As a new semester begins, local art students Joe and Gemma look forward to pairing study with Samaritans after producing a campaign featuring the charity for a university project.
Of Peterborough and Colchester originally, Joe and Gemma study Graphic Communication at Norwich University of the Arts. For a project at the end of their first year, students had to work together to produce an advertising campaign for a cause they felt strongly about. They also had to choose an issue they felt had not had the exposure or prominence it deserved – and create a fully realised advertising solution.
With their brief in hand, Joe and Gemma decided to create a campaign for Samaritans.
“Samaritans seemed a fitting focus point for our campaign to help those with mental health issues, the great work that Samaritans do meant that they were the perfect charity to help raise awareness of the issue, and that there is help available.”
The project was also an opportunity for partner Joe to learn about mental health and the support available, as Gemma had experienced some problems of her own in the past.
“As her boyfriend it was nice to do a range of research into what she’s dealt with to try and understand, this has brought us closer together.”
After 3 weeks to put their campaign together, and a huge design change in the final days, the couple presented a strong piece at their end of year exhibition. And, as chance would have it, Norwich Samaritans were due to give a wellbeing talk to students at the university.
Publicity officer Ian, a Samaritan in Norwich for 6 years, was delighted to meet with the students - and to learn that the two wanted to volunteer their time to promote Samaritans.
“We were very impressed to see the work that Joe and Gemma had produced for their project – and were heartened by their enthusiasm to support our organisation. It’s great to see our message reach young people, and even better that they will be helping us spread that message.”
After applying over the summer, Joe and Gemma will be joining Norwich Samaritans as fully-fledged volunteers. Alongside their busy second-year schedules, they will be raising awareness of Samaritans service and events – helping spread the word to Norwich, Norfolk, and beyond that it is good to talk.
To anyone thinking about supporting Samaritans Joe said, “Just go for it, it’s as simple as that. Help and support the amazing work they do, help thousands of people a year!”
If you would like to learn more about the work of Norwich Samaritans, or if you’d like to volunteer like Joe and Gemma, visit samaritans.org/Norwich.