Third Sector Awards 2016: Communications Team of the Year - Winner: Refuge

Awarded to the communications team that has worked effectively to raise awareness of a particular campaign or the charity's overall work

Coverage on BBC Breakfast
Coverage on BBC Breakfast

Who’s on the team?

The team of three is headed by Lisa King, director of communications and fundraising, who leads both the communications and fundraising teams and is in charge of PR, campaigns, media, policy, international communications and fundraising. It includes copywriter and editor Lucy Snow, who writes media statements, responses to government consultations and reports for the charity, and communications executive Emily Wight, who is the first port of call for media queries, internal communications requests and social media.

What has it worked on in the past year?

The team launched two major campaigns: My Money, My Life, in which Refuge partnered with the Co-operative Bank to raise awareness of financial abuse; and #GiveThemRefuge, launched to highlight the impact of domestic violence on children.

The team also took advantage of an unexpected supporter-led fundraising campaign that was inspired by a high-profile domestic abuse storyline in the BBC Radio 4 drama The Archers.

What was the impact?

My Money, My Life and #GiveThemRefuge both gained national coverage, with the latter driving an 89 per cent increase in donations and a 1,000 per cent increase in website traffic. The charity’s communications director was working alone when both campaigns were launched, making the achievements even more remarkable.

The Archers-inspired campaign raised £130,000 as well as unprecedented levels of awareness about controlling behaviour. It achieved coverage in every national newspaper, on the BBC Breakfast sofa and on BBC Radio 4’s Woman's Hour.

What did the judges say?

Mike Hobday, freelance strategy consultant, said: "This is very good, and The Archers work is fantastic. I'm impressed – the charity has a lot to be very proud of."


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