What’s in a name? Our Room: Making Change Matter 

Our Room is a unique arts and health charity based in Manchester. The only organisation in the UK whose core mission is supporting marginalised young men and trans people engaged in sex work or at risk of exploitation, it provides a safe place where they can share their worries in a non-judgmental space, get practical support, meet like-minded people and enjoy the mental health and wellbeing benefits of taking part in creative projects.

However, as the charity historically only supported men, it had become clear that with its evolution, its previous name needed a rethink. The Men’s Room sounded so gender-specific, it could exclude people from wanting to engage with the service and reduce its much-needed role in the community. It was therefore important for the charity to rebrand with a more inclusive moniker, but they needed creative support. 

We were delighted to work on the project pro-bono to help bring about this meaningful change and enable Our Room to better represent the people it supports. After hosting a workshop with the charity’s staff members and participants to get a feel for the organisation, and delivering our first round of creative, three things became clear. Firstly, it was important to highlight that the environment was a safe space where users could be treated as part of an extended family when they came in for creative sessions; secondly, there was already equity in The Men’s Room; it was an established brand which people were familiar with; and thirdly, rather than a radical step-change, the charity was looking for a subtle evolution that retained a nod to their history while reaching a wider audience. 

‘Our Room’ meets all these requirements. Not only does it immediately sound and feel warm and inclusive; a safe space where people can be themselves, but it also ensures that those who have been using the service for the last 10 to 15 years still feel very much connected to the charity, while placing it on a national stage. 

Says Grant Hughes, ‘We couldn’t have got to where we are now without 438’s input, knowledge, and expertise. You patiently guided us through the process from beginning to end and we couldn’t be happier with the result. We’re so grateful. At a time when its role in the community has never been more necessary, Our Room can now engage with and help more people. Thank you.’ 

Jo Green of 438 added ‘It was a pleasure to support this local charity and the incredible work they do for the community. The group were fantastic to work with and really embraced the (creative) process we took them on. We are really happy with the final results and we look forward to seeing the work out in the real world’.

Check out what the client had to say about the project here.