Design, Print, Writing Services

Transcription, translation, training, editorial and other (print) production help.

Advice, Training

Some of the service providers below have useful guides to producing printed or visual materials. Other sources of useful info:

Translation and Transcription

  • BSS (charity Broadcasting Support Services) has closed, 2015: it made a point of being able to provide multilingual helplines, translation and publishing services alongside their other facilities.
  • Kelpie Films (see media services) also provide audio solutions such as talking magazines, talking books with favourable rates for the voluntary sector.
  • SignVideo (was Signific’ant) provides sign language interpreting in minutes over videophone, BSL translation and recording. Plus other related services – a social enterprise.
  • WorldAccent provides translation services in the world’s languages, in addition to website localisation and multilingual typesetting & design advice. Clients include NSPCC, Amnesty International, Mencap. Phone 020 7865 8300.

Publishing Services

including copywriting, editorial and content, print buying.

  • See BSS listed above.
  • Everything Editorial specialises in copywriting, editorial, design and print buying. The co-directors have strong experience, online and in print, producing publications for the voluntary, corporate and public sectors. Phone 020 8806 9893, email:
  • Lark is a ‘content agency’, with copywriters, editors and content strategists, and a charity specialism.
  • Looseleaf Productions Copywriting, editing, books and reports, editorial consultancy etc. Phone 01892 863952.
  • ProseWorks is a network of copywriters and editors. Phone 01788 562316.
  • The Fable bureau (was Matter and Co) (was Society Media) Editorial, editing etc.
  • Eleanor Stanley specialises in editorial services for voluntary sector organisations, with clients including the King’s Fund, Friends of the Earth, Red Cross.
  • Top Copy/Guy Phillips Freelance copywriting service mainly for housing associations, charities etc.

Also see under Communications/ PR on Media Services page.


Many of these will also be able to do (at least) basic web site design.

  • Core Design Profits from the design side are used to support an associated mental health charity. Email:
  • Ecographic “Visual communication says everything.” Graphic design and production with minimum ecological impact through detailed research into materials and new technology. Email:
  • Ethical Graphic Design Company discounts to charities etc. Email:
  • HighHorse “Visual Communications for not-for-profit organisations”. We weren’t impressed by their website’s accessibility, though.
  • Intertype works exclusively with the voluntary sector on design and print: newsletters, stationery, annual and research reports, corporate identities, etc. Produce a Charity Design Bulletin. 307 Aberdeen House, 22 Highbury Grove, London, N5 2EA, phone 020 7359 4115, email:
  • origin8 creative Work for voluntary sector includes fundraising pack for breakthrough breast cancer.
  • Oyster Marketing and Design Print, web, marketing, etc. Based in Hampshire.
  • Premonition provides graphic design, for print and web, mainly to voluntary organisations and other non-commercial bodies in East London.
  • Wave A workers design co-operative which specialises in working for issue, community, education, government, arts, health and charitable organisations, on websites through to event invitations. “We are down to earth in our approach, have never missed a deadline and are used to working creatively within limited budgets”. 45 Robertson Street, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1HL, phone 01424 205355, email:


  • Battley Brothers/Arc Design. ‘Design, print and multi-media’, specialists in the voluntary/non-profit sector. 37 Old Town, Clapham, London, SW4 0JN, phone 020 7622 3401.
  • Calverts Press A workers co-op set up in 1977, has variety of charity and community group clients as well as commercial, and an interest in environmental considerations in its work. Web site has a useful glossary of terms. 9-10 The Oval, London, E2 9DT, phone 020 7739 1474.
  • Landor Graphics. South London design, copywriting and publishing company specialising in services to housing associations and voluntary sector. From copywriting/sub-editing based on your ideas or rough copy, through to design/lay-up, photography and print management. Produces publicity leaflets, letterheads, logos, newsletters, annual reports, information packs, posters, display boards, surveys etc. Can handle small print runs. Phone 020 7771 8716, email:
  • Lavenham Press A high-quality image, but also a comprehensive service. 47 Water Street, Lavenham, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 9RN, phone 01787 247436.
  • Lithosphere A long time ago, this was the Print Department of War on Want – still committed to voluntary sector campaigning, in particular environmental issues. They are print managers and troubleshooters, and know their stuff. 90 Queensland Road, London, N7 7AS, phone 020 7686 6111, email:
  • Pureprint Group has worked with a range of charities and campaign groups, and boasts of its environmental credentials. Bellbrook Park, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 1PL, phone 01825 768811.
  • Rap Spiderweb ‘One of the country’s leading providers of print, design and distribution services to voluntary and campaigning organisations.’ Produce useful PrintTalk newsletters aimed at the voluntary sector on print issues. Clock Street, Oldham, OL9 7LY, phone 0161 947 3700, email:
  • Upstream Workers’ cooperative which specialises in supplying typeset, design and print to the voluntary sector. 1 Warwick Court, Choumert Road, London, SE15 4SE, phone 020 7207 1560, email:

Getting your Message Across

Communication skills, press contacts and cuttings, community media etc.

or: Dealing with Media and PR

Communicating the issues

Communication skills are a much under-rated area, whether used for managing staff or getting a response from the public. Knowing your intended audience and how to reach them is important, but so is remembering that others outside those you are targeting are likely to come across what you are saying too. Do you, for instance, want to convey to health professionals the urgency of some concern, without creating wider panic? Is a contingency plan necessary, in case the message gets scrambled by the media?

Most of this page is about the mass media, but presentations (at events, conferences) can be a way of getting to key people.

