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Time to change the beat

6th April is often a milestone date in the UK, the start of the new tax year and the date when many of the policies and legislation introduced in the preceding budget come into being, like the requirement for employers with more than 250 employees to report on their gender pay gap … Such legislation ... more

5 April 2017

Promoting the work of the Infection Prevention Society

We’ve been selected by the Infection Prevention Society to help position the organisation as the UK’s leading authority on infection prevention and control. We are supporting the organisation– which represents around 2,000 healthcare professionals working in infection prevention and control – with media engagement to highlight its value to patients, healthcare providers and wider society….. ... more

5 April 2017

Why the gender pay gap is still a problem – and how flex could fix it

There’s no question that the gender pay gap is firmly on the agenda. From today, all organisations with more than 250 employees are legally required to collect data on the gap between the average hourly pay of the men and women who work there. And they’ll need to report on their figures by 4th April ... more

5 April 2017
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Businesses need a clear head to tackle modern slavery

Kate Garbers, Managing Director at Unseen – a charity working towards a world without slavery, highlights the importance of transparency for businesses seeking to do something about modern slavery, particularly in industries with complex supply chains…   1. Given its scale, why is slavery still essentially invisible? I am not sure it is invisible; I think we don’t always know ... more

28 March 2017

Spotting the Signs of Labour Exploitation

Paul Fearn, Communications and Information Officer at Gangmasters Licensing Authority explains why the organisation exists and the steps that they are taking to protect vulnerable workers from exploitation… The Spotting the Signs booklet lists the known indicators of forced labour – a form of human trafficking, please click here to view and download the booklet. If you ... more

27 March 2017

How we can break barriers to protect refugees

It is a stark fact that half of refugees in the UK are currently unemployed, compared to the national average of 6%. This is despite refugees having higher levels of education, skills and qualifications than the UK average and possessing an eagerness to work and being mostly of working age. This can mean, without support, ... more

27 March 2017

Hotel industry leadership to tackle modern slavery

As a major business sector involving millions of people, the hotel industry faces the undeniable risks of modern slavery. Hotels can unknowingly be used to traffick victims of sexual abuse, and those looking for employment (often in lower skilled roles such as cleaners and maids) may be forced to work against their will or mistreated ... more

26 March 2017

Businesses must be at the centre of the fight against modern slavery

Kevin Hyland challenges organisations to tackle modern slavery head on… more

26 March 2017

Talking is critical if we’re going to break the modern slavery taboo

Modern slavery remains a real and present issue which society must face up to. There are an estimated 13,000 people living in modern slavery in Britain and 21 million worldwide, of which 1.2 million are children. It is often hidden and hard to identify but – partly thanks to the introduction of the Modern Slavery ... more

26 March 2017

If we ran the country (or at least the communications bit)

Leadership has always been important, but it is particularly so as we enter the uncharted waters of Brexit. Our current (unelected, remember) Prime Minister is a case in point – someone who needs to show the right kind of leadership while navigating a divided country through at least two years of uncertainty and disagreement. We ... more

22 March 2017
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The state isn’t the only game in town

Budgets generally leave many feeling disappointed, particularly those campaigning on a specific issue. When the media does its traditional winners and losers analysis of the impact of a budget, the loser column tends to be the longer one. For most organisations campaigning for change, their responses generally begin with a variation on “We’re disappointed that ... more

9 March 2017
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Men and babies

Job done, we’ve got equality in our workplace, so what’s the problem? It’s tempting to think that from the comfort of a female-empowered office like ours where our CEO is a woman, we have no gender pay gap, and where I have recently returned from maternity leave into a four-day-a-week role as a senior consultant. ... more

9 March 2017
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#BeBoldForChange – our gender pay gap

Today marks International Women’s Day and with the new government legislation around gender pay gap reporting being introduced next month, debate around the causes behind and best ways to tackle the gender pay gap is louder than ever. The recently published CIPR #StateofPR report shows that women are disadvantaged at all levels in terms of ... more

8 March 2017
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Aviva: The business case for supporting staff with caring responsibilities

Employers for Carers estimates that one in nine workers are carers and one in six of these will leave the workforce due to their caring responsibilities. For Aviva UK that’s 1,700 carers, of which 300 are in danger of leaving. In the current economic climate it is an important time to retain skilled workers rather ... more

