How one organisation used their skills for good during the lockdown

Posted 5 June 2020

Media Trust has been working hard over the past few months to ensure charities and organisations who are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic have access to the support and resources they need to continue the important work they do. Part of this includes forging relationships with media and creative industry organisations who have capacity to support.

The Big Issue’s big issue

The Big Issue Group have strived to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity, through self-help, social trading and business solutions for over 29 years. Their award-winning magazine offers employment opportunities to people in poverty, helping over 92,000 vendors earn £115 million since 1991.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Big Issue were faced with the reality of declining magazine sales due to vendors being unable to sell them on streets across the UK. The social enterprise needed to pivot their business model and find support to optimise a new page on their website dedicated to supporting their vendors through this period.

Volunteering with Media Trust  

The Big Issue got in touch with Media Trust to see if we could connect them to the right people through our network of media and creative industry volunteers. We paired them with experience design company This Place who offered to use their digital design and user experience skills to assist The Big Issue.

Improving people’s lives through digital and having a lasting impact on the world are fundamental to why we exist, we felt passionate about using our fortunate position and platform as experts in digital to support those whose businesses have been disrupted by this extraordinary shared circumstance.”

Natalie Hughes, Head of Strategy at This Place

Optimising for immediate impact

This Place were asked to assess The Big Issue’s COVID-19 Appeal page to understand areas for improvement, take inspiration from best-in-class industry examples, and generate a set of recommendations to optimise the page.

This Place’s recommendations were sent through with a set of designs to bring them to life and were shared under two categories: high priority opportunities with the potential to have an immediate impact, and longer-term enhancements.

The Big Issue worked with their development team to implement and push live all the recommendations brought to them by This Place and hope the work will support an increase in giving for their vendors.

We’re incredibly grateful to the Media Trust for connecting us with This Place. The team at This Place produced a really high-quality piece of work with a strong set of recommendations, which we were able to take and implement straight away on our website, significantly improving the customer journey for our COVID-19 appeal."

Zoe Hayward, Group Marketing & Communications Director at The Big Issue

Media Trust’s vital role

Speaking on future collaborations, Natalie said, “with so many organisations in need of support at this time, Media Trust provided a great platform for quickly matching our skills and capacity to the right opportunity, helping us to get up and running with the work at pace. We are excited to work with Media Trust again to find our next opportunity to support.”

Now, more then ever, we are aware that charities need an extra helping hand. Media Trust and Charity Comms’ COVID-19 Comms Support Survey revealed that 97% of respondents felt they would benefit from pro bono or volunteer support. This highlights how important it is for Media Trust to continue forging connections between organisations and volunteers that can help and those that are in need.

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