Overview

On Road is a charity that tackles social problems by improving media coverage of misrepresented groups and issues. The team delivers projects in collaboration with different communities across the UK to bring about real social change. On Road was founded in 2008 and we were awarded charitable status in January 2016.

Within each project, we deliver four key activities: what we call the “interactions” – informal and curated meet-ups between activists with lived experiences and senior journalists, bespoke media training with a focus on self-care, peer support for activists engaging with the media and mentoring for project participants.

What we’re working on

All About Trans

‘Small charity, Big achiever’

Currently, we are delivering the award-winning All About Trans project, which improves the portrayal of transgender people in the media. In September 2017, we were delighted to win the ‘small charity, big achiever‘ category at the Third Sector Awards for our work on the project.

Since 2011, All About Trans has worked with the trans community to hold innovative events and workshops, including Trans Camp at Channel 4. It has engaged more than 400 media professionals in over 60 interactions with organisations such as the BBC, The Sun, Channel 5, The Observer, The Scottish Herald, Independent Press Standards Organisation and many more.

These meet-ups have led to outcomes including the award-winning BBC Two sitcom Boy Meets Girl, two trans actors playing trans characters on Hollyoaks and EastEnders, three Radio 1 documentaries hosted by Paris Lees, All4 hosting My Trans Story – a collection of shorts created by two trans filmmakers and produced by All About Trans, as well as guidelines for covering trans related stories in collaboration with the Independent Press Standards Organisation. The work has leveraged over £5.5 million in programming.

Angles

On Road’s newest project Angles brings media influencers together with people with lived experience of sexual violence and domestic abuse, and/or who work in the sector, promoting new content and a better understanding of the issues.

Since 2015, we have been developing partnerships with many organisations and individuals in the sector, including a pivotal partnership with Dr Nina Burrowes, a research psychologist who specialises in the psychology of sexual abuse. Along with Dr Burrowes and author and activist Winnie Li, we co-organised and sponsored the Clear Lines Festival, the UK’s first festival dedicated to opening up a space to discuss sexual assault and consent.

We launched activities for the project in 2016, delivering specially tailored media training courses that give trainees practical media skills alongside an understanding of how the media works, how change happens, and how to practice good self-care. There have been monthly peer support meetings, bringing the network together to share advice, tips on engaging with the media and concerns with speaking out. So far Angles has held interactions with senior editors from The Observer, Metro, Evening Standard, The Independent, BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire and BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat.

Clear Lines Festival 2015

CLEAR LINES FESTIVAL 2015

Our other work

We’ve collaborated with a number of different communities on projects, since 2008. A few examples of these include “Digital Undoc”, a project commissioned by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, which looked at ways we can use digital technologies get information and support to children and young people with irregular immigration status. As part of this work we held Undoc Camp.

Digital Undoc 2012

It’s been amazing to see our work recognised for a variety of awards. In 2008 we won the Catalyst Community Award for work on Media for Development’s project, “Savvy Chavvy”, a social network for young Gypsies and Travellers. “Chavvy” is a Romany word for a young person and the young people of the network participated in all stages of its development, including the naming of the network.

We were finalists for the 2012 Nominet Internet Awards and Technology 4 Good Awards, for our work with the Single Homeless Project (SHP), piloting the use of a mobile training centre with SHP clients to create the blog, Unheard Holler.

Charity information

On Road Ltd. is a charity registered in England and Wales (1165237).