9 February 2017

Making the target a reality

When it comes to encouraging urgent action on a specific issue, it helps to have a real and significant target or statistic. That is certainly the case when it comes to the need to increase the number of people aged 50 and over in employment. While there is a rise taking place (9.8 million were ... more

9 February 2017
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Businesses unite in a bid to make the UK economy ‘fit for the future’ by backing sustainable development

Over 80 major businesses have united to call on the Government to demonstrate its commitment to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the UK and overseas Open letter to Prime Minister says sustainable development is essential for long term prosperity and the wellbeing of future generations Letter is published on the eve of the ... more

Planet Earth – life after telly

Harry Day looks at the communications challenge of turning us from passive consumers of amazing nature documentaries into active participants in protecting our natural world. Watching the stunning David Attenborough documentary Planet Earth II, it’s impossible not to be captivated by the wildlife. From hatchling iguanas being dramatically chased by snakes to the bears dancing ... more

5 January 2017

Talking – the first step to making business work for all

Our CEO Amanda Powell-Smith wonders – what would the world look like if the vast majority of businesses focused on being a force for good as well as generating profits? We might soon find out if the current appetite and interest in mission-led business blossoms into something more substantial. With the many and various body ... more

5 January 2017
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The all-seeing eye

If my four year old daughter was ten years older, she’d be livid at the intrusive view my wife and I have of her time at school. We can peer into her daily life in a way that previous generations couldn’t have dreamt of. But this isn’t some form of Foucauldian hell for us to ... more

13 October 2016

It’s all about the application

In the lead up to FutureFest last month, Nesta carried out a survey which revealed that more people would rather live now than in 20 years’ time. Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive at Nesta, reminded us that our future is a choice; we have an opportunity to change this fear into possibility. “The concept of the ... more

Identity crisis for charities

As umbrella terms go, “charity” is a pretty good one to be lumped in with, certainly better than political party or bank. Despite the recent and worrying decline in public trust and confidence in the charity sector, there remains a huge well of public goodwill. It isn’t just the public either – 69% of MPs ... more

15 September 2016
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Forster Communications is the only UK PR agency to receive global award for good business practice

Forster Communications has won two Best for the World awards from B Lab, the non-profit organisation that serves a global movement of business seeking to be a force for good. Forster scooped wins in both ‘Best for Workers’ and ‘Most Overall Community impact’ categories, making it the only UK based PR agency to win an ... more

7 September 2016
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20 years: Proof Positive

We’ve been thinking positively and working with our clients to make real positive change for the last 20 years. Here are just a few of the things we’re most proud of which show that if businesses, governments, charities and people work together, we can make good things happen…   In 2003 we created Seeing is ... more

Can the heroes of Rio really inspire a nation to get fit?

There had been hopes that London 2012 would be a turning point in the nation’s health, and that the legacy of the Olympics would be to inspire people to walk, run, swim and jump in large numbers. Alas, the warm glow did not last beyond that Olympic summer and there is no evidence to suggest that Rio will be any different. ... more

25 August 2016

Now it’s cool to be kind – how to tempt in the millennials

Research by Net Impact has revealed that nearly 60% of millennials say they are willing to accept a smaller salary in order to work for an employer that shares their values. ... more

18 August 2016
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Modern slavery

Theresa May has made it clear that as Prime Minister she is determined to continue the mission against modern slavery, which became one of the hallmarks of her time as Home Secretary. Within a couple of weeks of moving in to Number 10, Mrs May set up the first ever government task force on modern ... more

9 August 2016
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Watch your language to reap the business benefits

An age-shift is underway in society. People are living longer but we haven’t yet fully woken up to the value of older adults. Just check out the language often used to talk to or about older people – demeaning and diminishing words and phrases that reinforce ignorance and institutional ageist attitudes. In terms of their ... more

13 July 2016
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Combatting ageism, fear and loathing in Brexit Britain

For many years ageist attitudes and behaviours have gone unchallenged in the UK. With Brexit deepening the generational divide and triggering an outpouring of ageist vitriol, the need to tackle age discrimination is now more urgent than ever before.  As we grapple with the ramifications of the EU Referendum result, one thing is abundantly clear: ... more

7 July 2016
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That was then, this is now

Here at Forster we have spent the last week or so mostly sighing – with resignation, exasperation, discombobulation, surprise and disappointment. However, you can only be struck dumb for so long, and we’ve pulled ourselves together specifically thinking about what all this means for the voluntary sector. Let’s start with a statement of the obvious ... more

