Just when we were getting a little sick of the self-indulgent selfies, AgeUK came along and flipped the idea on it's head when they asked us to focus our selfies on someone else for a change.
By getting us to budge up and share the frame with our elderly relatives and friends, they're raising awareness about the problem of loneliness in old-age (and making brilliant use of a pun at the same time). As well as getting people to donate, the campaign highlights the value of, as they put it, 'that special someone who you can turn to for advice, company or just to put a smile on your face', underlining their core message that no-one should have no-one.
Their campaign page reveals a sad truth that 1 in 4 older people have nobody to turn to before letting you know how AgeUK is helping the millions facing older life alone and how you can too. What we love most about this campaign is that it encourages people to take direct action in their own communities.
Casserole Club - community action with extra portions
We recently discovered the wonderful
Casserole Club, a FutureGov project which shows that the issue of old age loneliness can be tackled by connecting people in their communities. Offered as a way to share your extra portions at dinner time with people who aren't always able to cook for themselves, this site matches up isolated older people with much more than hot plate of food, as for many a chat on the doorstep turns into a regular shared dinner time. The project has enjoyed a warm reception in Barnet, Tower Hamlets and Reigate & Banstead, and is also being rolled out in Australia, showing that many are eager for a way to help in their local communities. With more areas coming soon, we hope to be rustling up some extra portions in Brighton in the not so distant future!
This past month, WWF have been encouraging people to get up and run against the Amur Tiger. It wasn't just the beautifully designed scrolling intro of the campaign page that caught our attention as we sat in the office, wistfully wishing we could join in with the treadmill-desk craze and get a bit of exercise. We debated if any of us really stood a chance against a tiger, but as Malcolm (who has only recently completed a 10k) pointed out - he doesn't need to outrun the tiger, he just needs to outrun us!
This is a great campaign because it plays into the friendly competitiveness that surrounds our fitness and social media habits. It neatly connects with a bunch of different popular running apps, whilst providing people with a real excuse to unabashedly share their morning run stats on social media with all their half-awake friends.
However, the real competition is between you and the tiger. WWF have made great use of technology in this campaign, by placing a GPS tracker on a real wild Amur tiger to measure his daily movements. If you don't manage to beat his distance (and I'd rate my own chances as slim), you have to donate £5.
By engaging people in friendly competition with a real tiger, a connection is forged with an animal living in the mountains of Far East Russia in much the same way that sponsoring an animal brings their reality home. The fact that this is one of just 450 Amur Tigers left in the world suddenly jars a little more deeply.