Hello all! I’m Philippa, the new Development Manager at On Road Media. I’ve been here three months already, working part-time on fundraising. Previous to my role here, I worked in fundraising for 20 years, including national and international campaigning organisations and frontline local charities – which is what I’ve been doing most recently. I like the challenge of finding significant amounts of money to do new and exciting things.
I was really drawn to On Road’s aim of improving media representation, and through that, society’s attitude in areas where it has been harmful to groups that have been misrepresented. Now I’m working here I’m impressed at how well it has achieved that with a small team, supported and guided by advisors, trustees, hundreds of volunteers and really effective partnership working.
The method of creating change seems surprisingly simple: bringing influential media professionals together with people who are often misrepresented and letting them get to know each other. But clearly it works. I like the way All About Trans co-founder and journalist Paris Lees described it in a Guardian article: “Although we never go in with an agenda for creative outcomes, if you put people with stories in the same room as writers, filmmakers and journalists, it’s inevitable.”
It shouldn’t really be surprising; in lots of other areas of work it’s the quality of a relationship that makes the difference. I was recently part of a consortium of local charities piloting a project to prevent families in crisis sliding further into poverty. It paired them with volunteers who had been through crises of their own, and it worked because as well as practical help and signposting, it led to a change in people’s attitude, to become more positive and hopeful. This changed the way they dealt with the challenges they faced.
I’m looking forward to seeing an All About Trans ‘interaction’ for myself later this month, and explaining to funders how this relatively simple, small-scale idea can make such a big difference. All About Trans is On Road’s longest running project, working with trans people to improve the way their community is portrayed in the media. An interaction is a relaxed, social meet-up between a senior media or sector professional and someone with personal experiences to share.
I’m also excited about seeing the new project, Sexual Abuse in the Media, develop over the next few weeks, even as I’ve started writing applications for its second and subsequent years’ funding.
Apart from work, I finished an art foundation course earlier this year. So in the other half of my working week I’m developing my practice as an artist, mainly in drawing, sculpture and photography. If you’re interested in seeing examples of my work, you can follow me on Instagram: @philippa.king.