4 July 2016

Forster calls on PR industry to act on mental health

We have been working with Business in the Community and Public Health England to develop a new free toolkit for employers to act on mental health – and now we want it to change they way the PR industry promotes mental health in its own workplaces. With one in six employees currently experiencing problems, mental ... more

17 May 2016
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Mental health? We’ve barely started

People remember the headline ‘Bonkers Bruno’ from the Sun, one of the saddest and most misguided headlines ever published. But the article that was printed beneath it was just as corrosive. It described the retired boxer Frank Bruno as “a nutter” who had been “locked up”. We have come a long way since those days ... more

17 May 2016

Taking a lead on workplace mental health

So much is written about mental health in the workplace and plenty of advice is available on how to protect and support employees. But many organisations still fail to act – are they confused by where to start, shackled by the stigma that still surrounds mental health, or have they simply failed to understand the ... more

17 May 2016
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Where next for mental health in the UK?

Mental health has come a long way over the last decade or two but there is still more that can be done to ensure appropriate products and services are in place to help. We asked some of our clients and associates working in mental health to share their thoughts. You can join the conversation by ... more

17 May 2016

Poverty …Time for a rebrand?

Are we too posh to talk about poverty? It would seem so, judging by the latest report from the venerable Joseph Rowntree Foundation. ... more

5 May 2016
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Is business changing for good?

On the eve of Responsible Business Week 2016, two events stand out, showing both how far business has come and how far it has yet to travel. First, institutional investors voted against the £14 million remuneration package awarded to Bob Dudley, the chief executive of BP. It was the biggest ever revolt against excessive boardroom ... more

18 April 2016

Our panel debate with Change.org

Panel debate hosted by Change.org and Forster Communications exploring why deeper and sustained relationships with customers, donors and supporters are more important than ever to achieve lasting social change. ... more

14 April 2016
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Seed the fertile ground between charities and businesses

The case for forging closer links between business and charities is more compelling than ever. There is a financial imperative for charities to find new sources of income, and business offers obvious attractions in that area. Charities are also constantly looking for new ways to deliver against their mission and with the ongoing retreat of ... more

16 March 2016
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How cashless giving can improve our trust in charities

Financial transactions made via digital technology are fast becoming the norm. It’s faster (tap-and-go), tidier (no piggy banks required), and arguably more reliable than exchanging cold hard cash. Whether a cash exchange is physical or virtual, the value of a pound or penny remains the same – the only major difference is the trust we ... more

16 March 2016
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Leading from the front, back, top, bottom, middle, outside and inside

Charities are currently under a harsh media glare for excessive salaries, dodgy fundraising practices and daring to bite the government hand that feeds them, amongst other things. Businesses that take a stance on social change issues are often cited for cosmetic CSR, hypocrisy and not sticking to the knitting of making money. From a communications ... more

16 March 2016

We don’t just listen, we act: Samaritans and Network Rail Partnership raises the bar for corporate charity partnerships

Samaritans recently launched We Listen, the latest campaign from the charity’s partnership with Network Rail and the wider rail industry aiming to support those who could benefit from somebody really listening the their problems. The creative is clever in the way it demands a response from the reader and it’s great to see the charity ... more

3 March 2016
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Webinar: What’s next for community engagement?

While business leaders and the public agree that employment should be the number one social issue for businesses to support, their opinions vary dramatically over wider social issues. The public, and particularly young people, want greater business involvement in solving tough topics, such as homelessness, mental health and loneliness, but the majority of business leaders ... more

2 March 2016

The not-so-new world of virtual reality

Everyone’s talking about it, but what is virtual reality and how can charities use it? People have been experimenting with virtual reality (VR) since the early 1800s when panoramic paintings became popular. Entire rooms were painted with an extended scene to give people the perception of seeing at 360 degrees. These days, virtual reality simply means the use ... more

18 February 2016

PR deserves a place in the boardroom, AVE does not

This week’s united condemnation of Advertising Value Equivalents (AVE) as a measure of effectiveness for PR has been great to see. ... more

