Working in PR and lobbying you get used to people assuming that the profession is innately cynical. Whether you’ve watched The Thick of It, In The Loop or Wag the Dog, there are lots of examples which lead many to the conclusion that it’s all spin, spin, spin.

However, in reality, one of the best parts of the job is learning about all the positive things that clients do – the lives they change and the passion they have for making a difference – and then celebrating them.

One such example is Grace Tebbutt House, a unique service that provides 24/7 support for homeless women in Sheffield, supporting some of the city’s most vulnerable people who lead truly difficult lives. Often affected by domestic violence, addiction and mental illness, the women supported by Grace Tebbutt have nowhere else to go, and that’s not spin.

On Sunday 13th November, PLMR joined over 100 people who gathered at Sheffield Cathedral to watch a special screening of Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire. In the programme, self-made millionaire Dr Chai Patel visits Grace Tebbutt House, along with two other Sheffield charities, Gleadless Valley and Cathedral Archer Project.

The programme charts his time with the three charities, volunteering to help with swim aerobics, organising an art therapy session, and working in a homeless shelter clinic. Whether it is old people who are affected by isolation and immobility, or homeless people who are affected by addiction or mental illness, these organisations have an immeasurable impact on people’s lives. In the case of Grace Tebbutt, the support they provide can make the difference between life and death.

Sitting in Sheffield Cathedral on a wintry evening and watching people’s reaction when Chai Patel donated over £100,000 which will enable the charities to keep doing this work, I felt a million miles away from the Westminster bubble where PR and Public Affairs professionals ply their trade.

This is real work, making a real difference to people on margins of society, and I feel proud to make to be able to help spread the word.

So, Mr Tucker, where’s your spin there?

If you would like to donate to Grace Tebbutt, which has recently lost its Government funding, please click here:

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PLMR’s crisis communications experience is second to none, and includes pre-emptive and reactive work across traditional and social media channels. We work with a range of organisations to offer critical communication support when they are faced with difficult and challenging scenarios.