Who am I?
A strange mix of policy, public affairs and media hack with a heavy hint of co-production whizz-kid. 11 years ago I set up Creative Public Affairs with the hope of helping people get better at communicating, campaigning. lobbying and winning journalists over.
I’d learnt a wee bit as a media and public affairs manager (England) for a major national older people’s charity; and before that as a research and policy analyst (England) at a national student lobbying organisation. I’d had some big successes helping set up a number of national public policy initiatives and invaluable press coverage. So – I thought – why not share the love/what I know?
Connecting people and making new fab things happen is really important to me. The emphasis of CPA’s work is to give people a voice who are too often forgotten. I’ve been an unpaid carer for most of my life – so believe me – I know what invisible means.
To give you a flavour of what CPA’s been up to . .
Self-Harm and Suicide Awareness Training Workshop aimed at mental health carers. Get a buzz from what people say in the feedback so thought why not share . . .
- “I didn’t expect to enjoy it. Had complained to my partner got two and a half hours talking about suicide now.”
- “Loved talking to everyone about their stories. Really helped. It’s what’s happened to me.”
- “Changed my life.”
- “It was an extremely professional training workshop.”
- “Everything was useful!”
- “Really good.”
Carer Awareness Training Workshop aimed at Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BHFT) Mental Health Professionals.
- “It was really helpful having a carer who talked freely about their experience.”
- “Made me realise that those people we call family are also carers.”
- “Realized that I needed to listen more to carers and what they were saying.”
- “Excellent, with trainers who seemed to really care about carers.”
Some more project testimonials
“Sofija and I worked together establishing a mental health consultation group. I was impressed by her passion and enthusiasm. She is a tireless campaigner and is very effective at giving a positive message and supporting those around her. Her desire to succeed is contagious and she is a great person to have on your team.” Senior Leader with extensive interim NHS and Local Authority experience.
“Sofija is a really good person to work with. She challenges you to think about your clients from their point of view. Has a wealth of social media knowledge and knows how to empower staff to confidently engage with businesses and other client groups.” Central Berkshire Education Business Partnership.
“Creative Public Affairs helped us at a crucial stage of our development . Sofija helped us identify the key messages that we were trying to get across to the community – using language that people could grasp easily.” Culture and Sport Development Service, Reading Borough Council.
Campaign with Impact Workshop.
Participants included: Central Berkshire Education Business Partnership, Reading Refugee Support Group, Berkshire Greenpeace, South Reading Patient Voice, Transitions Town Reading, NHS Berkshire West, Reading Neighbourhood Network, Reading Peace Group, Baker Street Residents’ Association, No 5 Youth Counselling and Information Service, Disabled People Against Cuts, Cristian Community Action, Berkshire Greenpeace, Pond Meadow Permaculture, Results UK, Reading Voluntary Action, Environmental & Community Projects and planning advice, HepC screeing 4 the Asian Community. Participant feedback: “Excellent workshop which was interactive and made the learning experience valuable and enjoyable.” “Initially I thought five hours of training would be a drag; but time flew as we started interactions and sharing ideas. It was a learning experience and would love to do this again.” “Style and Pace was excellent. I loved it because it was well-organised and driven towards a good finish and end.” “The style was open and friendly but also professional.” “ Lots to take away.”
Media Workshop: How to use the power of local media to raise your profile
Participants include : Reading Mencap, Berkshire Scouts, Reading Borough Council, Reading Voluntary Action, Citizens Advice Reading, Berkshire Community Foundation, CCA, No 5 Youth Counselling, The Ways and Means Trust, Fusion Youth and Community UK, Berkshire Credit Union, True Food Community Co-op, Action for Children, Reading Advice Network, Reading Dusseldorf Association. Participant feedback: “Thank you for such a great, interesting training session.” “Really well organised with lots of participation. Really enjoyed it.” “Enjoyed small group size. Felt more open to chat.” “Very knowledgeable trainers.” “Good to have industry case studies and stories and appreciated honest feedback on how to improve.”