The Community PR Initiative (CPRI) has matched 60 charities and NHS teams with 100 volunteer comms professionals in an effort to help with communication during the current crisis.
Launched in early April, the initiative has so far arranged voluntarily help for organisations including Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Young Classical Artist Trust, Toynbee Hall, Survivors Fund, 52 Lives and Petals Charity. Volunteers from the communications industry include freelancers facing a lack of opportunities and those who have been furloughed.
‘Great effort has been put into the match making process, ensuring the sustainability and enthusiasm of the process,’ said CPRI co-founder Aceil Haddad. ‘In many cases, we have teamed up volunteers with charities and community groups that they have a personal or relatable link with, from area to experience. In addition to providing pro-bono support, it has been delightful to support our fellow PR peers, many of whom are concerned about what the future may bring.’
‘This initiative has potential to help share best practice, while allowing people to develop their skills and knowledge,’ said The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s director of communications and engagement Justine McGuiness. ‘NHS communications teams have been working flat out for several months now – operating seven days a week, while doing our usual day to day work.
‘What would be great is to have people from every part of the communications industry to help their peers in the NHS by volunteering. Whatever your background, if you think you can help, please get in touch.’
Keen to continue the work, the CPRI welcomes additional applications from NHS and charity teams struggling with financial limitations and staff furloughs as well as professionals willing to volunteer their time to help, including those outside of the UK.