admissions among residents.
Most care homes in Swindon are privately-owned, so the charity carefully held meetings and built relationships with managers in the local private sector. The charity clinical nurse specialist (CNS) team was then able to begin working with care homes to jointly review residents and formulate care plans.
The charity also worked to build the skills and confidence of care homes’ own staff. Prospect Hospice began hosting six-weekly care home support groups as well as an annual care homes conference.
Following the initiative, the standard of palliative care provided in care homes has grown. Since 2010, the CNS team has supported 1,680 residents, while between 2013 and 2016 they have delivered 222 education sessions to care home staff.
CC reg no: 280093
Reducing re-offending rates among prisoners through training
Created with the aim of reducing reoffending rates of ex-offenders through training in the hospitality industry, The Clink’s vocational scheme prepares prisoners for a professional working environment though hands-on experience in prison restaurants, as well as through gaining City & Guilds qualifications in food preparation, service and hygiene.
The scheme involves a five-step model of recruitment, training, support, employment and mentoring, which provides support before, during and after the six to 18-month programme.
The first Clink restaurant opened in 2009 in HMP High Down in Sutton and since then the programme has expanded to prisons in Brixton, Cardiff and at Styal in Cheshire. Additional revenue has been created through The Clink’s Quick and Easy Cookbook published last year.
In 2016, the charity delivered 215,000 training hours, educating 400 prisoners and serving 98,000 dishes across the Clink restaurants. A total of 93 graduates were released into work last year, with 138 City & Guilds certificates awarded.
A recent report conducted by the Justice Data Lab and the Ministry of Justice found that for every 100 prisoners participating in the programme, 17 would re-offend within the year, as opposed to the average for similar prisoners of 29. This marks a 41 per cent reduction in the re-offending rate.
The programme is supported by more than 300 employers and aims to produce 1,000 graduates per year though 20 courses around the country by 2020.
CC reg no: 1134581
Learning the lessons of flood response
Cumbria Community Foundation has cared for a community repeatedly devastated by floods. In 2015, when Storm Desmond Broke, this time the charity was as ready as it was able to be.
CCF has previously managed three major disaster funds, including two flood appeals, but the flooding following a record-breaking rainfall in December 2015 was described as Cumbria’s worst ever flooding.
Over 5,300 households and 1,000 business properties were flooded, and thousands of people were left homeless. Many – particularly those from communities that had flooded previously – had limited insurance cover. Infrastructure was severely affected, with bridges destroyed or put out of action for extended periods.
Speed of response was key. CCF was a core member of a countywide strategic recovery group and worked closely with statutory agencies, local authorities and community groups. From its previous experience it knew that there would be an immediate need to both raise and distribute funding to flood affected people, particularly the most vulnerable, and to provide advice and support services.
It also identified that recovery can take many months and further support over the medium and long term to help with repairing flood damaged homes (particularly for the uninsured), flood resilience/resistance measures and community rebuilding projects would be required.
It raised over £10m, substantially assisted around 3,000 households through hardship grants totalling nearly £6m, and awarded almost £2m to 127 organisations providing community support services and rebuilding projects.
Feedback demonstrated the difference a grant could make. “I lost all my furniture and almost all my belongings. I’m really grateful to have been given the money”, said a 33-year-old wheelchair user, who had been left with nothing except a single overnight bag.
CC reg no: 1075120
Tackling unemployment through multi-donor grants
In 2013 the East End Community Foundation looked at unemployment in East London, and found that the figures were stark: 10.6 per cent of people were unemployed, compared with a London average of 8.9 per cent and 7.9 per cent nationwide. Young unemployment and long-term unemployment were particularly high.
The charity concluded it needed to co-ordinate charitable giving to tackle local unemployment more effectively, and set about piloting an innovative model to bring together multiple donors over many years, to work together to address the problem. It began by focusing on a single iconic building: 20 Fenchurch Street, known as the Walkie-Talkie.
In late 2014 EECF entered into conversation with the 20 Fenchurch Street Partnership (Canary Wharf Group and Land Securities) about providing a legacy for the building that would enable everyone from large businesses to local residents to contribute and help provide long-term, targeted intervention for particularly vulnerable and hard-to-reach unemployed people.
The vision was to establish a fund that combined donations from all parties, including those made as part of the CSR programmes of the Partnership, building tenants and contractors, and voluntary ones from visitors to the building’s Sky Garden. In 2015-16 it secured £110,500, way in excess of its target of £65,000, and distributed funding to five different projects.