11 February 2016

There’s no I in team but there is in accountability

There was much to ponder following the slow motion car crash recorded in the documentary on Kid’s company last week, but what struck me most was the importance of the personal pronoun. Throughout the film, Camila Batmanghelidjh used “I” when describing pretty much every aspect of the charity’s operation, except, tellingly, when the darkest hour ... more

9 February 2016

You are not alone

How do you solve really big problems? The answer never changes but always bares repeating – by working together. There is of course something very romantic about a lone visionary labouring away in a lab / garage / garden shed to conjure up game-changing inventions, innovations and insights, but the reality is far more likely ... more

22 January 2016
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Let’s celebrate the change-makers

Every workplace has at least one – someone who thinks a little bit more than most, who considers what can be changed rather than accepting the status quo, who has ideas they share with others rather than keeping them to themselves. For most businesses they are priceless, which makes it odd that they have been ... more

22 January 2016
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Five Ways We Can All Limit Loneliness

Loneliness is a public health crisis. And one that's getting worse. It's a crisis facing individuals, so it's often invisible, yet pervasive - in organisations, at home, among the young and elderly, advantaged and disadvantaged. ... more

7 January 2016
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Global compact

Forster Communications has supported the United Nations Global Compact since 2012. We support the endeavours to make globalization more socially and ecologically compatible and to raise standards in the fields of human rights, labour rights and environmental protection and in the fight against corruption. The ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact Human rights ... more

6 January 2016
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Bringing business to society

As the year comes to an end, you would be forgiven for believing the world has never been in worse shape. Social unrest, environmental devastation, economic uncertainty, multiple conflicts and the seemingly relentless rise of extremism – all have reared their heads repeatedly in 2015. But, you’d be wrong. The world is currently more peaceful, ... more

The issues that mattered most in 2015

The research we did earlier this year into consumer attitudes towards business involvement in social change highlighted just how important the majority of consumers feel it is for businesses to get more involved. Following on from that, we have been busy analysing the issues that mattered most to consumers over the past year, to highlight ... more

22 December 2015
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The charity sector needs to campaign for its reputation

Predictably the recent Times exposure have inspired much gnashing of teeth and cries of “why us?” – just as the previous scandals and crises have done so. It is a legitimate question to ask – it is not paranoid to think someone is out to get you when someone is really out to get you. ... more

22 December 2015
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A year of digital milestones

We live in a fast moving digital world and it can be hard to keep up with all the latest innovations. Below are ten of the biggest digital developments in 2015. Sign up here to receive our regular round-up of digital news in 2016. Virtual Reality just got real Facebook launched 360 Video, completely changing the ... more

Championing change-makers in businesses

Businesses have long been at the vanguard of driving social and environmental change, and that change is often powered by an individual within the business with the passion, commitment and ability to make things happen Finding, celebrating and supporting those individuals is crucial to getting more businesses involved in positive change, which is why we ... more

Study reveals issues that mattered most in 2015

Homelessness, feminism and mental health establish themselves in national psyche As the year comes to a close and attention turns to the year that was, Forster, the communications agency working with businesses and charities to accelerate change, today reveals the social issues that most captured the nation’s attention over the last 12 months. Social media ... more

Trust in charities remains strong: just ask newspaper editors

Tis the season to be merry.  You can tell by the Christmas charity appeals in our newspapers.  Towards the end of each year hard-nosed editors reach deep into their souls and nominate one or more charities who will benefit from readers’ generosity and will receive the sort of positive, upbeat editorial coverage that money simply ... more

9 December 2015
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Giving Tuesday – a movement beyond the hashtag

#GivingTuesday launched in the US in December 2012 as a global day of giving back, aimed at balancing out the consumer flurry caused by Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On Tuesday 1st December 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centres, and students will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give back. This ... more

1 December 2015

Playing the long game: Corporate charity partnerships restricted by short term focus on financial value

Our study of the charity sector reveals the potential for corporate partnerships to work harder and achieve more for businesses and charities alike. To do this, they must take a longer term approach rather than focusing just on the potential financial return. While funds from corporates are vital, too much emphasis is put to the ... more

25 November 2015
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We’re in the business of action

Raising awareness is one thing, getting people to take action is another. We’ve spent 20 years successfully inspiring the latter and have brought all that knowhow together to create our new Activation practice. It will focus on helping clients create campaigns and movements that inspire people to challenge attitudes, support a cause, change the way ... more

