Turning Point enlists aid

Social care body looks to Good Relations to boost awareness of expanded services.

Social care organisation Turning Point has taken on its first PR agency to raise awareness of new services.

Good Relations, part of the Bell Pottinger Group, has been brought on board following a competitive pitch.

Turning Point was set up in 1964 and is best known for its work related to drugs and alcohol. But in recent years the organisation has expanded and now provides services in more than 200 locations to more than 100,000 people a year.

Good Relations' brief will include media relations aimed at moving Turning Point away from the drugs and alcohol arenas in a bid to promote its other services.

Turning Point head of external relations Emily Frith said: 'Turning Point has recently reorganised its services within three sectors - substance misuse, mental health and learning disability - and we felt this was an ideal opportunity to try a new approach to building our brand in these markets.'

The agency is charged with developing stories that reflect the organisation's priority business areas of learning disability, substance misuse and mental health. It will also promote new and growing areas such as employment, connected care, secure services and criminal justice. Activity will focus on using national and trade press to reach Turning Point's key audiences of commissioners, policymakers, partners and consumers.

Good Relations account director Kathryn Ager said: 'We will seek to increase awareness and understanding with as broad a range of journalists as possible. This will include going beyond the traditional health and social care pages and looking at areas such as the employment pages.'

Turning Point's services include providing supported housing for people with mental health problems or learning disabilities. It also provides drug and alcohol services including advice, education, counselling and support for family and friends.

Turning Point chief executive Lord Victor Adebowale joined the organisation in 2001. He was one of the first 'people's peers' and sits on a number of government bodies.

The charity is currently calling on MPs to sign an Early Day Motion asking the Government to provide better funding for learning disability services.

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