Media for Development Empowering isolated communities through media Sun, 26 Mar 2017 21:23:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 MFD has moved offices Thu, 19 May 2016 10:11:39 +0000 MFD has moved from 33a Wadeson Street to our new home at Hackney Cogs in London Fields. Our new address and contact details can be found below:

Media for Development
Hackney Cogs
Unit 11, Bayford Street Industrial centre
Bayford Street
E8 3SE
Tel: 0208 1917330

Visiting us:

From Bethnal Green Tube Station: Walk along Cambridge Heath Road heading North towards Hackney Central. Take the left turn onto Bayford Street, and then a right turn onto Elizabeth Fry Road (Walking time 23 minutes)
From London Fields Overground Station: Turn right onto Mentmore Terrace, take a left onto Lamb Lane and then turn right onto Sidworth Street. The entrance to the Bayford Street Industrial Centre is on the left (Walking time 2 minutes)
Alternatively take bus 106 or 254 from Bethnal Green (Stop S on Cambridge Heath Road) towards Hackney and get off at St Josephs Hospice (Stop LP). From there walk 0.1 miles down Mare Street in the same direction and turn left onto Bayford Street. Turn right onto Elizabeth Fry Road and the entrance to the Bayford Street Industrial Centre is on your left.

General enquiries:

Please contact Alice, our administrator at

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Radio Wanno at The Mind Media Awards 2014 Sun, 16 Nov 2014 21:18:01 +0000 Radio Wanno, the multi award winning community radio station based at HMP Wandsworth is up for a Mind Media Award this Monday 17th November.

The media literacy project which has been providing 10 years of community communication while reducing reoffending via its radio production course, workshop and broadcasts based at Western Europe’s largest prison in HMP Wandsworth.  In 2014 the team has won 2 EVCOM Clarion awards and 12 Koestler awards and now is recognised in the Radio Category of the Mind Media Awards.

Doing Time with Eddie Nestor sits alongside BBC Radio 4’s All In The Mind with its 25th Anniversary edition, Outspoken from Radio Verulam, BBC Radio Scotland’s The truth behind bipolar: Brainwaves, and Woman’s Hour: Healthy minds in a mad world from BBC Radio 4. 

Doing Time is made by one of the projects participants who has learnt his radio skills while working at the UK’s longest running prison radio station.  The programme invites a pillar of society to an interview in which they leave behind a legacy that helps prisoners through their journey to a life of not offending.  In this episode BBC London radio presenter Eddie Nestor talks to young men in prison about his experiences of coping with depression, addiction his battle with cancer and how he deals with life’s up and downs.

Kevin Field is the manager of Radio Wanno he said “Eddie’s programme has had a huge impact with our listeners and got them talking.  The power of this programme came from Eddie’s willingness to share his innermost feelings and really open up about mental health in what could be considered the perfect environment where men don’t talk.

We reduce reoffending through the radio programmes made by our participants. We are a small project and managed by just three members of staff inside a prison, a small cog in a larger wheel.  Yet with all the complexities it is enhartening to be recognised.  Our learners make programmes that impact on the prison listener in a positive affirming way, and then to go on to win and be nominated alongside some truly powerful radio programmes, it is inspirational and truly unique”

Winners will be announced at a celebratory event at the BFI, Southbank, London on Monday 17 November which will bring together celebrities, industry professionals and people who have shared their personal experiences through the media.

Paul Farmer Chief Executive of mental health charity Mind said “This year we are looking for programmes, blogs and news reports which challenge myths, misinformation and clichés about mental health, encourage positive debate and tackle stigma and discrimination. It’s important that audiences are able to see people with mental health problems as they are as a whole – rather than just in relation to their diagnosis – and we’re keen to see work that includes the voices of people who have experienced mental health problems.”

Radio Wanno was nominated in 2011 for Mental Health in Prison a 30 minute feature documentary that guided prisoners towards services in HMP Wandsworth and talked through the mental health issues of prisoners and staff.