Open wide

Journalists have been making hay with stories about poor governance and transparency, and for once charities are not in the firing line. The police, Whitehall, the NHS, universities and GPs have all be taken to task for benefitting from financial arrangements funded by the taxpayer and hidden from the public eye. The headlines make unpleasant ... more

25 November 2015
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Movements are about consumers as well as campaigners

“We need to build a movement.” “We can’t achieve all this on our own.” “Changing society means engaging everyone to play their part.” I can guarantee that most of us who have worked in the not for profit sector have heard all these statements over the course of our careers. Rightly so. Charities and campaigning ... more

25 November 2015
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You need to be in it for the long haul

We’ve undertaken our own survey of charities on the issue of partnerships with businesses and the findings reveal the potential for partnerships to work harder and achieve more for businesses and charities alike if they both seek a longer term, more strategically driven relationship. We consulted 28 charities with annual incomes ranging from £1m to ... more

25 November 2015
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Embracing the power of active listening

As a communications agency we understand the power of words and languauge to influence an audience and define a brand. So when a client comes to us looking for advice on how to better articulate their social purpose, we often start by looking at what it is that people are saying about them in the ... more

25 November 2015

The Future of Business: When business gets smart on age…

When we are failing the old and the young, our society has come to a pretty pass. Where we are failing, however, is in an understanding of and empathy with what it means to be both 17 and 71. Today, our challenge is not so much to understand old age, or youth, as separate entities, but to understand age itself as a whole ... more

11 November 2015
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Living Wage Week 2015

As a Living Wage employer and long standing supporters of the Living Wage movement, Forster was watching coverage of this year’s 4th annual Living Wage Week with interest last week. Whilst there was some excellent broadcast and print media coverage for the week, we were particularly keen to see how it was being discussed online. ... more

10 November 2015
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Christmas with a cause

Despite many of my Forster colleagues doing their best to convince me otherwise, it’s clear this week that the great Christmas countdown has well and truly begun – at least in the world of marketing. First we had the Starbucks red cups, attempting to convince us that nothing says Christmas better than 400 calories worth ... more

6 November 2015
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John Grounds Joins Board of Forster Communications

We’re thrilled to announce that communications maestro John Grounds has joined the board of Forster Communications, as a Non Executive Director, to help us increase our already strong links with the voluntary sector and sharpen up the services we offer to charity clients. John joins the Forster board following a long and distinguished career in ... more

4 November 2015

Sincerity is key in campaign spokespeople

This week, Professor Green has received mass adulation for speaking out on an issue that’s so personal to him, yet relates to thousands of unheard voices – depression in men. The rapper, real name Stephen Manderson, lost his father seven years ago due to an ongoing battle with mental health issues that led to his ... more

30 October 2015
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Let’s call it a challenge, not a crisis

I’m not quite sure why, but I can hazard a guess as to why Halloween seems to now be as big a news story these days as Glastonbury. When I was 10 years old I might have scrambled together a costume out of a couple of bin bags, a borrowed ballet leotard and some of ... more

27 October 2015
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When business gets smart on age…

As society increasingly ignores the old and abandons the young, it falls to business to lead the way with smart ageing ... more

27 October 2015
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Pursuit of China sends wrong message to business

These are already challenging times for those trying to make the case that being profitable and ethical are not mutually exclusive. Volkswagen was a standard bearer for corporate citizenship until it emerged it lied about its vehicles emissions for years. Other car manufacturers may be implicated. This weekend it emerged that manufacturers of domestic appliances ... more

21 October 2015
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World Mental Health Day – the case is clear

By Louise Aston, Wellbeing at Work Campaign Director, Business in the Community Awareness days often have very little real meaning or significance, but World Mental Health Day (10th October) is an exception. Mental health is an issue that affects everyone in society, from our friends and family, to children in our classrooms and chief executives ... more

8 October 2015
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Diversity in PR

Diversity in PR is a well publicised issue in the industry, and with no quick fix it can often be difficult to see when and where the change is happening. I’m not so diverse from the average PR practitioner myself, although some of my city dwelling colleagues may joke that being from Essex is ‘pretty ... more

7 October 2015

B Corps because…

There was a time in the late 20th century when any new social change movement came in from left field, pushed hard, prompted and pressurised, before being replaced by a newer, more sophisticated idea. How times have changed! Today, in a mainstreaming culture, new ideas have to focus on rapid assimilation. It helps if they ... more

