TWO publicity campaigns developed for the North West Ambulance Service by Oldham agency Cornerstone Design & Marketing received gold awards at a regional PR industry ceremony.

NWAS, accompanied by Cornerstone, which is a member of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, received the two top accolades at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) 2018 North West Pride Awards.

The two gold awards were for categories of Healthcare Campaign and Low Budget Campaign.

The CIPR ceremony took place at Manchester’s Hilton Hotel and was hosted by TV presenter Jenny Powell.

David Wadsworth, managing director of Cornerstone, said: “We are delighted with the gold awards. We’ve worked with NWAS for eight years and have built a deep understanding of their organisation and formed a strong working partnership with them. Our teams work seamlessly together, which is reflected in the successful results of our campaigns.”

NWAS Head of Communications Julie Treharne said: “I am delighted that the campaigns have been recognised at such a prestigious award ceremony.

"We faced tough competition in each category but the creativity and passion of our in-house team and Cornerstone really shone through. These campaigns aim to spread key messages to the public about really important topics and our long-standing partnership made it easy for us to get these across in original and engaging ways.”

The first campaign was called Make The Right Call. It was designed to reduce the number of 999 telephone calls regarding minor cases.

The aim was to free-up ambulances for life-threatening emergencies and to encourage the public to think twice before calling 999. It raised public awareness of alternative advice and treatment for minor problems, such as self-care, GP surgeries, pharmacies and walk-in centres.

The second campaign, called Hero Next Door, was delivered on a low budget to recruit 50 new volunteer Community First-Responders.

The results far-exceeded NWAS’ expectations. In the first week, NWAS received 500 public requests and the campaign was so popular that NWAS had to put it on-hold for a second phase.