In 2010 An Interview with Stephen Fry was awarded a special Chairmans Award for a powerful interview in which Stephen talked frankly and openly about mental health and bi-polar whilst also offering sound advice to the prison listener.

Doing Time with Eddie Nestor won an EVCOM Clarion award in September 2014.

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Vacancy – Admin Assistant Mon, 03 Nov 2014 16:23:18 +0000 An exceptional opportunity to make a real contribution to the smooth running of MFD! Our mission is to use media and new technologies to improve life opportunities for disadvantaged groups and you’ll play a key role in this.  You’re energetic, flexible and good at multitasking, but you’ll also have the discipline to manage and prioritise your time effectively and the patience to deal with detail.  This is a part time 3 month long position. However, there is a possibility that this contract will be renewed at the end of the contract offered and may also become a full-time post.

Location: London

Salary Range: 18k per annum pro rata

Part time – 3 days/week

Start date: 5th of January

Please find further information about this role as well as the job description here

Deadline for applications: 26th of November 2014 (9am).

Please send your cv and cover letter to the following address: .

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Award-winning Plan B begins a new season Fri, 17 Jan 2014 13:00:41 +0000  grace award

The NPR Awards – Photography: Arthur Hagues 

After a successful and exciting first series, the jointly funded NOMS Co-financing Organisation (NOMS CFO)/European Social Fund (ESF) Prison Radio Project ‘Plan B’ has just started broadcasting a new series of weekly programmes.

The first series success was highlighted recently when Plan B won the ‘project of the year’ award at the Prison Radio Association Awards.

‘A sensational result!’ said Grace, the Project manager. ‘I was genuinely touched that NPR selected us as a winner, citing our ambitious hard work within a challenging environment’.

Plan B is broadcasted weekly on the National Prison Radio. Project Manager Grace travels around England to explore custodial and community projects that offer resettlement and rehabilitation opportunities for offenders. Grace will also carry on conducting workshops in prisons and working directly one to one with groups of offenders to create and gather meaningful content for the programme.

Media for Development is very grateful for all the support it has received from Prisons and the PRA in making this a thriving project. The success of the first series and aspirations for the new one are shared with all those who contributed to the making of the programme.

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Government Service Design Manual Mon, 25 Nov 2013 16:10:24 +0000 “Services should start with needs”.

So says the ‘Government Service Design Manual’.

This Service Design Manual is a great tool for any organisation wishing to create services that people really want and need. It’s so good that we are adopting it as our method for developing new services.

We announced Lean Social in September, our project to learn lessons from digital companies and apply them to social problems. Since then we’ve been exploring the Government’s Service Design Manual and decided that it’s a great starting-point for Lean Social.

The Government Service Design Manual (created by the Cabinet Office via their Government Digital Service team) has accelerated Lean Social and helped us to move quickly from theory to practice. It’s especially relevant because future government digital services will need to follow the service design manual.

Want to find out more about the Government Service Design Manual?

See below for an overview taken from the GOV.UK (links connect you to GOV.UK):

Making a service

Learn about the different phases of service design and get guidance for the phase you’re in now.

  • Discovery

    A short phase, in which you start researching the needs of your service’s users, find out what you should be measuring, and explore technological or policy-related constraints.

    Learn about the discovery phase

  • Alpha

    A short phase in which you prototype solutions for your users needs. You’ll be testing with a small group of users or stakeholders, and getting early feedback about the design of the service.

    Learn about the alpha phase

  • Beta

    You’re developing against the demands of a live environment, understanding how to build and scale while meeting user needs. You’ll also be releasing a version to test in public.

    Learn about the beta phase

  • Live

    The work doesn’t stop once your service is live. You’ll be iteratively improving your service, reacting to new needs and demands, and meeting targets set during its development.

