Skills: Interviewing, Strategy, Copywriting, Relationship Building, Ideation, Research
Leaving home is a challenge for everyone, but young people leaving care often do so without the support of a loving family. These young people are already at greater risk of anxiety and isolation, and the Covid-19 lockdowns only increased that.
The charity needed to capture this uniquely difficult experience in a way that would make supporters empathise with the cause. Covid-19 was placing immense pressure on the charity and the young people we support.
We, the storytellers, needed to figure out creative a way to explain this. We realised we couldn't just tell people, we had to show them.
I started ideating and brainstorming with my team over the approach. How are we going to explain the situation of care leavers in lockdown to our supporters? Have we done anything like this before? Have other charities done anything slightly similar?
Following the ideation stage (in which we decided on a 360 degree/ immersive storytelling project), I began researching both technology solutions and potential young people to participate. Technology-wise, I landed on Holoscribe - who specialise in creating immersive digital experiences and had impressive projects with other charities, like WaterAid and Oxfam.
After identifying potential young people to participate, I developed the strategy we would follow to gather the content. The strategy also considered constraints around timescale, budgets, capacity, technology etc.
After identifying care leavers who could participate (by reaching out to their project workers) I then started to build relationships with them. As with any storytelling project, people have to deeply trust you to treat their personal experience with care and respect. This was done over several weeks and months, getting to know each other over Zoom calls and emails. There was also a significant amount of relationship building with Holoscribe themselves, who provided us with an account manager and creative director to help create our vision.
With the trust built, I started writing the questions and scripts for the interviews. These were also sent to the young people and their projects workers beforehand, to make sure they were happy.
With all parties happy with the scripts and overall approach, I carried out the interviews! These were done via Zoom and were about an hour in length. Once completed, I worked with the videographer and the Holoscribe team to pull out the most engaging snippets from each interview, which would then be used throughout the 360 experience.
We captured the lockdown experiences of 7 care leavers. All in different environments and in different living situations. Some having a bad time during the Covid-19 lockdown, others actually managing quite well.
The project received extremely positive feedback throughout the organisation. It was the first time we had ever done something like this and was used by numerous teams to engage with our audiences. Our Partnerships team, for example, found it landed well with potential corporate partners and have asked - several times - when the next immersive experience is being made!