Making a Difference

Making a Difference campaign highlights the power of local media titles to campaign for positive change in the communities they serve. Below is a showcase of the strongest editorial campaigns from the past year which have been shortlisted for the Making a Difference award.

Voting is now closed but you can still browse the campaigns. The Making a Difference winner will be announced by News Media Association vice chairman Henry Faure Walker at the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards on Friday (17 May).  

Making a Difference

Manchester Evening News

The three-part Hidden Homeless series aimed to uncover what was going on behind homelessness statistics in Manchester and force change.

Part one focused on the hidden slums exposing a whole invisible world of Dickensian squalor existing in Manchester’s guesthouses, which house homeless families.

The piece made such an impact that the mayor of Greater Manchester has since promised to buy up slum properties in an attempt to drive up conditions.

The second article The Deaths They Don't Count explored the vacuum of information around homeless deaths by documenting individual tragedies.

It attracted national attention and the Office for National Statistics announced it would start counting homeless deaths for the first time ever.

The figures - first released in detail in March - proved Manchester has more homeless deaths than anywhere else.

Part three looked at the reality of family homelessness, discovering stories of disgusting, flea-ridden, rat-infested temporary accommodation where families were banned from even having a kettle in their rooms.

The piece led to the town hall announcing a full review of all its emergency family accommodation. MEN journalist Jen Williams is now also helping England's children's commissioner carry out her own national review.