Creative agency Rankin has teamed up with Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline, to launch a three-part, national campaign that will help spread the word of Switchboard’s ‘Safe Space’ to LGBTQ+ people across the UK but in particular, targeted areas with poor representation or high incidence of hate crimes.
It has been recently reported that homophobic hate crimes have more than doubled since 2014 across England and Wales and transphobic attacks have trebled over the same period. The new campaign launched by Rankin and Switchboard aims to reach people affected by these crimes and other LGBTQ+ issues, letting them know that Switchboard is a ‘Safe Space’ that they can reach out to.
The first of three phases, which launches 6 July coincides with Pride London and will plaster buses, billboards, magazines and more. The campaign will include some of the questions the Switchboard volunteers are most commonly asked, such as “How can I come out if I’m not sure what I identify as?” and “Where can I meet people like me?”.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of Switchboard, a helpline that operates via phone, email and instant message, on a wider national scale. It emphasises that Switchboard is a safe space for anyone to get in touch with a like-minded volunteer and discuss topics relating to LGBTQ+ life with no judgement and in total confidentiality. Specifically, the campaign wants to reach people who may live in areas with low representation or high levels of hate crime, making sure that nobody in the LGBTQ+ community needs to feel alone or isolated.
Natasha Walker, co-chair of Switchboard, said: “In another five years, Switchboard will be 50 and we don’t want to see a doubling again of these deeply troubling figures. With increased levels of isolation and loneliness, the need for Switchboard is ever-present. It’s these people that we want to reach with the 'Safe Space' campaign, showing that we’re a national service focused on supporting those who need it most. The 'Safe Space' is all about creating a confidential, non-judgemental atmosphere where someone can speak to a volunteer who’s a member of the LGBT+ community and voice whatever’s on their mind. Whether they’re calling about an issue that’s affecting them directly or someone else they care about, we're here 10am to 10pm, 365 days a year."
Jordan Rossi, director and producer at Rankin said: “Switchboard is such a fantastic organization, charity and concept and we are in awe of the work they do. We want to spread their reach and positive impact across the UK — beyond London and out to the people who may feel isolated, alienated and alone. As an agency we’ll always be proud representatives of the LGBT+ community and nothing gets our creative juices flowing more than a charitable cause. This campaign marks the first part of a three-part collaboration with Switchboard, with more exciting phases of activation to come, so watch this (Safe) Space.”
You can vote for the campaign in the box below.