WE WILL youth mental health campaign group

12 Apr 2019

Client: We Will Youth Mental Health Campaign (Ewanrigg Local Trust)

Brief: To support a group of young people who want to lead change in the way that youth mental health is tackled – both locally and nationally.

Description: The We Will youth mental health campaign group are aged from 15 – 18 and live in Maryport, Workington and Cockermouth. They attend Netherhall, Cockermouth, Workington Academy and Carlisle College. Fed up with the lack of mental health support for young people and witnessing the devastating effects this had on their friends and families, the group came together and asked the Ewanrigg Local Trust for help. They wanted to do something but didn’t know quite what that should be. The Ewanrigg Local Trust provided them with support to research the facts and come up with a plan. I was asked to support the group with marketing and communications and have helped them with various aspects of the campaign. Over the past 4 years I have helped them with brand development, helped them formulate key messages and slogans, conducted media training (so they can not only ask questions but are able to answer and field them), helped them create a list of recommendations for youth mental health actions that they are delivering to parliament and supported them with social media campaigns and PR activity. I have also developed a web page to help them showcase their progress, created slideshows and short films to promote their key messages and written press releases and short articles to share their achievements. I have also entered them for several awards resulting in a win at the Golden Apples Awards 2018 and a Community Heroes Award. They were also shorltisted at the Osprey Film Awards 2018 for their short film 'Listen' and their film was shown as part of the Keswick Film Festival. They have also been awarded the Diana Award for Voluntary Service and won the Inspirational Story Category at the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Awards in 2020.

The group have achieved local, regional and national media coverage (including the Guardian, People Magazine, BBCRadio5Live, BBC Breakfast, ITV Border News, BBC Look North, Radio Cumbria, CFM, GMTV) and have taken part in several documentaries including In the Absence of Authority and a Newsround Special 'Inside my Head'.

They have met with representatives from NHS Commissioning Groups, met with the Mental Health Minister at Westminster, consulted with local MPs such as Sue Hayman and Mark Jenkinson as well as Lord Dale Campbell Savours and Baroness Diana Barran.

In 2019 the group were invited to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they visited Keswick in recognition of the group's commitment to campaigning for youth mental health.

The group have made several films to promote their key messages and continue to campaign. BOY, JUST LISTEN, WE WILL - will you? In the Absence of Authority and Inside My Head. Their films have been shown worldwide in schools, businesses and at events. They have been viewed on social media across the world and featured on Kensington Palace's Instagram feed.

It has been an absolute pleasure to work with the group and see how their skills have developed and their confidence has grown, throughout their journey so far.

For more information on the campaign please visit www.ewanrigg.com/wewill where you can view their campaign videos and their recommendations for how to improve youth mental health in schools, communities and the workplace.

Client Testimonial:

"Rachel has a wide range of skills which have been immensely useful to our team in developing this campaign. Her PR expertise and experience has been absolutely critical to the success of the campaign. Rachel has great people skills and the young people involved in the campaign love working with her and learning from her. Although Rachel has contributed to the campaign in a freelance capacity she is a vital part of the team, bringing a perspective and skills that are both necessary - and that would otherwise be lacking." 

~ Kate Whitmarsh, Development Officer at Ewanrigg Local Trust