We are Magpie

The ‘Great Campaign’ is our campaign to help create healthier and happier communities and 2020 has needed more Great Campaigns than ever before. When we look back at this year, we will always think of the big ‘C’ – Community – and the strength and kindness of those who have rallied around to support one another during the most challenging time. 

2020 has seen us make more positive social impact than ever before, engaging with more communities to make lasting behaviour change. We couldn’t do this without the most inspiring clients you could ever wish to work with, together we have helped people and communities connect, take notice, be active, keep learning and give. 

As we reach the end of our toughest and most rewarding year, here is our news and musings to inspire and excite more great campaigns in 2021. 

Like you, our team needs a well-earned rest over the festive period and the Magpie remote nests will be closed from 23 December.  We’ll be back and ready to deliver more creative campaigns from 4 January 2021. 

Magpie’s new change makers  

Dr Grainne Dickerson Rose Mountague Saleem Shahid Usman Mahmood Kim Somerville
L to R: Grianne, Rose, Saleem, Usman and Kim working from their remote nests 

We are very proud to be in the position to start the new year with an accomplished new senior team ready to support our clients with a huge breadth and depth of experience. Dr Grainne Dickerson joins us in January as our Behavioural Insights Consultant and will strengthen the behavioural science which underpins our creative communications. Rose Mountague recently joined us as our Creative Director from one of the UK’s top digital agencies and will lead our talented studio team of designers and developers to turn our insights into creative campaigns. 

We’ve also introduced two skilled communicators to coordinate our campaigns in the community, with new part-time recruits, Saleem Shahid and Usman Mahmood.     

Our Director Kim Somerville, recently celebrated one year at Magpie and leads all our teams within Magpie said: 

“The unique blend of skills and knowledge that these new people add to our talented team will be a winning formula to ensure every campaign has more meaningful impact than ever before.’’    

Over £50,000 donated in 2020

We have proudly given over £50,000 in pro-bono time and charitable donations in 2020.  Our voluntary campaigning and event management made the UK’s first Sliver Pride possible for the charity Friends of Dorothy.  We also led the creative direction and brand development to encourage people to get out and explore the great British countryside for the charity Field Studies Council with the creation of the brand ‘Stay with Us’. 

Our survey incentives this year have allowed us to support Leeds Cares, Child Bereavement UK,  Pot of Gold appeal and nine different Cancer charities including Debbie’s Fund, Jo’s Trust, Eve’s Appeal, Breast Cancer Haven, Breast Cancer Now, His Breast Cancer, Guts UK, PLANETS and Bowel Cancer UK. 

Birthday treats at Magpie have also been swapped for the gift of giving in 2020 with every team member choosing their favourite charity to receive a donation, this month, Helena’s birthday treat went to PANDA.    

Public Health Campaign of the Year

Our Neighbours

Magpie’s ‘Looking out for our neighbours’ campaign won Pubic Sector Campaign of the Year at the PR Moment Awards and featured on BBC Look North as our new ‘Our Neighbours’ online reality series launched with insights into life during Covid-19 and neighbourly acts of kindness.

Read more about our award-winning campaign and watch the latest episodes. 

This is the place where we jump, kick and play – because #OutdoorPlayMatters

JU:MP Outdoors JU:MP Outdoors

The latest in a series of our campaigns for Bradford movement: Join Us: Move Play. ‘JU:MP Outdoors’ launches with a local street visuals campaign within the Bradford district, to promote positive experiences of families playing outdoors, whatever the weather.

The campaign has been co-created with families and features a range of children and their parents in places around Bradford where families can move and play for free, showing that now more than ever #OutdoorPlayMatters. Families are encouraged to join the movement for top tips and ideas of where to play.

Seriously #GermFest – Engaging children and young people


For part of this year’s Seriously Campaign in Sunderland, we partnered with STEM Learning and RTC North to create Beat it! #GermFest. The free day long online event marked the start of world antimicrobial awareness week (WAAW), on 19 November. The event brought speakers from around the world to educate children about the different ways germs make us ill, how our bodies can fight back through self care and a better understanding of what treatments work best and when. Schools from around the country were encouraged to sign up, with local schools being sent a special resource pack to celebrate the launch. The wealth of resources created for this event are now part of the new hub, Seriously Resourceful.

New behaviour change campaigns for Covid-19

  • NHS Leeds: Help Your NHS Help You
    Following extensive insight work during lockdown, we are about to launch a new city wide campaign for NHS Leeds which is all about choosing the right service, being prepared and looking out for each other. From 18 December, every household across Leeds will receive a guide with all they need to know this winter and alongside this we are running PR, social media, influencers and marketing across other digital platforms. View the guide.
  • Inspiring multi-generational households and students in shared accommodation to live well and be Covid-responsible
    We have been working with Leeds City Council on ways of localising government guidance to ensure content is more relevant and relatable. View the guide for students in shared accommodation and for multi-generational households
  • Bradford District and Craven promise campaign
    Bradford Council and CCG have commissioned a promise campaign to encourage the population of Bradford to choose someone to look out for during these challenging times. Visit the campaign page here
  • Covid-19 behaviour change in Barnsley
    We have been awarded a new campaign with Barnsley Council that will understand more about the barriers local people are facing and inspire positive choices in line with Covid-19 guidance. Kicking off with an unfiltered listening campaign and inviting Barnsley folk to re-write the rules so they hold more meaning, we can’t wait to get stuck in. Watch this space.

National news for Painkillers Don’t Exist campaign 

Painkillers Dont Exist

The ‘Painkillers Don’t Exist’ campaign rolled out across Sunderland and County Durham achieving a 34% and 17% drop in opioid prescriptions respectively.  Delivering a bold headline to encourage people to understand the dangers associated with long-term use of opioids, the campaign featured in The Times, BBC News, Northern Echo, Tyne Tees and the Sunderland Echo.  NHS Leeds CCG joins the campaign in 2021.

Take part in Yorkshire’s Wellbeing Check-In this December

Yorkshire Wellbeing Survey 2020

At Magpie, we know that any campaign starts with finding out what people currently think and feel about an issue – we do this through listening and gaining valuable insight. To help us better understand what’s going on in Yorkshire, we have created our second 5-10 minute check-in to better understand how you lovely folk are doing. We’ve all been through a lot and with a new year approaching, we’d like to see where you’re at right now and in doing so, you could also be the winner of one of 3 Wellbeing Hampers!

Complete the survey here.

Winter Friends from afar

Winter Friends

Back again for a second year, we are running the Winter Friends campaign in partnership with Leeds City Council to support those who are more vulnerable over the winter months. Ensuring the priority remains on keeping safe from COVID-19, the campaign shares ideas on how to support others from a distance and delivers resources to friends who are genuinely caring about the wellbeing of the people around them. Could you be a Winter Friend? Do you know someone who needs extra support over the coming months? Visit the Winter Friends website for more information on how to join us in looking out for others this winter.

At Magpie, the only way we do business is through word of mouth and personal recommendation, so please share this round up with others. If you’ve been forwarded this from someone else please sign up to get our mailing list to get our latest updates.

Take care, stay safe and we really hope we can see you in person in 2021.  

Ged Savva and Becky Dam
Magpie Co-founders