We are thrilled to have been nominated for a Chartered Institute of Public Relations award for our campaign called ‘Someone like me’ because it is something very close to our hearts.
And to be shortlisted in the 2023 PRide awards is particularly special as it comes on the 10th anniversary of my setting up Pinch Point Communications.
The Someone like me campaign shows that a seemingly routine request can be transformed into something far-reaching and even groundbreaking given the right approach.
The original inquiry from Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Mental Health Trust was for help to recruit more people from their diverse local communities.
But when we started to talk to the people who worked there, we discovered it was going to be so much more.
The people we met, doing a wide range of jobs at all levels in the trust, were truly exceptional.
Their stories, their backgrounds, their positivity and their humanity filled us with awe.
In every case they were helping people, for whom lives had become very difficult, find their way back into society.
We focused on these remarkable NHS workers. We used their pictures, we told their stories and we interviewed them for videos that were posted on websites and social media channels.
And in every picture, in every interview and in every case study their belief in people with mental health issues and their desire to help them shone through.
There were many occasions when we were genuinely moved by what we heard and what we saw.
No more so than when we ran jobs open days and watched people flood in from the local community inspired by the faces and voices of Someone like me.
And we know this campaign has made a difference. The number of vacancies has fallen from 16 per cent to 12 per cent as a result of Someone like me.
But it has also worked on another level. Staff at the trust have been delighted not only by the response to the campaign but also because it has shone a light on the work they do.
So, for Someone like me to be shortlisted in the Healthcare and Wellbeing Campaign category of the CIPR South of England and Channel Islands PRide awards is wonderful, not only for us but also for everyone who featured in it.
* The winners of this year’s awards will be announced at a ceremony in Bristol on October 5.