Our charity, the Scottish Cot Death Trust supports families affected by SUDI – the sudden and unexpected death of an infant.
Rates of SUDI (cot death and SIDS are terms often used) have reduced significantly over the last 30 years, yet still, in Scotland, an infant dies suddenly and unexpectedly every nine days. It’s rare, but we work to see it become rarer still.
As well as support, we are dedicated to promoting findings from the evidence-base on how we can reduce the risks of SUDI occurring. Due to budget, size, and resource capability the need for effective, efficient, but brave decision-making is crucial – factors not alien for many charities in the UK.
SUDI is a subject people don’t engage with unless they have to, which is understandable. But it is so important we continue to try new approaches that make our support services more visible and our education work more accessible and engaging. We have recently invested in new websites and video content with the objective of raising awareness and creating engagement platforms to provide useful information on our support services and our Safe Sleep message for parents and professionals in health and childcare.
As with all small charities, we have an opportunity to embrace technology to help amplify our messages. Even though larger charities may have larger budgets in the paid media market, social media and the internet in general (along with well-crafted, targeted messaging) has allowed smaller charities to really compete and get noticed – raising awareness and relaying important information to those who may find it useful. Any small charity can have an online presence of some kind to help them become more accessible and engaging. In our case, we felt that video content was crucial to creating awareness of our support services and education messages.
Our new support video provides a case study of how our services can benefit families who have suffered loss.
Through services such as befriending and counselling, the hopeful video helps illustrate how we can be of assistance to the immediate and extended family following the loss of a child.
Our education work has also benefited from a small investment in video content. ‘A Baby’s Guide to Safe Sleep’ is a poem narrated by a young child explaining all the ways we can make his sleeping space as safe as possible.
We hope that by using animation and rhyme to explain important messages we make the subject of safer sleep more accessible and engaging for new families and professionals in health and childcare.
These videos give us tools to use in the online world to increase awareness of our charity and to provide important information. They allow us to add interest to our owned online spaces making them more engaging and ultimately shareable. Additionally, this well-crafted content, videos or otherwise give small charities potentially newsworthy content for the media both on and offline.
This approach isn’t new, nor was it free, but it will hopefully be a worthwhile investment to continue and develop the conversation helping families and professionals engage with such an important topic.