    Learn about the live phase

  • Retirement

    Even the best services may eventually reach retirement. That should be treated with the same care as went into the building and maintaining of that service.

    Learn about the retirement phase

What do you think? Could this development process help your organisation to create better services?

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Media for Development on Channel 4 News Mon, 18 Nov 2013 10:11:57 +0000 Freddie Gerrens from our Young Dads’ Council appeared on Channel 4 News.

Freddie spoke about the impact that changes to legal aid will have on people with low-incomes.

The report was broadcast on Saturday 16th November, you can read about the broader story on the Channel 4 News website.

The Young Dads’ Council (YDC) is Media for Development’s project to reduce the poverty and isolation experienced by fathers below 25 years of age, funded by Trust for London. Freddie was connected with this opportunity and supported by Hannah, Engagement Officer for the YDC. The YDC has grown out of our successful Young Dads TV project which was funded by the Monument Trust.



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Lean Social Development Principles Wed, 30 Oct 2013 11:15:47 +0000 Scott Colfer talks about Media for Development’s need to be leaner.


Treat ‘em lean, keep ‘em keen

Here at Media for Development, we’ve been learning from the processes used by successful digital companies.


Many digital companies start small and don’t plan more than a month or so in the future: they focus on building something quickly, testing it, learning from it, and then re-building it. This is known as a ‘lean’ process and has been used in the digital world for years, with great results. We think it’s time to bring the lean approach to the charity and non-profit sector!


Esmée Fairbairn agreed with us and has provided funding for Media for Development to bring lessons from digital companies in to the charity and non-profit sector in a project called ‘Lean Social’.


Lean Social Development Principles

Media for Development has distilled four principles that we think will help to make us more ‘lean’.

We have taken lessons learnt from these digital companies, added the learning from our own experiences and those of other fantastic charities and non-profits, and used them to create our ‘Lean Social Development Principles’:


  1. People before technology
  2. Understand the problem you’re solving
  3. Build, test, learn (repeat)
  4. Be prepared to change.


These principles are a work in progress. We’ll explain them over the coming weeks and refine them based on what we learn. We’re keen to share and use them to start dialogue with our partners as part of our Lean Social project. We expect them to change and hope that you will challenge us on them!


What do you think?

Is there anything you’d add?

Or anything you’d change?


Your feedback and insights are genuinely welcome, please get in touch, you can leave comments below, email Scott, or contact us on Twitter. Thanks!


Why does the charity and non-profit sector need to become leaner?

 People are complicated and situations change. Mapping out what will happen a few months in the future is very hard, any longer than a few months is almost impossible . . . and yet that’s what charities and non-profits regularly do in the search for grant funding. This can leave us tied to a delivery model that solves a problem that doesn’t really exist, in a way that people don’t really want. There is so little money available that we all need to become leaner and more efficient in order to help the marginalised communities who mean so much to us.

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Supporting Innovation in the Social Sector Wed, 02 Oct 2013 11:11:31 +0000  

Sylvia Hines, CEO of Media for Development, talks about the launch of  ‘Lean Social‘ (a project to support innovation in the social sector) and the need for the voluntary sector to kill its sacred cows.


Lean Social: Supporting Innovation in the Social Sector.

In Cuba recently I was told a story about a traveler given sustenance by a poor farmer who lives on the milk of a single cow.

The traveler shows his gratitude for the farmer’s help by killing the cow.  A year and a day later he goes back to see how the farmer is doing and is welcomed with a table piled high with food.   “It forced him to put his pastures to new uses,” said Enrique, my storyteller.  ‘In Cuba, we need to kill our cows.’

I suspect it would read rather differently if told from the farmer’s perspective.  What did he eat while his new crops – or whatever new business he embarked on – were maturing?  Exactly how did he hit upon his recipe for success?

Here in the UK many of our metaphorical cows are being killed at the moment through cuts or reorganised commissioning processes.    The difficulty, particularly for small organisations with limited resources, is twofold: how much to invest in necessary innovation where the outcomes are uncertain, and how to organise the innovation process to have the best chance of success.

