Youth Off The Streets turns MFA Award winning #laceitup idea into live campaign

Dawson and Golafshan

Dawson and Golafshan

Charity Youth Off The Streets is promoting its Sleepout campaign by distributing blue, branded laces in an effort to highlight the fact that young homeless people cannot take their shoes off at night.

The idea was Mindshare’s John Dawson and Mark Golafshan’s winning entry into the NGEN category in the 2013 MFA Awards, with the duo since working with the charity to turn it into a reality.

The #laceitup campaign aims to raise awareness and donations for Youth Off The Streets from young people between 13 and 17 years of age and aims to encourage participation in the charity’s Sleepout campaign.

On the idea behind the campaign, Dawson told Mumbrella: “When we went on a night walk with the Youth off the Streets charity we found that when homeless kids are preparing themselves to go to sleep at night, particularly where we were at Central Station, they don’t take their shoes off because if you take your shoes off they might get nicked and they keep their shoes on for added warmth.

“We then realised the target audience they set out in the brief was school children and each day school children lace their shoes up and that’s a point of privilege that’s unconscious to a lot of people. So we wanted to draw awareness to the issue of youth homelessness through that point of privilege in a school child’s day when they lace up their shoes in the morning.

Collage 2“The laces then become a public symbol of someone’s commitment to the charity and we raise donations through the sales of the laces.”

The blue, branded laces are available for purchase from the Youth Off The Streets’ website and participants in the campaign are encouraged to upload a photo to social media using the #laceitup hashtag.

Father Chris Riley, CEO and founder of Youth Off The Streets said in a statement: “There are still far too many young homeless people on the streets of Australia. Most young people have the luxury of tying their shoes on in the morning and taking them off at night, the young homeless sleep with shoes on. Once you’re aware, tying your shoes in the morning becomes something special.”

Dawson and Galofshan volunteered over the last nine months to bring this campaign to life.

“It’s been a pretty roller coaster time, so on top our regular day jobs with our clients we’ve been burning the midnight oil to make #laceitup a reality,” said Dawson.

“It’s been incredible seeing an idea go from an award entry written by two people who’ve spent less than 18 months in the industry to being on the floor of NSW Parliament with the speaker of the house wearing blue laces around her neck.”

Miranda Ward


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