Creative campaigning on child abuse

Students secure city-wide advertising campaign   -  By Emma Bird

By Chloe

“I like talking about things I feel strongly about, sharing opinions and hearing different people’s ideas. The first session with Envision we all got to debate about different issues and what we thought about them. That’s what like drew me in.”

Child abuse was one of the issues we felt strongly about and something no one really talks about.  Like, everyone knows that it’s going on but no one wants to admit it. We wanted to get a message across to children that if they have been abused that they can talk to someone about it and make other people aware that it is going on.

We applied to do Pitch4Change to get funding for our project. Having some money meant we could really put our project into action. Like we knew if we didn’t get the money we could fundraise.  But if we got the money it was just like a bit of security so that we knew that we could do what we wanted and try to make an impact.

Before Pitch4Change, we had some mentoring from a marketing company called 33. In the first session we explained to them what we wanted to do and what our pitch was for and that’s when they gave us some ideas of what we can say and what we could do. We were discussing, like, what makes a good speech and they helped us to gain confidence to speak in front of an audience. We also did practise runs in front of them.

Doing Pitch4Change gave us the confidence to do our project and when we got the money, it was like a big relief that we had achieved it and could get on with things.

We decided to visit a local police station to learn how child abuse is reported and how it’s dealt with. We saw that the waiting rooms where victims of abuse waited to be interviewed really needed refurbishment so we offered to do it. With some of the money we won at Pitch4Change we got them some new toys and did two pieces of art work to go up on their walls.

We worked with our mentors from 33 to create posters to raise awareness of child abuse. Because 33 is an advertising company they also helped us negotiate for advertising space on the phone boxes and helped with the design for the poster.

The posters had the Child Line number on them too so that children could ring it if they need to talk.  It’s a big poster down one side of the phone box and it says ‘Bruised rib. A broken bone. Why can’t you leave me alone?’ There was a lot of negotiation to get the posters on the phone boxes – we wanted as many as we could get for our money.  Someone from 33 helped us but it was good doing the business side of it and handling the money. We’ve got three of them up around Bristol.

Doing Envision and working with 33 built my confidence up a lot. Like, talking to 33 when we first met them. I don’t think I would have had the confidence to like talk to someone like that before. It was really good getting to work as a team with them. I think if you’re scared to say your opinion then you’re not really gonna get very far. Now I feel more like, if I want something, I can voice my opinion.

Even though it was a hard journey getting to the end once you do finish it, the sense of achievement is great. Like, of how much you’ve achieved over the year and the amount of skills you’ve gained. And it really builds your confidence! I know now that I can achieve something if I put my mind to it and I can make a difference.