It’s a challenge similar to that faced by startups.  A typical startup is driven by a small team of people with an idea they think is great, a lot of enthusiasm and not much money.  And the problem is that that ‘not much money’ can disappear extremely quickly.

“Here in the UK many of our metaphorical cows are being killed at the moment through cuts or reorganised commissioning processes.”

Innovation is at the heart of Media For Development’s approach to solving social challenges and we’ve made mistakes in the past about how we’ve gone about it.  A project dear to our heart, for example, was the Freeasabird website, a peer support website for and by women leaving prison.  It was a great idea and we spent a year training a team of women and creating content for the site.  When it didn’t take off in the way we’d hoped, our funding had gone and there was little we could do to resurrect it.

In learning from this, we’ve been inspired by the ‘Lean startup’ method which has gained particular currency in the digital world.  ‘Lean’ is a systematised way of developing a service or a product in small incremental stages with constant testing and feedback.  This means that business assumptions can be tested and validated at every stage and financial investment protected as far as possible.

Our belief is that this approach could offer real value across the voluntary sector and facilitate a new and more cost-effective way of developing innovative services.   We’re really excited to have been given a one year grant by Esmee Fairbairn Charitable Trust to try out this approach on some of the ideas we’re wanting to develop and to share both the principles and our learnings across the voluntary sector.

We’ll be starting the process with these blogs and would love to hear from people who have experience of working in similar ways.

Sylvia Hines, CEO


Sign up below for regular updates on Media for Development’s ‘Lean Social’ project and innovation within the voluntary sector:

]]> 0 Radio Wanno Wins Two International Communication Awards in London. Tue, 24 Sep 2013 08:37:30 +0000 HMP Wandsworth’s prison radio station and media literacy project has been awarded twice with a Bronze in the Radio category and the Champions Award at the 10th International Visual Communications Association (IVCA) Clarion Awards.

IVCA CHAMPION 2013This is the 4th consecutive year that Radio Wanno has picked up a gong and this time the team behind the project were also recognised with a Champions Award for their work with communication in a prison setting.

‘Express Yourself’, a 30 minute documentary by a prisoner creates awareness of opportunities in prison for offenders to engage and express their feelings while moving towards an offence free life.  The programme maker also won an IVCA in 2012 and scooped Silver, Bronze and Commended at the 2013 Koestler Arts Awards.

Kevin Field is Radio Wanno’s Project Manager and is delighted with the projects success, he said:

“It’s about reducing reoffending, creating awareness and providing an opportunity through programmes made by prisoners for prisoners and the Champions Award was a shock and surprise that recognises the part Radio Wanno plays in reducing reoffending through the use of radio as a communicator.”

The Radio Wanno team of Kevin Field, Simon Sujeewon and Donovan McGrath also picked up the prestigious 2013 Butler Trust Award for their work with prison radio.

The IVCA Clarion Awards are celebrating a decade as the only communication awards promoting social inclusion, CSR, sustainable development and ethical debate.

Radio Wanno, also in its 10th year, aims to help reduce re-offending through its training course and the programmes made by its prison based presenters and producers which are only heard inside prison.

The innovative project is managed by Media for Development in partnership with HMP Wandsworth and A4e Justice.  Many of its participants have moved away from a life of crime, into employment and further education.

Radio Wanno is the flagship prison media project and directly engages with over 50 prisoners each year while its broadcasts are heard by over 10 thousand male prisoners per annum in Western Europe’s largest prison and a potential 65 thousand prisoners a year when shared with National Prison Radio.

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Services should start with needs Fri, 20 Sep 2013 09:19:20 +0000

Can creative industries match modern development processes? We’re going to hear from @tomskitomski, @deeceeburns, & @twobobswerver tonight.

— MediaforDevelopment (@MFDtweets) September 19, 2013






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