National Schools Breakfast Programme
The Brief: In the summer of 2019 the two charities involved in administrating the National Schools Breakfast Programme (NSBP) came to Riverside with a brief to ensure the Department for Education would renew the £30m funding for the programme, thereby ensuring 300,000 disadvantaged kids would not be too hungry to learn.
Strategy: Overall, we had to form a broad cross-party coalition of parliamentarians that would put pressure on the Govt to renew the funding. Mapping out the MPs with the most schools subscribed to the programme was the #1 priority. Other key allies included the Chair of the Education Select Committee Rob Halfon MP. Over the next few months dozens of MPs were writing to Ministers and submitting questions. We also had MPs drop in for a localised photo op – detailing how many schools in their constituency benefitted from the NSBP.
The Results: The DfE renewed funding for the NSBP in January 2020. “Riverside did a great job in helping us to achieve that outcome, offering us sound advice, based on years of experience, and practical, hands-on support to deliver exactly what we needed.” – Anja Bailey, Director of External Affairs, Family Action
The A120 Campaign
The Brief: Haven Gateway Partnership appointed Riverside in 2014, following a competitive pitch. The Partnership is a public-private consortium made up of the local authorities of north Essex and south Suffolk, as well as the University of Essex, and many local businesses including Stansted Airport, BT and Hutchison Ports. The A120 is a road that links Stansted Airport in the west to Harwich in the east, also serving the major towns of Braintree and Colchester. The specific remit of the brief was to ensure that £10m in government funds were allocated to the A120 for a full feasibility study ahead of the General Election of 2015.
Strategy: To persuade decision makers at HM Treasury, Department for Transport and Highways England that the A120 should be given public funds for a full feasibility study to improve the road. This could only be accomplished by rallying local political and business support in to a focused and co-ordinated campaign.
The Results: The full £10m required for the feasibility study on improving the A120 was allocated in the 2015 Budget., The ultimate objective was to secure inclusion in the Roads Investment Strategy 2 Period (2020-2025). Riverside's work on this campaign was a finalist for Consultancy Campaign of the Year at The Public Affairs Awards 2015.
The Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM)
The Brief: Following the Brexit vote in June 2016, CIEEM were keen to make their case to policy developers and decision makers in Westminster and Whitehall for strong environmental protection when the UK leaves the EU. CIEEM, who had not engaged in extensive political engagement previously, needed to know not only who to speak to and when, but also what to say and how.
Strategy: Riverside started with the basics of mapping out the key decision makers across Westminster and Whitehall. This laid the foundation for CIEEM’s contact programme for the next six months. Riverside were able to put CIEEM in front of key MPs and officials, including Chairs of relevant Select Committees, senior DEFRA officials, and a cross-party grouping of MPs with an interest in the environment. Underpinning this work was key campaign literature that Riverside had written and designed after several messaging and training workshops with senior CIEEM staff.
The Results: Within a few months, CIEEM had helped persuade DEFRA to publish a consultation on how environmental legislation would be administered and enforced after Brexit. Crucially, they had persuaded senior Conservative backbenchers that an environmental enforcement body with teeth was crucial to ensuring the UK’s environmental future.
The Brief: Rockwool, the UK's leading manufacturer in sustainable stone wool insulation materials for thermal, fire and acoustic insulation, sensed a commercial opportunity in the Government’s and Mayor of London’s efforts to combat noise pollution.
Strategy: Riverside drafted a comprehensive political audit mapping out the areas of London where noise was most problematic and where London Boroughs had strategies to mitigate noise pollution in place.
The Results: ROCKWOOL were delighted with the comprehensive 7,000-word report that gave their sales team a clear outline of a commercial strategy, providing them with all the information that they needed on the people and places to target across London.
Omnicell SAFE Campaign
The Brief: Riverside has been leading public affairs activities for Omnicell since 2018, raising awareness of the issue of medication errors in the NHS and Omnicell’s associated SAFE Campaign, which highlights the importance of using technology to improve patient safety.
Strategy: Following an initial meeting programme to get Omnicell’s senior management in front of key parliamentarians and officials, Riverside organised a Patient Safety Health Summit to further raise awareness of medication errors - and the key role that automated medication dispensing solutions could play in preventing them - amongst healthcare decision makers and practitioners. The Summit programme was designed to present a range of expert voices and highlight ways the Government and the NHS could improve patient safety.
The Results: Riverside identified and secured a parliamentarian chair for the summit, Andrea Jenkyns MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Patient Safety. Riverside also secured parliamentarian panellists such as Sir Kevin Barron MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Pharmacy, and a selection of expert speakers from Great Ormond Street Hospital, Diabetes UK and the Royal College of Nursing. Attendees, who had been selected from NHS Trusts and interested patient groups from, discussed the role of technology in improving patient safety, reducing medication errors and supporting the NHS workforce. The SAFE campaign has been nominated for the CIPR Public Affairs Campaign of the Year.