The Somali Voices programme

Somali Voices provided free media skills training programme to Somali community leaders to challenge negative media attention and share their positive stories in the media.

Over the past two years, Media Trust has trained and supported 71 Somali community leaders in London, Manchester, Bristol and Leicester. Through a programme of intensive media skills training, they were taught how to their share their positive stories in the media.

The programme, which was funded by Open Society Foundations and delivered in partnership with the BBC aimed to build participants’ knowledge in media and communications. The Community Leaders involved received first-hand experience in how to get the media to share the right stories about their communities.

Support included:

  • Training in media interview skills (TV, radio and print) and social media
  • Networking and mentoring with journalists from the BBC
  • Stronger Voices Media Guide; a vital resource in supporting participants to raise their profile in the media
Somali Voices London participant Baar Hersi at our Press Releases and Pitching workshop

Baar Hersi at our Somali Voices Press Releases and Pitching workshop

The skills, tools, tricks and the increased confidence that I gained will enable me to communicate with the media and pitch positive stories about my community

Baar Hersi, Somali Voices participant

Valuable support from some of the best in the media industry

Throughout the Somali Voices programme, the BBC was the official media partner for this project. Volunteers from across the Corporation provided valuable support to participants to help them share their positive stories.


  • 4 BBC regions were engaged throughout the project from BBC Radio Leicester, BBC Radio London 94.9, BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Radio Bristol
  • 44 participants were matched to media volunteers from our corporate partners

Here’s what some of our media volunteers had to say about their experience:

The training has been a breakthrough for Autism Independence. The BBC mentors got us coverage which means our research and grassroots work has been exposed to families, service providers and policy makers. The coverage has enhanced our sustainability as an organisation and means we are able to work with more families and service providers to meet the needs of families more effectively.

Nura Aabe, Founder and Director, Autism Independence

I think it does more than change attitudes; it leaves a legacy of perpetual mentoring of shared learning with the community we work with. Also it elevates and equips us with knowledge of telling our story or celebrating and promoting what we do

Yusuf Ibrahim, Youth Worker, Baraka Youth

Hear more from our Stronger Voices

Our Corporate Partners

We enjoy outstanding support from the media industry. Our partners include: