Shared Learning: Community – Communications

Projects focused on communications within the community

The University of Manchester (Winner – Antibiotic Guardian Awards 2017)

Name: Roger Harrison


Provide a brief overview of your project?: Dr Harrison is Senior Lecturer in Public Health, Division Lead for Social Responsibility, University of Manchester and recently member of the Education Committee for the charity Antibiotic Research UK. Since August 2016, he has:
Established and directed a concerted, campus-based programme to raise awareness about antibiotic resistance (ABR), to the 48,000 students and 12,000 staff across the University and implemented opportunities to expand student-public engagement on this topic in the local conurbation.

Dr Harrison established support from senior staff in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Sciences to legitimize his commitment to this work. He forged a new programme of activity between University of Manchester, the Students’ Union, and Public Health England (northwest).

The starting objectives of this are to:
(1) Increase awareness and understanding amongst the 48,000 registered students on antibiotic resistance, to coincide with the pilot study on public engagement from Public Health England (Granada-region, Feb-March 2017).
(1) Increase active involvement and pledge to the Antibiotic Guardian campaign across campus and local conurbation
(2) Establish a rolling-programme of workshops on ABR and hand-hygiene to be delivered in local primary schools
(3) Develop interdisciplinary projects for students as part of their curricular and extra-curricular activities with a focus on antibiotic guardianship and public education.
(4) Establish a programme of public engagement events to educate and improve ABR-related behaviours in the community
(5) Ensure all undergraduate programmes in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Sciences include appropriate training and education on antibiotic resistance awareness and stewardship, commensurate with their degree.


List any supporting partners or organisations worked with: Public Health England (north-west)
Students’ Union for The University of Manchester
The Manchester Museum
Primary Schools in Greater Manchester

How has your project demonstrated success in highlighting antibiotic stewardship within your chosen category?: Since August 2017, Dr Harrison has:
1) Received an endorsement for the University’s involvement with the Antibiotic Guardian campaign from its’ President, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell

2) Obtained funding with a rolling-programme providing Antibiotic Guardian workshops for primary school children in deprived parts of Greater Manchester. A student society has been formed by medical students, “Beat the Bugs” to deliver these, with a completed pilot to 150 primary school children from 6 schools. There are 35 schools on the waiting list, and recruitment and training is underway to expand more student volunteers.

3) Introduction of taught/assessed project options in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Sciences. This has included:
• MBChB Year 2: presenting a review of evidence “what does the public need (or want) to know about antibiotic resistance?”
• MSc in Health & Science Communication students: A novel, innovative team-based ‘treasure-hunt’ activity, utilising a new mobile application and global positioning systems, and which is tailored to specific context/groups. Launching at Hull Science Festival, 2nd April 2017
• MBChB Year 4: creating a package of patient-centred online learning resources directed to promoting healthy ABR-behaviours. Completion expected September 2017

3) Directed a university – public symposium “Antibiotics – a global ticking time bomb”, with the Global Health Society. Over 130 students, academics, health professionals and public attended the event, with a wide-perspective of seven international speakers, from life sciences, humanities, medicine and public health.

4) Directed 12 students from various undergraduate and postgraduate programmes to host a public-engagement event on antibiotic guardianship and hand-hygiene as part of the Body Experience2017, Manchester Museum. At least 800 of the 2,500 visitors (exceptional and unexpected demand!) engaged in at least one of the activities about ABR and infection control/prevention and hundreds seen to be registering on the ipads to pledge support to the Antibiotic Guardian.

5) Directed a social-media campaign in partnership with the Students’ Union (serving 48,000 students) and campus Residential Life (specific for 8,000 students). This included interviews with local academics leading work on ABR, promotion of educational materials, highlights from the student project-based activities and repurposing of Public Health England’s pilot-campaign materials. Information was distributed in hard and electronic copy to 8,000 students in University managed accommodation. Further resources made available, and a specific section has been mainstreamed on the Students’ Union webpage.

All of the above activities and achievements have been promoted across the University with various blogs, newsletter and with social media across the virtual world and several radio-interviews.

Cite 3 examples within the project which highlight promotion of the protection of antibiotics?: Dr Harrison directed a public engagement event on antibiotic awareness which was attended by over 800 visitors during a science festival, Manchester Museum (18/3/17). He was helped by 12 students he had recruited. Many photographs clearly demonstrate children and parents across all-groups actively engaged. Many parents wanted to find out more about possible visits/workshops to their local school, and completed a contact form. These will be followed-up through the ‘Beat the Bugs’ programme described above. The event identified more marginalized groups – for example, Dr Harrison agreed to host a half-day event at the University, on this and similar topics, for a network of home-schooled children in the north-west.

Dr Harrison gained commitment from The Students’ Union to fully-embrace the need to increase the 48,000 students’ awareness and primary and secondary prevention behaviours to help reduce antibiotic resistance. It is the first-time that a health/wellbeing campaign has been endorsed mid-point during an academic year, outside of the standard Executive election process. The Students’ Union have carried out interviews with senior academics across Campus who are leading various research programmes associated with antibiotic resistance and posted these across social media. They have repurposed digital resources from Public Health England’s campaign on antibiotic resistance (north-west pilot) and ensured these are widely promoted on their campus-wide digital screens, social media and via specific student email. The Students’ Union have agreed to continue to support this programme of work and have created a specific page on their main website which is to be populated with key resources, sources of help and links to the Antibiotic Guardian campaign.

Since August 2016, Dr Harrison has educated 46 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Sciences in different ways. He has restructured one of the course units in Population Health, to use antibiotic resistance as the focus for the course units’ learning objectives (delivered across ten weeks to 29 current students); he is supervising seven students assessed projects on antibiotic resistance; he recruited a further ten students to support all of the activities described above. In addition, he is helping to train additional students to help run primary school workshops on this topic.

Key outcomes of project?: Responsible for 150 primary school-children in 6 schools, receiving n awareness-raising workshop and which has become mainstreamed as part of a formal student society programme.

Led a team of students to deliver public-engagement to over 800 members of the public during a science festival to raise awareness and educate about ABR
Increased the number of undergraduate and postgraduate students doing dedicated work on this topic from a public health perspective

Further maintained Manchester conurbation as having one of the highest number of pledges to be an antibiotic guardian, proportion to its’ population size

Directed an extensive awareness raising and educational campaign delivered to 48,000 students & 12,000 staff

How is the project to be developed in the future?: To work with the School Governors’ network in Greater Manchester and the Parents’ Teacher Association to at least double the number of primary schools in Greater Manchester’s most deprived wards to receive an awareness/education workshop on antibiotic resistance and basic hygiene

The number of university students carrying out assessed projects on aspects associated with antibiotic resistance will be increased and extended to other health/allied health teaching programmes

Carry out an audit of teaching curriculum specific to antibiotic resistance, and from the students’ perspective

To established a fully-resourced programme of work with the Students’ Union including high-profile dedicated space on the main website, with a digital hub of knowledge, information and support and activities (such as the above) they can become involved with as part of the antibiotic guardian agenda

To continue discussions with Public Health England about hosting a one-day public-professional engagement conference on antibiotic resistance

To submit a multidisciplinary grant application for Wellcome’s Public Engagement fund.



NHS Leeds West Clinical Commissioning Group

Name: Shak Rafik

Provide a brief overview of your project?: The ‘Seriously.’ campaign was created to raise awareness of the threat of antibiotics misuse to a generation of young people; but soon grew into something much bigger, reaching a wider age range through community engagement activities across Leeds.

In partnership with a creative agency, Magpie, we developed a stewardship campaign that encouraged members of the public to pledge their support to take antibiotics seriously.

The ‘Seriously.’ campaign aimed to educate people about the global threat caused by antibiotics misuse. We used a community co-creation approach to ensure the campaign was effective at reaching the initial 16-23 year old audience. This involved carrying out focus groups and audience testing to establish the tone, the messages, the media and the placement.

The youth audience did not want the serious message to be diluted in any way. They felt the global threat of superbugs, over-prescribing and incorrect use of antibiotics is an issue they couldn’t ignore. Therefore, they wanted the ‘Seriously.’ brand to be big, bold and impossible to miss.

The campaign’s messages were also developed through focus groups, in order to find the most impactful and memorable messages. They were split into ‘attention-grabbing’, e.g. SUPER GONORRHOEA’ and educational, e.g. ‘Finish what you started’.

As the campaign took shape, the audience reach grew. Although initially aimed at a younger audience, feedback suggested that the campaign resonated with wider age ranges, including families, who got involved with community engagement activities.

This then, led to a large and successful event in the city centre, which allowed the messages of antibiotics guardianship to spread even further.

List any supporting partners or organisations worked with: Magpie Creative Communications
Community Pharmacies West Yorkshire (CPWY)
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Leeds City Council
Members of the Leeds Antimicrobial Stewardship Group
University Students’ Unions

How has your project demonstrated success in highlighting antibiotic stewardship within your chosen category?: Right from the idea generation, through to creative development and implementation, community ambassadors were involved. Young people helped create and develop the campaign, and deliver the messages to their peer groups.

A team of 10 students were recruited, aged 16-23, from five local universities and colleges. The student ambassadors ran engagement events in their place of study, as well as across the city; drummed up support from peers on social media and on-campuses; hung posters; made and shared videos, and raised awareness to wider members of the public. The ambassadors were the lifeblood of the campaign and ensured that stewardship messages were delivered from one person to another in an engaging way.

All media referred the public to our pledge website,, where visitors were encouraged make a pledge to become serious about antibiotics. Each of these pledges were linked to Antibiotics Guardian pledges, e.g. ‘I pledge to take antibiotics exactly as prescribed to me’. This meant the ‘Seriously.’ campaign contributed to UK-wide antibiotics stewardship.

Our ambassador team also engaged with members of the public offline, and asked them to fill in pledge cards.

A secondary key part of the antibiotic guardianship approach was to encourage ‘gifted’ public engagement support. A resource pack was created which allowed local businesses, organisations, clubs and student groups to spread the brand and its messages. A great success was seen with the student-run commercial video production arm of Leeds Trinity University, Trinity Vision’. Three student groups used the ‘Seriously.’ resources to create promotional videos aimed at their peers.

Please cite 3 examples within the project which highlight promotion of the protection of antibiotics?: ‘Finish what you started’
One of the key messages developed through community feedback was ‘Finish what you started’. It was displayed on poster drums around the city, on social media and in pharmacies themselves – we worked with pharmacists to attach a ‘finish what you started’ sticker to every antibiotics prescription dispensed, within pharmacies in key locations. This ensured that the brand and an antibiotics guardianship message was there, in the hands of the public, at a time it was most relevant.

The ambassadors developed a video which involved vox pops from peers who were told about how super gonorrhoea spread in Leeds due to the incorrect use of antibiotics. Their reactions were then filmed and stitched together to create an engaging brand teaser about what seemed, at first, like a spoof. This was, however, followed by a serious message from the ambassadors who explained how superbugs can thrive if antibiotics aren’t used correctly, and invited them to join the campaign to consign antibiotic resistant bugs to history.

Meanwhile, students at Leeds Trinity University, gifted their time to develop their own videos. One included ‘Zombie Dave’ who gave viewers a snapshot into a dismal future unless the public act now, and together.

City centre event
The pinnacle of the campaign was an event in the main shopping street in Leeds on a busy Saturday. It featured a giant 12ft pledge screen and live ‘pledge stations’; videos playing to shoppers; a photo booth where members of the public could take a quiz to test their future-resistance before dressing up as their character (e.g. future-proof Martian) before taking home a souvenir snap; a ‘seriously tough’ buzz wire, and balloons for the kids. Each of these activities created engagement opportunities. The ambassadors and colleagues from the NHS engaged with members of the public to explain how to use antibiotics correctly, and encouraged them to pledge to get serious about antibiotics, to change their own behaviour, and influence others’.

During the event we achieved 600 pledges.

This main event was supported by mini PR stunts, including one that took place on European Antibiotics Awareness Day. This involved a giant 10ft red balloon travelling around the city centre, which was filmed and broadcast through Made in Leeds TV.

Key outcomes of project?: • A successful co-created campaign that engaged with the target audiences to develop the messages; and saw the target audience engaging with peers to deliver the messages

• 2,794 pledges in total, to date

• Engagement and ‘gifted’ support from city-wide stakeholders, including Trinity Vision (Leeds Trinity University), Leeds Beckett University, Leeds City College, Leeds City Council

• Coverage in Yorkshire Evening Post and on Made in Leeds TV

• Endorsement from key national experts including Diane Ashiru-Oredope and Elizabeth Beech as well as, Dr Pixie Mckenna a well-known TV doctor

• Campaign has been shared with other local organisations including NHS Wakefield CCG, NHS North Kirklees CCG and NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG as well as the South West Yorkshire Prescribing Committee

• Campaign coverage was picked up by the Australian Antimicrobial Stewardship

• Shared with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in USA, and University of Leeds Astbury Centre

• Insight-led resources developed that can be shared, free of charge, to any NHS organisation

• Unexpected outcome that a local discreet campaign targeted students in west Leeds has been seen and endorsed by a range of key partners and individuals. As a result further investment has been provided to run the campaign Leeds-wide and to work with hard to reach communities to adapt it for their needs

How is the project to be developed in the future?: After proving the campaign’s success at engaging the public, it will be extended city-wide, delivered jointly by NHS Leeds West CCG, NHS Leeds North CCG, NHS Leeds South & East CCG and Leeds City Council.

The next phase of the campaign aims to engage new communities each with their own challenges, including areas of deprivation, ethnic minority communities, international students and high prescribing affluent areas.

We are confident that using the same approach – of audience insight and community co-creation – to develop a message and engagement strategy tailored to each audience segment, will result in a successful campaign. Our ambition is for Leeds to be known as the city that makes the greatest impact on antimicrobial resistance within the UK.


Borderpoint Films

Name: Paul Cooke


Provide a brief overview of your project?: “CATCH” is a short film depicting a family drama in a post-antibiotic world, accompanied by an informational website unpacking the issue and acting as a launch-pad so that people can find out more.

The short film is an allegory for what our lives, and our families, could look like in a worst-case-scenario world without antibiotics. We believe that narrative film has a powerful ability to open people’s minds and hearts, and that is exactly what we aim to do with CATCH – provoking thought and conversation about the critical issue of antibiotic resistance, and hence promoting the idea of antibiotic stewardship to a broad audience.

The story follows the plight of a little girl who becomes infected with an incurable bacterial disease, and her father, who faces the terrible dilemma of whether to tend to her himself and risk infection, or give her up to the authorities.

The film was written and directed by science documentary directors Paul Cooke and Dominic Rees-Roberts, with the help and backing of leading scientists in the field.

Alongside the film, the website expands on the ideas raised in the story, featuring stylised interviews with our four scientific advisors on the topics – “What are antibiotics?”, “What is antibiotic resistance?”, “What is an epidemic?”, “What is a quarantine?” and “What can I do?”.

So far CATCH has been selected by 14 international festivals in North America, Africa and Europe, and has received significant press, building up to the film being made freely available online in Autumn 2017.

The short film (16 minutes) is available with the password “T3ddy!” here:

And the project’s website is here:

List any supporting partners or organisations worked with: The Royal College of Pathologists
Prof Laura Piddock – University of Birmingham & Antibiotic Action, BSAC Chair in Public Engagement
Prof Tim McHugh – University College London, Director – UCL Centre for Clinical Microbiology
Prof Ruth McNerney – LSHTM / University of Cape Town
Dr Nick Brown – Addenbrooke’s Hospital

How has your project demonstrated success in highlighting antibiotic stewardship within your chosen category?: As a public outreach project we have been promoting the film and its message of antibiotic stewardship through various channels with great success. The film has been screened at fourteen international film festivals and counting, reaching a combined audience of thousands. Both Paul and Dom have participated in Q and A sessions at these festivals driving home the key issue of safeguarding the use of antibiotics. While attending the Vancouver International Film Festival for the world premiere, producer Steve Overs was interviewed by Vancouver’s Roadhouse Radio where he spoke of the importance of listening to your GP when taking antibiotics.

The project has featured in popular film review site Geek Chocolate, had a two-page spread in Redbrick, The University of Birmingham’s student newspaper, a review article in March’s edition of The Lancet Infectious Diseases, a high-impact factor journal with a significant readership, and a write-up in The Longitude blog and newsletter that goes out to 6000+ people. We are also growing a substantial social media presence through our Facebook and Twitter profile, building an engaged community including Antibiotic Action, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Antibiotics, the Longitude Prize and European Antibiotics Awareness Day.

A key part of the project is the CATCH website that unpacks the science behind the film and explains what we can all do to help protect antibiotics. The site currently has over 2000 page views and we will increase visits to the site as we prepare to make the film freely available. Another important outreach component of the project is using it as an educational tool in schools. We have trialled the film in sixth forms in London and Swansea with great success. It has been a really useful tool for introducing the topic of antimicrobial resistance to the classroom and we hope to build on the trial, taking the project to more schools in the near future.

Cite 3 examples within the project which highlight promotion of the protection of antibiotics?: In the process of developing CATCH we worked with scientists to seed key ideas about antibiotic resistance into the project, to highlight the importance of protecting these drugs. For example, we wrote a scene in which the father explains to his daughter that rats are becoming immune to the rat poison he is using, which in the film acts as an analogy for the process by which bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. We also show a drawer packed with antibiotics now rendered useless (in the post-antibiotic world of the film), and we drive home the heartbreaking quarantine situation the father and daughter find themselves in.

The CATCH website expands on these ideas, featuring videos with our science experts that further explain the process of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, how simple activities such as washing your hands can help reduce the need for antibiotics and how quarantine is a very real approach to controlling the spread of an infectious disease – as seen recently with outbreak of the Ebola virus.

At the end of the short film the message is underlined by the quote from WHO director general Margaret Chan, which makes clear the dangers of the ‘post-antibiotic era’ that the world is heading towards.

Key outcomes of project?: The main goal of CATCH is to raise awareness and stimulate conversation about antibiotic resistance. We feel it is an issue that can often be presented in a dry and un-emotive manner which might not readily engage the public. With CATCH we explore antibiotic resistance through an emotional narrative which we believe can make the issue more accessible and compelling.

How is the project to be developed in the future?: The most exciting phase of CATCH is yet to come. In Autumn 2017 we will make the film publicly available and use it as a beacon to draw yet more people to the project and the issue of antibiotic resistance. With the prestige of an international film festival run and further promotion through media and news outlets we hope to significantly increase engagement with the project. We will also push ahead with bringing the film into schools to stimulate discussion about antibiotic stewardship. The film is currently being subtitled into four different languages so that we can make it accessible to a wider international audience, particularly in the Global South.


British Veterinary Association

Name: Felicity Quick


Provide a brief overview of your project?: BVA is committed to promoting the responsible use of antibiotics within the veterinary profession and has been doing so for many years. BVA also believes that the best way to ensure antibiotic guardianship is through a One Health approach.

BVA decided to create a new One Health AMR awareness poster to launch for European Antibiotics Awareness Day 2016, that could be used in both veterinary and general practice waiting rooms. The poster needed to convey simple messages around responsible use of antibiotics that could be applied to both humans and animals taking a course of antibiotics.

To ensure the poster reached both veterinary and doctor waiting rooms we reached out to the British Medical Association (BMA) and Public Health England to see if they would like to support the poster and add their logo to it. We also asked the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) to support it too as the regulating body behind the veterinary medicines, including antimicrobials, in the UK. Finally, we included the Antibiotic Guardian logo. All parties agreed, bringing a truly One Health theme to the posters. The inclusion of medical organisations also enabled the poster to be shared more widely with medical professions.

BVA wrote the original copy for the first draft of the poster, but worked with the various supporters to ensure the language and poster design was relevant to both humans and animals. The poster included five “busted” myths around antibiotic prescription and use, and featured images of both humans and animals to illustrate that the messages were intended for all.

To date the poster has been distributed to over 16,000 veterinary professionals through our journal In Practice. It was also widely available at London Vet Show on both the BVA and VMD stands where it gained a lot of positive feedback. Our social media posts about the poster always gain several shares and comments. Further to this, BVA’s Senior Vice President, Sean Wensley, has recently been in discussions with Royal College of General Practitioners in Northern Ireland (RCGP NI) about the use of the poster in GP waiting rooms in Northern Ireland. His recent blog on the poster and his discussions with RCGP is available to read here:

The BMA recently included a link to the poster in their Local Medical Committees (LMC) newsletter and are planning further work to promote it to their members.

List any supporting partners or organisations worked with: Supporters listed on the poster:
British Medical Association (BMA)
Public Health England
Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Antibiotic Guardian Scheme

On promoting to medical organisations:
Royal College of General Practitioners in Northern Ireland (RCGP NI)

How has your project demonstrated success in highlighting antibiotic stewardship within your chosen category?: Antimicrobial resistance and good antibiotic stewardship are priority areas for BVA and we’ve worked for many years to promote responsible use of antibiotics to the veterinary profession, including running seminars, webinars and congress discussions, creating posters and “myth busting” materials, and participating in lobbying and coalition organisations such as RUMA. This poster however has demonstrated success in highlighting antibiotic stewardship because it creates the link between humans and animals, emphasising how everyone needs to play their part in combating antimicrobial resistance.

Our poster has been widely used in veterinary practices. It was also held up as an example of antibiotic stewardship and promoting a One Health message at an AMR talk from leading veterinary representatives in this area – Nigel Gibbens (CVO) and John Fitzgerald (RUMA) – at BVA Congress 2016.

Further to this, our Senior Vice President has been leading on discussions with the Royal College of General Practitioners in Northern Ireland (RCGP NI) to further promote the use of the posters to GPs in Northern Ireland.

We hope that anyone viewing the poster will not only take away the message of how important responsible use of antibiotics is, but also consider how the health and wellbeing of animals, people and the environment are linked and impact each other.

Cite 3 examples within the project which highlight promotion of the protection of antibiotics?: • The five “busted” myths on the poster which challenge the common misconceptions around antibiotic prescription and use. These all demonstrate how important it is to protect antimicrobials and use them responsibly.
• The link between human and animal antibiotic use and that resistance can happen in the same way to both groups if antibiotics are not protected.
• The inclusion of the Antibiotic Guardian logo as a supporter, which highlights the poster is all about ensuring antibiotics are protected.

Key outcomes of project?: We hope that anyone viewing the poster will not only take away the message of how important responsible use of antibiotics is, but also consider how the health and wellbeing of animals, people and the environment are linked and impact each other.

How is the project to be developed in the future?: All supporters will continue to promote the poster to their various members to ensure it reaches as many veterinary and medical waiting rooms as possible. BVA will also continue discussions with RCGP NI and work towards the posters being widely available in Northern Ireland.

For 2017 we will consider whether other organisations could be included as supporters to expand the poster’s reach even further.


Wiltshire Council

Name: Issie Tucker

Provide a brief overview of your project?: Devised a badge competition for primary schools. It consisted of three categories – antibiotics, hand washing and naughty bugs. The schools could enter individuals or teams, making 6 categories in total. Judges were myself, someone from a local art centre and someone from the school support team. Best entries won Glow and Show kits for their schools and these were demonstrated with the children at assemblies. all entries got a certificate and there is a rolling display around 10 main libraries throughout the county.

List any supporting partners or organisations worked with: Local art centre; libraries; primary schools.

How has your project demonstrated success in highlighting antibiotic stewardship within your chosen category?: Limited evaluations received to date and are positive in terms of meeting the school curriculum, sounding interesting and something the children wanted to do.
The current display has voluntary feedback sheets that are still being collated.

Cite 3 examples within the project which highlight promotion of the protection of antibiotics?: Explanation of why the competition was being run;
The badge design highlighted various elements of antibiotic resistance and how hand hygiene made a significant difference.
Comments from each entry were invited and many demonstrated how much understanding and knowledge had been imparted to the children from the teachers.

Key outcomes of project?: Increased awareness amongst school staff, pupils and parents
On-going exposure to the public in the form of a display.

How is the project to be developed in the future?: it has been shared with colleagues from other councils and PHE.
The glow and show kits are extremely popular and we are currently looking at the feasibility of using local libraries as a lending source for registered groups, such as schools, care homes and nurseries.