The charity found that using this model, it was able to address unemployment in a particularly cost-effective way. On average it costs the government between £3,800 and £6,600 per person to support someone into work. Projects funded by 20FSLF supported 165 people directly into work at a cost of £1,400 per person.
CC reg no: 1147789
Helping more people to gain access to nature
Wiltshire Wildlife Trust exists to preserve nature, and encourage people to enjoy it, but it worried that it was not offering its services to a broad enough cross-section of society.
It wanted to encourage people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and people suffering trauma and disability, to engage with its services, not just through visiting but volunteering at its reserves.
It launched consultations with potential partner charities including Help4Heroes, Alzheimer’s support and Age UK, and carried out work to identify which of its 37 reserves would be most suitable locations for the project to focus on.
In April 2015, the charity launched the three-year Wild Connections programme, with backing from the Heritage Lottery Fund, to enable people from all backgrounds to enjoy, connect with, learn about and care for their local nature and national heritage.
As part of the programme, it introduced new activities on its reserves to make them more attractive to a wider range of users, including people who might not otherwise visit such as Hobbit Training Day, Shrek Mudmania and Ranger for the Day.
Two years in, the programme has delivered 235 varied nature-based events and conservation tasks across 15 reserves, engaging 4,317 people who were previously unlikely to access the charity’s services. These individuals include the long-term unemployed, people on probation and young carers.
CC reg no: 266202
Fighting poverty and transforming lives with entrepreneurship
Rwanda’s infamous genocide had a huge cost on the country’s population, with 800,000 people killed over the course of 100 days in 1994. The economic cost was also staggering: in 1994 alone growth dropped by 50 per cent, while inflation rose to 64 per cent.
Hand in Hand International believe that if chronic persistent poverty is the problem, jobs are the solution. The charity equips its members with the skills and knowledge they need to make their own success, breaking the cycle of aid dependency. Mapping Rwandan NGOs told the charity that working with project partner CARE Rwanda would enable it to reach scale with unprecedented speed and efficiency.
The two organisations’ joint project, which at $2.5m came in 22 per cent under budget, required a merging of approaches. CARE grouped people too poor to qualify for microfinance and taught them to contribute a group savings fund which is paid back into their savings with interest and invested in household assets each year, while Hand in Hand focused its approach on job creation. This means training each member in how to run their own business, facilitating assets to microfinance when group savings aren’t sufficient to fuel expansion, and linking members to larger markets to help grow their business.
Targets were exceeded in the project across a range of metrics. It resulted in 129,816 members trained, up from a target of 100,000. A further 115,041 jobs were created, up on the target of 80,000, and the partnership between the two organisations meant that the cost per job created was only $22. Hand in Hand estimate that 417,190 lives were improved as a result of the project.
CC reg no: 1113868
Increasing resilience to natural disasters in Bangladesh
Bangladesh has been subjected to recurring disasters due to its exposure to natural hazards, including cyclones, high winds, heavy rainfall and storm surges. Findings suggested that some areas lacked support from other national or international government organisations.
Islamic Relief Worldwide set out to tackle the problem, with funding from Islamic Relief UK and DfID, and set up a project to to address disaster risk preparedness and climate adaption of some of Bangladesh’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens.
The Enhancing Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Resilience in Bangladesh Project, which was initiated in 2013, has supported 27,000 households in four districts, and received a DfID A++ rating.
The acquisition and rehabilitation of strategic bits of land by communities has enable them to re-excavate former canals that now act as fresh water reservoirs. Government has also taken back land from powerful individuals who seized this land and given it to local communities. The canals have now become highly praised assets, with local farmers reporting significant yields in their cropping since structures were developed as a result of the canals.
Results of the project, which had a total value of £3m over three years, included vulnerable people in the four districts covered by the project being able to start their own income generating activities.
Almost all beneficiaries, 96 per cent, reported they were making a profit from their activities.
It also meant that 87 per cent of households are now fully food secure, with 99 per cent of households consuming three meals a day, compared with 53 per cent at baseline. Another 83 per cent of households have access to safe water.
CC reg no: 328158
Restoring independence by treating people as customers, not beneficiaries
Water is in short supply in Malawi, with many people living more than half an hour from a supply of clean water. Yet DfID estimates that, at any given time, 40 per cent of community water points in Malawi are not working, and many pumps end up abandoned when a simple fix could have put them back into operation. This means that isolated and rural communities are poorly served.
