Being a part of your team
Project Manager at Shaw
Since opening for business back in 1986, Shaw has always believed in supporting good causes and initiatives, and in putting something back into the community, including providing work placements to local students and making regular contributions to a range of nominated projects across the world via our partnership with the global giving initiative Buy1Give1 (B1G1*). An important part of this has also included our work with the third sector. For me, this was a major draw when I came to work at Shaw and has become one of the reasons I’ve stuck around for so long (15 years!).
Coming over from the client side (private and public sectors), my first real experience of the third sector was after being introduced to my very first client, only a few days into the job, the Church of Scotland’s Board of Social Responsibility, which is essentially the social care arm of the Church of Scotland, who we later rebranded as CrossReach. I’ve never really looked back since.
This led to one of my favourite projects, creating a new brand for Scotland’s first ever national awareness day for postnatal depression, Blue Bell Day. Working closely with the team involved, I was in a really privileged position to learn not only about post-natal depression which affects about 10-15% of women following childbirth, but about the key challenges that faced all charities at that time, and how important it was, then and now, to have a really strong brand that makes you stand out in an increasingly busy marketplace.
Since then I have been lucky enough to work with a variety of clients in the third sector, including RNLI, Deaf Action, CHAS, Children in Scotland and Edinburgh Women’s Aid to name a few. I would honestly say that every one of the projects I’ve been involved in have been hugely rewarding. We’ve been in a privileged position to help many of our clients meet their objectives so they can do what they do best whether that’s through the delivery of a strong, considered brand, or by creating an engaging and exciting campaign. We also get the chance to be a part of a team that we wouldn’t ordinarily be a part of, even if only briefly in some cases.
One recent stand-out project for me has been our work with Edinburgh Women’s Aid, a local charity which supports women and young people who have experienced, or are at risk of, domestic abuse. Working with an amazing group of women being supported by the Edinburgh Women’s Aid and Shakti Women’s Aid, we helped them bring together a collection of poems and illustrations into a book – ‘When Women Speak, I Hear’. We met with the group, attended a workshop, and, on completion of the book we were invited along to a special reading where each of the women read out their poems. The publication is now being sold in independent bookshops across Edinburgh and has also been shortlisted for an Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize, (as I write this) and we couldn’t be more proud of them all, and ourselves, and what we created together.
So, for us, we’ve not only been able to provide valuable support for many of our third sector clients, through what we do, we’ve also been able to enjoy the successes and experience the challenges along the way too. For that reason, we will always enjoy working in this sector.
This is our commitment to all of our third sector clients:
We will always:
- make sure we are well-versed and knowledgeable of your organisation and the key aims and objectives of the project before we start any work
- listen, and not be afraid to challenge or ask the hard questions
- deliver strong, innovative design
- pay attention to the detail
- maximise your budget to find the most cost-effective route
- be on brief, on budget and on time
- go that extra mile
- be that additional member of your team who will be there to take you through the process and ensure you enjoy the journey along the way.