ActionAid beefs up comms

ActionAid is making a global effort to raise its profile by bringing in Save the Children's director of communications, plus three other communications experts.

ActionAid: global challenge
ActionAid: global challenge

The international development charity has appointed Joe Barrell from Save the Children UK, where he led the comms unit for five years, to take the new role of head of international communications.

Barrell said: 'As a progressive, independent organisation rooted in the communities it serves, ActionAid is uniquely placed to ensure the voices of poor and marginalised people are heard.

'We're now building a high-calibre international team to help make that a reality and inspire people worldwide to take action against poverty and injustice.'

Other new members of the team include Andrea Leary, who joins as international communications resources manager from the Bill Gates-founded Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) in Geneva.

Natalie Curtis joins as international media officer and editor from Oxfam, where she worked on its Climate Justice campaign, and Tom Allen joins as international website manager and e-comms editor from Stop Climate Chaos.

The charity works in more than 40 countries and is focused on fighting hunger and disease, seeking justice and education for women and dealing with emergencies.

ActionAid international director of fundraising and communications Helen McEachern explained the new appointments: 'Establishing a higher and more cohesive profile around the world is now a priority for ActionAid. I've established a new team to support countries to do this.' The changes follow the appointment of Action Aid's new international chief executive, Joanna Kerr.

At Save the Children, Barrell was responsible for building the organisation's profile in the UK. He also took the communications lead on Every One, the global campaign against child mortality.

Previously, he held senior communications roles at the homelessness charity Shelter and has also worked as a cameraman and journalist for news agency Reuters.

Last January, ActionAid picked Think Espionage to help raise awareness of its new focus on women's rights.

The campaign was aimed at young women aged between 25 and 40 and used the audience's lifestyle interests to grab their attention.

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