Student mentoring

In 2017 we started delivering our inaugural mentorship scheme with graphic design students from Manchester Met. Working with six third year students, we have been helping them develop their design skills ready for when they graduate.

Each student has been paired up with a designer at Creative Concern who – through one-to-one sessions – has critiqued their work, providing advice on how to develop it.

The scheme aims to help these students get a more realistic and practical idea of what a career in graphic design will be like and what will be expected of them when they start applying for roles after graduating.

We’ll be working with this group of students until May 2018 and we’re looking forward to developing the scheme further for a new set of students in September.


Lakes Ignite

We are really excited to be working once again on the Lake Culture programme to promote Lakes Ignite 2018. We're supporting the festival with digital, social media, PR, content and creative to showcase this unique collection of contemporary art in Cumbria.

Lakes Ignite launched in January and runs through to July, with six specially commissioned artworks. Each installation celebrates the Lake District’s UNESCO World Heritage status, providing a different perspective on the cultural landscape of the Lakes.

Presenting a broad spectrum of media including metal, wood, mirrors, inflatables, performance and virtual reality, the artworks are free to visit and explore at six venues.

Check out our illustrated map and find out more on the Lakes Culture website.

Inspiring stories

You Can Foster is a major project that’s been very close to our hearts for the last year, and one that’s involved almost every aspect of Creative Concern’s multi-disciplinary team from PR and social through to design and digital.

The 2017/18 campaign has also seen us working right across the North of England hosting events, working with media (TV, online, radio and good old print), working with foster carers and young people in their care, heads of City Councils, even the good people of Knowlsey Safari Park, culminating in a fantastic high-profile competition – Inspiring Stories – that reached out to young people in foster care to write personal short stories that were judged by our all-star panel of writers.

We’ve worked with our friends – the performance poet Tony Walsh and Frank Cottrell-Boyce – and some of the UK’s most gifted children’s authors to encourage even more foster carers to come forward and sign up to their local authority to change a young person’s life by fostering. The project has involved working with councils across Yorkshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire East and Merseyside.

As a unique one-off prize each category’s winning story has been recreated by the Creative Concern design team to have its own imaginary book cover.

Find out more at


Arriving happy in Merseyside

In January 2018, we helped Liverpool City Region transport chiefs launch a powerful new campaign to promote the health and wellbeing benefits of walking and cycling to work on so-called ‘Blue Monday’, the UK’s ‘saddest day’ of the year.

The launch of the first ‘Arrive Happy’ campaign took place at the vibrant Avenue HQ in Liverpool. Walkers, cycling groups, mental health campaigners, health experts and local businesses were on hand to explain how walking or cycling for just 10 minutes a day as part of your commute to work, can help to lift your mood, give you more energy, reduce your stress levels and help you sleep better, too.

Many of the campaign's ambassadors – who can seen in the advertising campaign across the region for months to come – were on hand to talk to fellow commuters about the small changes they have made to their daily commutes to improve their health and wellbeing and share their top tips for getting started.

Arrive Happy, backed by Merseytravel, runs through to July 2018.

Getting Greater Manchester moving

Successful cities have something in common: a happy, healthy population that makes short trips on foot or by bike. When Chris Boardman MBE was made Greater Manchester’s first Cycling and Walking Commissioner, he made this his priority: to double and then double again our region’s cycling rates and make walking the natural choice for as many short trips as possible. Made to Move is Chris Boardman’s report to the Mayor, Andy Burnham, setting out exactly how he intends to achieve this and calls for £1.5 billion investment over a decade to make it possible.

We worked closely with Chris and his team to write, edit and design the report. We also commissioned photographer Jonathan Keenan to capture perfect shots that reflect the report’s ambitions and aspirations.

Read the report

Photo credit: @mayorofGM

A forest for the north

Last week saw the launch of the Northern Forest, an ambitious vision from the Woodland Trust and Community Forests to plant 50 million trees over the next 25 years. The Northern Forest covers over 120 miles from Liverpool to Hull and the trees will help to provide natural flood management and boost wildlife habitats as well, protecting ancient woodland areas and iconic species such as the red squirrel. It will also providing a tranquil space for millions of people and generate more than £2 billion for the country’s economy. And if that’s not enough, it is estimated that the new tree planting would lock up an estimated 8 million tonnes of carbon.

We love being part of this project. We’ve produced a prospectus outlining the vision as well as extensive research and insight to demonstrate the need for the project.
We’ve also worked alongside the Woodland Trust PR team – managing regional press across the north to drive public engagement and excitement and generate investor interest to make the vision a reality.

The Northern Forest was launched in an announcement by Environment Secretary Michael Gove. The Government has pledged £5.7 million to launch the project, and forms part of its 25-Year Environment Plan, which sets out how we will be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it.

Follow all the latest from the Northern Forest on the Woodland Trust blog
Check out the prospectus

2002 – 2017: new brand, new website, new work

This November see us reach a bit of milestone: fifteen years of working with some amazing clients, fifteen years of creating work that matters. To mark the occasion, we decided now was a good time for a new brand, new website and a new way of talking about what we do. If you have a minute please let us know what you think, feedback is always welcome.

Recruiting future adopters

Creative Concern has worked in the adoption sector for several years, supporting local authority and charitable adoption agencies to raise their profiles, and to encourage a more diverse range of people to consider adoption as a way of growing their family. 

Recently, we have been honoured to work alongside two of the new ‘regional adoption agencies’ in the North of England, developing their brands and identities, and powerful launch campaigns. In early 2017, a partnership of five local authorities in Greater Manchester and Cheshire commissioned us to find a name, and create a high profile launch recruitment campaign. The result was Adoption Counts. Alongside a high impact brand and new website, Creative Concern created the creative for its extensive outdoor and digital campaign. The results speak for themselves: over 300 enquiries from future adopters have been taken since the campaign launched in July. 

In summer 2017, Adoption Now (the Regional Adoption Agency for Bury, Bolton, Blackburn with Darwen, Rochdale, Oldham and Tameside) commissioned Creative Concern to develop its visual brand. Customer and colleague consultation led to the creation of a brand that reflects the agency’s eagerness to tackle the tricky questions that surround adoption and help Adoption Now stand out. The brand is set to launch in winter 2017. 

You Can Foster

You Can Foster is a region-wide recruitment campaign that aims to shift perceptions of foster carers and recruit new carers within particular areas of need. The campaign has recently been extended to cover Yorkshire. As part of this, our PR and Content Team has been working with poet Tony Walsh and children’s authors Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Cathy Cassidy, Dan Worsley and Livi Michael on a writing competition that encourages young people in foster care across the North of England to tell their own stories.

The aim of the campaign is to encourage new foster carers to sign up and make a real difference to a child’s life. Huge media interest in the campaign has led to hundreds of entries from youngsters wishing to show the world the scale of their ambition.

This is the Place

It was an honour to be approached to be part of the ‘This is the Place’ book, a creative memorial in response to the attack on Manchester Arena in May 2017. The book, based around Tony Walsh’s poem 'This is the Place’, brought the creative community of Manchester together to reflect on the tragedy. We were given one line of the poem and the challenge of creating one page of the book.

Our idea wouldn’t have been possible without the support of IPAF, which provided a cherry picker to capture the image. The proceeds from the book sales will be split equally across three Manchester charities.

Please support by buying a copy, every penny of the cover price goes to charity.