The Child Trust Fund Access Campaign was created to raise awareness of a critical problem with Child Trust Funds which would impact thousands of children across the UK who, upon turning 18, will not be able to access their savings without applying to the Court of Protection.
Launched in 2016 by our clients at the award-winning law firm Renaissance Legal, we have worked with the senior management team on the formation of the Child Trust Fund Access campaign since the beginning – from research to launch, branding, PR, media relations and continued stakeholder management. The campaign is still ongoing and continues to be a high-profile issue that has struck a chord with various MPs, Members of the House of Lords, leading political figures and parents and carers nationwide – and one which the Ministry of Justice is currently ‘wrestling’ with as a result of the extensive national media coverage that the campaign has attracted to date.
Philip Warford, Managing Director at Renaissance Legal, said:
‘Raw Marketing’s support and guidance of the Child Trust Fund Access campaign has been invaluable. Their communication expertise and insight has helped form every aspect of this campaign, from the launch right through to building and fostering relationships with families and other key supporters. We are very proud of the deserved attention and media coverage that the campaign has had to date, and we’re hopeful that, working alongside Raw Marketing, we’ll be able to secure the change these families need’.
Following a period of research and discovery to fully understand the key aspects and issues at the heart of the campaign, we began by determining how we could translate these (some of which includes fairly complex legal terminology and processes) into messaging that would resonate with the campaign’s target audiences.
Prior to launch we recommended an extension of the Renaissance Legal brand to ensure the campaign had its own identity but continued to be aligned to the core brand with the use of colour-ways and typography, ensuring a link back to the firm. We established a survey to take a ‘temperature check’ of the parents and carers across the country who would be impacted by the issue. The results supported the foundation of the campaign, showing that 87% of families believe that their disabled child won’t be able to access money held within their Child Trust Fund once they reach the age of 18 and 90% didn’t know how to access the money on behalf of their child in the event that they do not have the mental capacity to do so themselves.
A key element of the campaign launch was the creation of a Change.org petition which now has in excess of 5800+ signatures and continues to grow daily.
The petition is a key component of the campaign, demonstrating the number of families who are disadvantaged by the current system and who feel passionate that change is essential. It was designed to encourage all parents – not just those with a disabled child or who are directly impacted themselves – to pledge their support to the campaign as it helps apply the required pressure to convince the government and providers that the system must be changed.
Our work on the Child Trust Fund Access campaign includes:
National media coverage
In February 2021, Channel 4 News featured the story for a second time. Chief Correspondent Alex Thomson spoke exclusively to Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister who was responsible for bringing in the Child Trust Fund scheme, who echoed his support for the campaign.
Other high-profile supporters who have been recruited to assist with lobbying and media engagement have included Sir Ed Davey, Anne Longfield (Former Children’s Commissioner for England) Lord David Blunkett and Lord Young of Cookham.
A key element of the ongoing media strategy has been to shine a light on experiences of real families who are directly impacted by the issue. We secured two pieces with the Sunday Times, firstly an interview with a Sussex family who shared how and why the current rules disadvantage their son Ryan, together with a quote from Philip Warford about the proposed solution. Alongside this was an exclusive piece from Lord Blunkett, who has lent his support to the campaign.
Additional coverage has been secured with the BBC, Guardian, Telegraph, Sunday Times, ThisIsMoney, BBC’s Moneybox and Times Radio.
In the six-month period from 1st January 2021 to 1st June 2021, Renaissance Legal has seen a 788% increase in website sessions compared with the same period in the previous year. The Renaissance Legal website hosts updates and videos of the campaign’s key moments, and together with a regular newsletter, is an important way of keeping supporters updated.
At the time of writing, the campaign has been the subject of a Prime Minister’s question and debated no less than four times in the House of Lords, as the lobbying impact continues to build.