How we reinvest 50% of our profit in social projects

At Social & Local we reinvest the profits we make through our commercial work to change how our industry works by changing how we work. Our founding vision was to prove a commercial agency can be profitable and make life better for our people and the community we operate in. For the last seven years we’ve been supporting and funding new creative talent to put their creative brilliance to solving some of the world’s biggest social problems in partnership with the Creative Conscience Awards. This year we’re turning our attention to protecting and nurturing that talent so that it can deliver impact for future generations.

The 2019/20 Programme

Mental Health in the Workplace

From our lived experience, in-depth reports into mental health like the Stevenson-Farmer review, and initiatives like Mental Health First Aiders, we know there is a problem with mental wellbeing in work.  We also know from in-depth surveys that this is amplified in the creative industries sector. A recent poll across advertising agencies revealed that:

As recently as 2017, 63% of advertising and media agency staff said they’ve considered leaving the industry at some point due to work negatively impacting their wellbeing[1].

100 Ways for Brilliant Creative Minds

So, we’re reaching out to agency leaders to eradicate unhealthy working practices in the advertising, PR and media industry. Focusing on our employees’ emotional wellbeing to protect our industry’s Brilliant Creative Minds.

If our industry agrees on one thing, it’s the value of creative talent. Because it can’t be automated, can’t be commoditised. It’s a people thing. But creative people can make choices about where they want to work. And our industry has a problem.

The traditional agency norm is to work long office hours, to pay young people badly, to co-exist with the constant threat of job loss, and to put on a brave face for fear of being written off – because employees should “feel grateful” for the opportunity to work in an agency. But these practises affect people’s wellbeing. It’s not on.

We know our industry is better than this. So, we’re engaging with agency leaders who reject the old ways, and who are outspoken about their people’s wellbeing. Together, we’re compiling 100 ways to have a happier and healthier lived agency culture creating a new norm for the brilliant people that work with us today, and for those who will follow. 


The 2014/18 Programme:

Finding, funding and facilitating the most talented to make a difference in the world.

Working with Falmouth University

As the number one UK University for the Creative Industries, Falmouth is the ideal place for us to reach and educate the next generation. When we began working with them four years ago, we discovered that although the students knew little about social enterprises, they were keen to know more.

For four years we ran a 3-hour seminar each year with 3rd year creative advertising students, teaching them about the social enterprise model and how it offers ‘another way’ to do business. During the seminar we challenge them to come up with a social impact campaign. As part of our relationship with Falmouth University, students can also apply for a small bursary from Social & Local to help get social business ideas off the ground.

Kent, Falmouth University student

“Had a really great workshop!! The creative process for coming up with a positive campaign resulted with ideas and causes that we didn’t realise we cared about. It was a good insight into how creativity and advertising can benefit people for a better future.”

Tom, Falmouth University student

“Never before have I seen ideas like the ones that came from the workshop. They made us tap into real world problems and explore creative ideas to help overcome them. Ideas that weren’t just left in the workshop, ideas that you left wanting to develop more.”

Read about bursary recipients at Falmouth University:
Supporting up and coming illustrators
Launching a sustainable product as a social business

Working with Creative Conscience

Creative Conscience is very much a sister organisation to Social & Local, sharing our values and vision. It’s a global organisation that aims to inspire designers to apply their talents to socially valuable projects. Their awards encourage, recognise and reward students and graduates from across the design spectrum to develop concepts and projects that promote sustainability, freedom, social health and well-being.

Each year, Creative Conscience mounts an international awards scheme that invites students to develop their skills through social creative projects. For the last three years we have funded Award Winners to realise these projects, giving the young people valuable industry experience as well as creating social benefit.

Read about Creative Conscience award winners we’ve supported:
Damiano – filmmaker
Fatma – designer
Amy – illustrator
Liam – graphic designer