A DVD promoting Planning Aid will reach a potential audience of more than 1.5 million shoppers as part of a push to raise the profile of the planning charity.
The DVD features staff explaining how the organisation works and who can make use of its services. It is the centerpiece of a nationwide series of shopping centre roadshows taking place in Leicester, Kettering, Northampton, Maidstone, Bootle, Manchester, Newcastle and two venues in London. The clip will also be launched on Planning Aid's new Youtube site today.
The Youtube site, DVD and roadshows, which are staffed by Planning Aid employees and volunteers, are part of a general push to raise Planning Aid's profile following the announcement last year that government funding for the service has been secured until 2011. That announcement has given the organisation, which last year helped more than 30,000 individuals and over 1,100 community groups, the resources necessary to increase its caseload and help even more people engage with the planning system.
Director of Planning Aid, Sue Percy, said: \"We now have the resources necessary to raise our public profile to a higher level and increase our case load. The process of getting more staff on the ground has been underway for nearly six months and we can now start driving even more people toward the service without overwhelming it.
\"In the past 5 years staff and volunteers from our 10 regional offices have helped more than 100,000 people engage with the planning system. Through initiatives like the roadshow and DVDs, which on their own will reach a potential audience of 1.5 million shoppers, we will significantly raise awareness of the service and increase the number of people we help.
\"Our launch onto Youtube is an exciting step and in the coming months we will be exploring how that outlet can be exploited to give the public access to practical advice on planning issues.\"
The DVDs have been launched on Planning Aid's Youtube channel \"Planning Aid England\" today. The clips are the first to appear on the site which will be used to provide the public with advice on planning issues.
Planning Aid's Youtube account can be found at: www.youtube.com/planningaidengland