Brand by Ramblers

Our green spaces should be for everyone – that’s Ramblers’ core belief, and we stand by it. We worked closely with their Communications team, guiding them on integrating anti-racism and equity into their brand so they could confidently represent these values in public.

Summary

When the walking charity Rambler’s highlighted the inequitable access to green spaces for racialised communities, they faced racist responses and were criticised for ‘going woke’. Recognising their significant influence and in order to fulfil to their ambition of providing equitable access for all communities in Great Britain to walk outdoors, Ramblers knew that they would need support and training in communicating their anti-racist vision.
Who Led The Project
Collette
Category
Consulting
Training
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Audit
For brands who genuinely desire to begin an anti-racism journey, a core challenge is usually understanding how to close the gap between what they aspire the brand to be and how they are currently showing up. Ramblers were no different, so having an external audit of the current brand was a vital first step. Our findings were eye-opening for the whole organisation. We noticed a significant shortfall in representation from the Global Majority, and when these voices were included, they were often confined to a narrow 'diversity' lens rather than showcasing their broad experiences and expertise. However, it wasn't all challenges. Ramblers' naturally friendly and straightforward communication style had huge potential for a strong foundation to bring to life their vision of the outdoors that welcomes all experiences.
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Explore
We ran two anti-racist communications training sessions to help Ramblers understand more about the many ways systemic racism shows up in wider society and also in their specific work and sector. We also used workshops to co-create anti-racism communication principles that became central to their brand and communications strategy. Ramblers agreed that this work is central to their mission if they genuinely believe in open spaces for all. It was crucial to be transparent about their starting place, acknowledge the work that needs to be done and recognising the need for progress was a powerful first step. The training and principles combined to give teams the confidence to understand, address, speak up and speak out about racism, both internally and externally.
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Ramblers had already made an initial commitment to make anti-racism a key part of their brand and organisational strategy. But they were unclear how to deliver this in practice. We guided the team, preparing for potential racist pushback, covering everything from internal communications to fundraising. This showed the difference between meaningful anti-racism action and superficial DEI initiatives, demonstrating the importance of staying the course even when it's difficult. (Especially when it's difficult!) Emboldened with new insights and resolve, they are equipped with the tools, energy and appetite to continue progress.
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Evaluate
Looking back over their work with us, Ramblers recognised that with the best intentions, they still had a lot of work to do. They knew it would take ongoing, consistent efforts to get everyone, from staff, to members and the wider audience, engaged on the topic. Part of this ongoing commitment included joining forces with Black and Asian walking groups, full of opportunities for mutual learning and impact. The wrap-up was pivotal. It was their chance to pull together everything they'd learned and tackle any last questions. They sketched out a forward-thinking plan that put accountability at the top of the list.
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OUR insight
“Working with Ramblers was a great reminder of why organisations must clearly articulate their identity and values. This is especially significant for brands perceived as British or English institutions, given how strongly structural racism shows up in wider society. Without a clear commitment to anti-racism, there's a major risk that audiences may default to white supremacy, and assume that the organisation agrees with them.”
Collette
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“As an organisation, we've recognised that we're part of the fabric and institution around this outdoor space. We need to be leaders in anti-racism to ensure the outdoors can be equitable for all. Our work with Brand by Me has helped us take that position and say ‘this is right, and this is what we need to do’.”

Tariq Ozaibi, Head of Supporter Care & Compliance, The Ramblers

Recognising and addressing how your brand upholds systems of oppression helps drive social justice. We can show you how.

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