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A graphic design student from the University of Bolton has created a poster campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse and highlight the support available.
Matt Wilkins’ ‘Red Flag’ campaign was rolled out across the campus throughout May, and officially launched on the same day that domestic abuse charity Endeavour held a symposium for students at the University.
The symposium featured stalls and presentations from Endeavour’s CEO Jill Caldwell and Operations Director Linda Charnock.The University of Bolton campaign prominently features red flag symbols printed as stickers and small posters on walls and floors to spark interest.
Larger posters are on walls, in lifts and bathrooms, with links to more information and where to get help.The University’s student services team supported the project and delivery of the brief to graphic design students, to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the support services available.The students then designed a suite of campaign materials which were reviewed by senior University staff. These included Baroness Helen Newlove, Pro Vice Chancellor, Matt Dillon, the University’s Deputy Student Services Manager and Nihit Tawari, Students’ Union President. The panel selected their preferred design.Matt Dillon, Head of Student Services, said: “Reports of domestic abuse at the University remain low."However, it is a fact that reports have increased here as they have all across the UK, and the student services team has introduced a range of new measures and support to address concerns following increased prevalence of domestic abuse, particularly during the pandemic.“This campaign is aimed at keeping the issue of domestic abuse and the wealth of support available firmly at the forefront of our students’ minds.“The panel was particularly impressed with the professionalism demonstrated by all students in their approach to the brief and with all the conceptual designs.“Matt’s campaign stood out amongst the entries and it has certainly been effective as we have had a number of referrals as a direct result of the campaign.”Endeavour CEO Jill said: “Any campaign to raise awareness is fantastic – the more awareness there is about domestic abuse and how to deal with concerns, the better.“We get a lot of referrals from healthcare professionals, so being able to talk to students in this area is hugely important.”The University’s Head of School - Nursing and Midwifery, Dr Trish Houghton, pledged her time to support Endeavour after winning Woman in Education and North West Woman of the Year in the 2019 She Inspires awards.Dr Houghton’s chose Endeavour as the topic was very close to her heart and the School of Nursing and Midwifery agreed to work with the charity to provide an annual symposium open to all learners in Nursing, Midwifery, and Health care courses across the school and the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing.Dr Houghton said: “The aim is to ensure the future workforce have the underpinning knowledge and understanding to be able to offer support and help to people they may come into contact with who are victims of domestic abuse.“It is also an opportunity for the School to arrange fund raising events to help to raise money for Endeavour who provide a vital and very needed service.”Student Matt, who designed the successful University domestic abuse awareness campaign, said: ‘Red flags’ is a widely known metaphor for real issues in people’s relationships which often are pushed aside.“The concept was meant to illustrate, that we as people are quick to ignore these so called ‘red flags’ for one reason or another.
“This is the core theme of this campaign and I hope that it is eye opening enough for some people to reach out and get help.”