Lancashire Volunteer Partnership

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Lancashire Volunteer Partnership

The Lancashire Volunteer Partnership has successfully brought together the volunteering arms of our county’s public services, making it easier than ever for you to get stuck in, whether you want to be a copper or a litter picker. All they needed to go with it was a sexy new brand, website and campaign.

Champion.

You can’t get much more Lancashire than helping out your neighbour down the road. I think that’s why the LVP makes so much sense, and we wanted to fully incorporate that into the central brand and leading campaign.

Lancastrians, ever the humble buggers, don’t really have it in them to boast about their achievements. That’s why even though so many of these hard working people are giving up their time to help out their community, they don’t see themselves as heroes…even when everyone around them does.

We positioned a large part of the campaign around the little acts of heroism that volunteers carry out all the time. Take a look at our mate Bill up the top, in that gloriously gallant pose. He might not see his role as a Countryside Ranger as a heroic one, but without him, the community and the beautiful countryside would be considerably worse off. It’s a tough job…

We also wanted to nail exactly why people give up their time in the first place. When we focus tested and surveyed hundreds of people around Lancashire (it was exhausting) the overwhelming response was that it just made them feel good…or champion, if you will. We started with that utterly Northern turn of phrase and went from there.

This use of empowering colloquial language was key to inspiring the public to donate just a few hours of their time, showing that each person has something different to offer and the sense of wellbeing you get in return is second to none.

An Effortless System

As we learned at the launch (more on that later), the biggest hurdle when people were trying to volunteer is that they had to fill out the same yawnworthy form over and over again for different positions and different services. The whole idea of the LVP was to eradicate the needless bureaucracy, and we had to build a website and system that could do that as well.

With this in mind, simplicity and ease of use were the aims of the game. If someone’s good enough to throw in as a volunteer, the least we can do is make it a doddle for them to apply for the positions they want.

We started with how people search for opportunities. By letting them punch in their postcode and see everything nearby, users can easily see what’s available even if they’re not sure how they want to help. But we then offer a filtering option at this point, so they can specify what kind of position they want or even their availability, allowing the results to be as broad or as specific as they like. So no more excuses!

No Time for Losers

In order to reach people of all walks of life, no matter their age, occupation, hobbies or habits, we employed a multi-strand campaign across a variety of media, both online and offline, including radio and video marketing.

The video, in particular, is something we’re extremely proud of. Similar to the Champion print ads, we used real volunteers carrying out their genuine tasks to really cement that feeling of authenticity.

Using every drunk football fan’s favourite Queen song We Are the Champions we created the concept for this persuasive video to show just how fulfilling volunteering can be, as well as the massive range of opportunities on offer.

Making It All Worthwhile

We do a lot of work for a variety of different causes, but there’s nothing better than seeing it all in context. The LVP website launch event was hosted at Lancashire Constabulary’s (top secret??) HQ, and it was a genuine thrill to talk to members of the force and the LVP alike.

We heard exactly how this unified system was helping to increase volunteer recruitment and retention, through reducing all the red tape that used to come with the process. We also heard about how as times get tougher and tougher, volunteering is becoming more and more vital to the successful running of our country.

But most inspiring of all was when we heard from the volunteers themselves. From Becky—who has smashed negative connotations of people with disabilities by running a dance class of her own—to Noreen, who has self-confessed ‘volunteering tendencies’ and has spent large parts of her life teaching languages and befriending older members of the community. As she rightly said, not everyone can walk the beat or fix machinery, but each of us has a unique skill or two that can be of help to others. Humbling or what?

Seeing all of our hard work dotted around the place in uniforms, posters and even our Queen-themed video, it makes you want to roll your sleeves up and get your hands dirty. So why not give them a hand?

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