Pump Aid’s model is an attempt to turn the traditional aid mechanism on its head. It aims to treat people as customers, not beneficiaries, and apply commercial principles, with no fake loans or subsidies. By eschewing the dependency model, Pump Aid aims to restore independence to some of the poorest people in the world.
Between 2014 and 2016 Pump Aid piloted a self-supply approach in Kasungu, a province of Malawi. It encouraged individuals to invest in their own water and sanitation. It trained 25 entrepreneurs, provided equipment and marketing material, and helped communities set up small businesses.
The programme led to the direct sale of water access products to households containing almost 2,500 people. An additional 7,160 individuals secured access to improved water, and the work of the entrepreneurs on broken community pumps renewed access for a further 11,954 individuals. In total the pilot gave 21,614 individuals access to safe water at a cost per head that was less than half of that of a traditional community water point, and proved that even very poor people are willing to invest.
CC reg no: 1077889
Matching lonely older people with volunteers for Sunday lunch
For many elderly people, loneliness is a major issue. When Contact the Elderly launched its first national campaign, Spare Chair Sunday, it sparked a huge response, and led to thousands of people inviting an elderly person to Sunday lunch.
The charity worked in partnership with Bisto Premier Foods, which funded research that established the need. The survey of 1,200 older people found that almost 60 per cent ate a meal with company once a month or less, with a third saying they ate alone every day.
To kick off the campaign Bisto ran a television advert, ‘Connie meets the Walker family’ to encourage people to sign up and offer their spare chairs for Sunday lunch.
The project was initially managed with existing resource in Contact the Elderly’s headquarters but the level of response to the campaign much higher than expected. Initially the charity mobilised volunteers to help its head office staff process applications, before recruiting that an additional member of staff to manage the project. Contact the Elderly had to respond to quickly to the level of demand and implement a more standardised and streamlined approach to volunteer communications. It now plans to spread this learning across the rest of the charity.
The campaign was the charity’s most successful to date with 385 people being matched up to a Sunday lunch host. It also helped to recruit additional volunteers to help at the charity’s regular tea party groups, with those recruited through this campaign now accounting for one in ten of its tea party volunteers.
There are also more than 1,000 people on a waiting list to volunteer.
Reaching out to potential victims of domestic abuse
When a heavily pregnant woman from Harlow died at the hands of a former partner with a history of violence, local charity Safer Places realised more had to be done to help hospitals
The charity developed the Daisy Project in partnership with the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Essex, to identify and support potential victims of domestic violence when they present at the emergency or maternity departments.
Initially the project aimed to make sure that clinical staff were able to identify domestic abuse make sure people got support, overcoming concerns over confidentiality to ensure that there is a clear private opportunity to talk to all potential victims and make sure there is a clear paper trail.
Over the course of the three-year pilot more than 1,500 victims of domestic violence were helped to move forward. Each was provided with a personal safety plan to help them make positive choices in a safe environment.
More than 200 police and hospital staff are now trained in domestic abuse awareness and there are 30 champions across the hospital. These act as a reference point for other clinician and remind staff to always ask the question about domestic violence.
The Daisy Project was funded by the Big Lottery Fund and was one of three projects that was chosen to be part of an accelerator project. The charity has now secured funding to begin the scheme in two other Essex hospitals.
CC reg. no 1018832
Helping unemployed women to successful interviews
Smart Works exists to help unemployed women into work, by growing their interview skills, and providing them with professional clothes to boost their confidence.
Women are more likely to have breaks in their employment record due to caring responsibilities and many of Smart Works’ clients have applied for a significant number of jobs before coming to the charity. The charity works alongside the prison service, care service, homeless shelter and refuges to help their clients.
The project started in 2013 in London and has now been licensed the model to four other cities across the UK. It has helped 3,000 women to get back into work and become economically independent.
Newly-licensed Smart Works projects receive training and support to make sure the services is delivered to a high standard and consistently across the country, with more than half its clients getting a two get a job within a month of visiting the charity.
Service delivery is carried out by skilled and trained volunteers who become ambassadors in their communities. There are now 250 volunteers across the country.
While the charity has grown rapidly it has maintained high standards by having a small head office team to provide support to new centres, investing in infrastructure and expertise and holding conferences to bring everyone together and share learning.
The charity has also developed and nurtured a strong online brand to raise its profile and to hold together its key strategic partnerships with fashion labels such as Burberry, Hobbs, and Whistles.
CC reg no: 1080609