Having worked with NSPCC on a number of successful legacy acquisition campaigns and cash appeals, we were asked to work with them on their Christmas Appeal 2021. The focus of this appeal was Childline, their free and private service that connects young people to professional counsellors. At a time when children’s mental health is in crisis in the UK, this service is needed more than ever.
We were presented with a unique opportunity for this appeal, to feature two sides of the same story. The story of an amazing young man called Jake.
Jake was diagnosed with autism from a young age, and suffered bullying all through school. He also had a complicated relationship with his mother, all of which took a devastating toll on his mental health. Over the years, he would contact Childline by phone to talk about everything he was going through. And as he got older, he turned his attention to Childline’s online forums to offer support to other children facing similar challenges.
In order to do Jake’s story justice, we had to speak about it as honestly and candidly as he did. We had multiple video conversations to ensure we got to know him properly, and our creative photoshoot captured him looking back at images of himself when he was younger.
We wanted to show the audience exactly who the little boy was that needed help, and exactly who he had gone on to become thanks to Childline’s support.
The result was a powerful and emotional mail pack that had Jake addressing the audience directly, as well as supporting emails and social ads.
In the second phase of the appeal, we featured the man who had helped Jake through some of his most difficult times. His name was Igor, a volunteer counsellor who had spent over twenty Christmases answering calls for Childline. Igor told us more about the different issues young people are calling him with today, and how he remembered Jake’s story even years after they had last spoken on the phone.