I was involved with Cygnet PR projects for St Barnabas Hospice in both my first and second year.
In my first year I co-led a team of students tasked with creating a video designed to thank St Barnabas volunteers for the difference they make both to the organisation as a whole, as well as in peoples lives. This involved filming different volunteers in their roles across Lincolnshire (in Gainsborough, Louth, Skegness, Mablethorpe, Lincoln, Boston, Spalding and Grantham) and then interviewing them about what they do and the difference it makes. I was in charge of the logistics of the project, putting together teams of 2-4 students, arranging their transport and ensuring they knew what they were doing when they arrived.
Meeting people who had been helped by the charity and the immensely dedicated volunteers, many of whom had personal experience with the charity prior to volunteering, was an incredibly meaningful experience for me and the other students working on the project. Prior to getting involved in the project I had no idea how vital the services they provide are to Lincolnshire and how much good they do. Following the project I nominated St Barnabas Hospice to be the charity partner for the English and Journalism School Ball, where a raffle was held to fundraise for them.
For this project, myself and my co-project manager were awarded the St Barnabas Hospice Raising Awareness award at the annual general meeting.
In my second year St Barnabas asked us to produce videos aimed at training non-clinical staff to deal with questions from patients about dying. We worked closely with their marketing and communications manager and shot 6 scenario videos with a professional actor.
I was really interested to learn how often patients turn to non-clinical staff or volunteers for reassuring and counselling, as they are often the staff they have the most contact and familiarity with. Providing these key staff members and volunteers with a visual guide of how best to tackle the most common questions and concerns was a project myself and other team members were honoured to help with.