This week sounddelivery launched an ambitious crowdfunding campaign to create a network of media confident spokespeople with direct experience of some of the pressing issues facing society today. From our work delivering frontline projects and events like Being the Story we know there’s a need for what we do.
In the UK today gun and knife crime, poverty, modern day slavery, access to justice, failures in the care system are just some of the massive social challenges affecting our lives. And then of course there’s Brexit. It’s seems to be keeping me awake at night and I know that I’m not alone.
What keeps me going are the incredible individuals I have met over the years through our work who motivated by life-changing experiences are working tirelessly to create change for the communities they live in. People like Steve, and Onjali, Simeon and Dylan and Hassan. You can find more stories on our YouTube channel.
Over time my mission has become more and more focused on ensuring that the voices of people who have faced social injustice or life-changing experiences are heard. I’ve worked to put a spotlight on issues that go unreported or misrepresented in the media. I’ve worked with survivors of domestic violence, young people experiencing homelessness, people who’ve been through the criminal justice system, mothers who’ve been bereaved through gun and knife crime and I’ve seen first-hand the potential they have to contribute to solutions for change.
Through collaborating with people and communities who have direct experience of the issues, I aim to support them to share their stories themselves, in their own words, and to ensure they have maximum impact. When they’re heard and listened to the impact is clear to see.
I want to scale-up the work we do to support people who are using their story to create change. I can’t do this alone. That’s why this March we’re crowdfunding to create a network of media confident spokespeople. This pilot programme will see a cohort of up to 25 people take part in bespoke media and communications workshops. Being able to present in public, talk to the media, participate in conversations online, write blogs, create vlogs will all be part of the development plan for our experts by experience. We’ll provide mentoring and support as our network enter new spaces and are presented with new opportunities. Harnessing our connections with journalists and media professionals, we’ll build relationships between them and the members of our network. They’ll become go-to spokespeople on the issues they have experience of.
As well as being there to build our storytellers’ skills, we provide valuable soft-skills and pastoral care so that our members grow in confidence. Ready to become the influencers of tomorrow.
I’ve seen the potential that a programme like this could have. Through our Being the Story events in 2016, 2017 and 2018 we have offered small-scale training and mentoring to a small cohort of speakers and this has led to incredible opportunities to share their insights on a national stage through Channel 4 News, BBC and Huffington Post to name a few. We want to be able to build on this so that we’ll start to see more confident spokespeople with lived experience on our screens, in our newspapers and in boardrooms.
We can’t do this alone, please support our crowdfunder any way that you can, whether it be donating, sharing with your networks or offering your support.