Public speaking really needs to be practised if you want to improve your skills. While reading up on techniques and common problems may help you identify what needs improving, there is nothing like a live demonstration, practice and feedback offered in good courses. There are quite a few around – check out the Management Centre, DSC etc. on our Training page. Our Media Services page has some sources of technical training and advice, as well as ‘handling the media’ stuff.

Communication Resources

See Comms and Campaigning support/networking organisations, on the Functional Support page.

Clarity and access

The 1999 Plain English Awards demonstrated that complex research findings do not have to be explained in a complicated way. Using a magazine format that combines clear language and pictures with audio tapes, the University of Bristol series of ‘Plain Facts’ publications makes research messages accessible to people with learning and literacy difficulties. The topics covered include employment, training, welfare benefits, housing, and crime. Launched in 1997, magazines and tapes are published jointly by the Norah Fry Research Centre in Bristol and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. See Plain English Campaign website.

On the web

Social Media

Online communication outlets such as Twitter and Facebook develop and change quickly. A generalist site like VolResource can really only signpost to likely useful material – do check that it is still current.

Making Contact with the Media

Finding the right person, address, even title for a publication you want to target to cover your message, can be tricky.

You may know all your local publications, but no harm in checking at the library – getting the right person, job title and a feel for what stories they are interested in will pay dividends. The specialist trade press, such as Farmers Weekly or Nursing Today, are good places to start researching an industry, for relevant organisations to contact or watch.

While nothing can beat personal contacts, there are a number of ‘press guides’, with all types of media contacts indexed in different ways:

  • Brad Insight Media Planning is designed to help research, plan and buy UK media effectively.
  • Check Local Media Works for regional/local press info. Part of News Media Association (a merger between the Newspaper Society and Newspaper Publishers Association, Nov. 2014) .
  • Periodical Publishers Association has a links page for magazines on the net (published by members).
  • PR Newswire UK Media Directory, bi-monthly. Also publishes UK Media Town by Town, European Media Directory. PR Newswire Europe, Communications House, 210 Old St, London, EC1V 9UN, phone 020 7490 8111, email:
  • Vuelio’s Media Database Incorporates Willings, Cision, Benn’s? National and regional press, trade and consumer publications, broadcast and freelance writers.

Magazines, newspapers, radio and TV with an online presence are all on the ‘independent online media directory’ (previously Media UK).

Press Resources

Before sending out a press release, make sure you have asked yourself ‘why (and when) is this news?’, ‘who might be interested and what will they want to know?’, ‘what media do they look at/listen to?’, ‘how do we make contact there?’. A scatter-gun approach may yield results if you have a really hot issue, but otherwise background research helps. A good hook, correctly baited and in the right place, should catch the fish you want!

Press Releases, photos, newspaper sites

PRNewswire has an archive of press releases under various topics (don’t just look under Charity). May provide some useful pointers and background for your own releases. Check out PRWeb too – they can distribute your press release via the net for free (but it is US based).

Press Association/PA Media is the main national news agency for UK and Ireland. Check their Mediapoint newswire services.

Media UK reckons it can get you to any section of an online newspaper in 4 clicks.

Also check out the Press Guide websites listed above, such as Pims, for the additional services they are increasingly providing.

Press Cuttings and Media Monitoring

Press Cuttings Bureaux usually work on searching for key words (often your organisation’s name but it can be whatever you specify). Some charge for a period, others for a set number of items found.

  • Durrants, now part of Gorkana. Press, internet, newswire and broadcast monitoring. Discovery House, 28-42 Banner Street, London, EC1Y 8QE, phone 020 7674 0200.
  • International Press Cutting Bureau, 224 Walworth Road, London, SE17, phone 020 7708 2113.
  • Vuelio (was Romeike) Also offer international monitoring, express monitoring, digital delivery, summaries & translations and a range of media evaluation and analysis services.

Press Association Library, 85 Fleet Street, London, EC4P 4BE, phone 020 7353 7440. Holds over 14 million news cuttings, starting from 1926!


PR Week is the trade mag for Public Relations people, which covers charities and public sector in amongst the rest.

Chartered Institute of Public Relations is the professional body, providing training, PR toolkit and other relevant publications.

See Media Services for some specialist agencies.

Specialist Media Outlets

AskCharity is a database of charity contacts (run by CharityComms) to help journalists contact appropriate sector sources of expertise and knowledge for breaking news.

Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom (an independent voice for media reform) can offer advice on the ‘right of reply’. Phone 020 8521 5932.

The BBC is well-known for Charity Broadcasts (not just disaster appeals).

Together TV has taken over from Community Channel – it exists “to motivate people to do more in their lives, and for the lives of others.”

Sector support bodies may have websites which accept press releases or other news and events from members or the wider voluntary sector, for example Community NI in Northern Ireland. How well this is then picked up by the wider media will vary – you may want to check who else is/has used the service – but any cost should be low.

Charity Today website carries news submitted by UK charities. Other such sites come and go occasionally.

Also see Campaign Resources page.

Alternative and Community Media

Community Media

Full-time ‘Third tier’ community radio stations licences have been issued in stages from 2005. See Ofcom for information on the process – also details of the Community Radio Fund, designed to help such stations get going. To contact community radio stations, try Commedia.

Commedia – Community Media Association. News, information, services and a gateway to community media organisations in the UK and worldwide, especially community radio and webcasts. Community television and film too.


Check out Undercurrents – Video Activism.

AlterNet is US based – may be of interest to journalists.

INK is a ‘trade association of independent periodicals which tackle issues of social, political and personal change, … helping its members in areas like distribution and publicity’. Links to member sites and there should also be access to the publications too (still being developed?).

Indymedia UK ‘is a network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues’.