24 September 2015
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Ambivalence Avenue is an undesirable address

When austerity-focused government chooses to leave increasingly demanding social issues to charities, there is an opportunity for mainstream businesses to collaborate and make a real difference. It is why we commissioned our inaugural Business to Society survey, to provide us with some evidence to support that opportunity. We asked businesses about their commitment to engaging ... more

24 September 2015
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My Wifi and I

I love my wifi, she’s there for me through thick and thin. My wifi is a great listener. My wifi has the patience of a saint. My wifi can be relied on to look after our daughter, especially when the unexpected occurs. I can’t imagine living a day without my wifi. And that day has ... more

11 September 2015
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Forster Communications bolsters its reputation and campaigns practices with two senior hires

Martin Barrow has joined Forster Communications from Maitland as head of its reputation practice while Carrie Greene has been recruited from Kindred as a senior consultant in the agency’s campaigns practice. Martin was previously a partner at Maitland, advising some of Britain’s biggest companies on internal and external communications and crisis management. A former journalist, ... more

10 September 2015
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Forster Communications becomes one of the founding B Corps in the UK

Forster Communications has just become one of the UK’s first certified B Corporations, joining the community of UK Founding B Corps which officially launches in London on 24 September 2015. B Corps (‘Benefit Corporations’) are businesses of all sizes and types, independently certified to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. ... more

4 September 2015
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New annual survey finds that doing good is good for business

A new annual survey that we released this week highlights the appetite business leaders and consumers have for businesses to play a greater role in tackling pressing social and environmental issues. The inaugural Business to Society Survey found that 57% of business leaders believe they should be doing more to tackle social issues, while 63% ... more

1 September 2015
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Does the answer lie within, for communities?

With a lot of the impact of both the economic downturn and the public sector cuts still to be fully realised, there are many local communities across the UK holding their breath and fearing the worst. Some of them already feel desperate. Putting aside the rights and wrongs of this situation, it is happening, so ... more

25 August 2015
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Let’s make the most of the age of sharing

Times are hard and money is tight, so perhaps it isn’t surprising that many charities are revamping or developing volunteer programmes, hoping to get people to donate time and skills in exchange for an experience and the opportunity to make a difference. If they are half serious about it they’ll be considering how best to ... more

24 August 2015
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Why we shouldn’t be ashamed of failure

Michael’s story, part of MND’s controversial #LastSummer poster campaign. Photograph: Neo MND’s Last Summer campaign launched earlier this year caused great controversy amongst the public and voluntary sector. An awareness campaign aimed at regaining ownership of the hugely successful ice bucket challenge instead was perceived as a guilt trip for not taking part. The charity had clearly ... more

30 July 2015
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Time to rebrand the NHS?

The National Health Service (NHS) sits at the heart of our country, and as we know from recent election debates, is fiercely protected by all politicians and greatly loved by the general public. Why then, when we as individuals generally hold it in such high regard, do we not take some responsibility for it? The ... more

23 June 2015

Let’s put an end to One Size Fits All

We are a very different country since the launch of the NHS in 1948. Yes we are living longer lives, but not always healthier or happier ones. Health inequalities are widening, with proactive ‘expert patients’ leaping ahead of increasingly disengaged individuals with a fatalistic attitude towards their health. Patients come in all shapes and sizes, ... more

23 June 2015
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Creating a shared purpose

From multidisciplinary teams in a hospital environment to broad, cross sector healthcare teams in the community, people with different expertise and interests are being increasingly expected to work together to meet healthcare targets. While funding and accountability will occupy much of the debate on ‘who’s responsible’, senior leaders and communications professionals need to urgently consider ... more

23 June 2015
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Telling the true story of care

Carers come in all shapes and sizes. They are those caring for elderly parents while holding down full time jobs and bringing up children. They are sometimes the children themselves, forgoing a childhood to care for disabled parents or siblings. Unpaid carers underpin so many families and networks, often silently plugging the gaps left by ... more

18 June 2015
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There’s nothing shameful about the menopause, so why is it still considered taboo?

All women have a unique health issue that is largely ignored in the workplace: the menopause. It’s time we treated it with all the seriousness and care it deserves. And we can start by breaking the silence and ending the stigma. It was a few years back now that I remember telling a young colleague ... more

16 June 2015
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Hack it.

Imagine being thrown at the deep end with total strangers for 2 days, in a place you are not familiar with, working on challenges that aren’t directly connected to you, for organisations that aren’t going to pay you, and you are tasked to collaborate and develop solutions for challenges that may or may not have ... more

15 June 2015
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Let’s give more support to our ‘hidden’ volunteers

Volunteering has been in the news of late. Recently the Financial Times reported that the Government was trying to quietly shelve its pre-election manifesto promise to give employees of large companies three days paid volunteering leave each year, despite protestations that these were merely on hold and to be published ‘in due course’. It is ... more

15 June 2015
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Permission key for employee volunteering

Volunteers Week is an important celebration. Over 20 million people chose to volunteer at least once a month; they provide critical support for charities, community groups and other not-for-profit organisations and in return, are rewarded by making a difference. It’s a big number, but it should be bigger. If you look at the corporate responsibility ... more

4 June 2015
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Work on and live with purpose

The good news – we’re living longer. The challenge – we haven’t updated the way we think about our working careers and ‘retirement’. You simply can’t finance a 30 year retirement with a 40 year working life. But that’s what it seems we’re trying to do! It’s time to redesign the approach to retirement. In ... more

27 May 2015
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Action on Dementia

In the multiplicity of awareness weeks, days, hours even, it seems oddly appropriate that Dementia Awareness Week follows directly from Mental Health Awareness Week. Dementia and mental health share many things in common – stigma, misunderstanding, fear and a wide spectrum of conditions under each collective grouping. However, there is room to be positive. The ... more

14 May 2015
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The challenge of engaging staff on mental health issues in the health sector

The need for NHS employees to be supported by health and wellbeing plans is well documented. NHS Employers estimates that 30 percent of NHS sick leave is caused by stress, costing up to £400 million a year in lost productivity, and NHS England’s Five Year Forward View has highlighted the need for Trusts to help ... more

11 May 2015
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Why it makes good business sense to take mental health seriously

The business case for addressing mental health in the workplace is overwhelming: one in four people experience a common mental health condition – such as stress, anxiety or depression – each year and the overall cost of mental health to the UK economy is estimated at £70 billion per year (4.5% of GDP). Anyone can ... more

11 May 2015
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Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, on how UK businesses are increasingly focused on supporting their employees’ mental health

With one in six workers in Britain experiencing mental health issues, and with the workplace being one of the most common areas where people report stigma and discrimination, it is vital that we pursue more inclusive workplaces focused on mental health and wellbeing as a core shared goal. Mental Health Awareness Week gives us another ... more

11 May 2015
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Pay us the compliment of paying us on time

Values – throw a stick into the PR sector and more than likely it will hit something related to values. Many agencies preach the gospel of values to their clients, hammering home the need for them to have a clearly defined set and for that set to be used to shape, inform and drive their ... more

29 April 2015

Instagram: visual storytelling for charities

I recently read an article in The Guardian Voluntary Sector Network highlighting that Instagram has now become a bigger network than Twitter, with 300 million active monthly users and 70 million photos posted per day. Social media is a great asset for organisations in the voluntary sector looking to reach out to the public, connect ... more

29 April 2015
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#HomeSafe: Social purpose begins at home

Social purpose can mean going big. It can mean helping businesses address sustainability issues, or opening up space for conversations about mental health. But social purpose can also mean making changes a little closer to home – or in this case, in the home. At the end of March, we helped safety charity Electrical Safety ... more

27 April 2015
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Hello death

There is nothing new about dying. Whilst this statement is factually correct it is also the reality when it comes to the way most of us talk about and deal with death. Being the son of a priest meant that my sister and I grew up in an environment where a hammer was frequently taken ... more

27 April 2015
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Women’s Aid joins with football clubs to speak out against domestic violence

Women’s Aid and football clubs around the country are coming together this week to send the message that everyone has the human right to be protected against violence, fear and intimidation at home, as part of the national campaign Football United Against Domestic Violence. We have been working with Women’s Aid and Human Rights charity ... more

24 April 2015
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Mental Health at Forster

We’ve all heard the statistics; one in four people experience mental illness symptoms in any given year. What’s more, a recent survey from PRCA suggests this figure rises to a third within our sector, costing the UK economy an estimated £70 bn per year. In the last 15 years we have worked on a number ... more

13 April 2015
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