Merry Christmas everyone!

It was great for Team CAN to meet up with so many of you at the comms2point0 UnAwards ceremony in Birmingham at the beginning of this month. Congratulations to all the worthy winners.

In our joint online resource with comms2point0 – Comms:Files – you can read all the original submissions and supporting material from the class of 2022 (if we have permission) so you can start the new year with fresh inspiration for your upcoming campaigns. If you go onto the Comms:Files website and click on “Full View” you’ll see the UnAwards 2022 folder.

Read on about work behind the scenes at John Lewis to make sure foster care isn’t just for Christmas, how council staff can join an exclusive travel club with up to 60% discounts on holidays worldwide, plus a heads-up on New Year campaigns.

Read on…

CAN Lunch Bite Bulletin is a regular round-up of useful insights and information for public sector communicators. Email us at

For you this issue…

  • Discounted holidays: Public sector staff-only scheme for up to 60% off.

  • Skateboard for Christmas? John Lewis team join our fostering webinar.

  • Behaviour change: Sign up now for money off some top January learning.

  • Front Foot: Mental health, supported housing & hidden health dangers.

News you can use

Worldwide holidays with up to 60% discount

A new “invitation only” travel club has been set up by one of our long-term partners to offer exclusive holiday deals to employees in the public sector – and we’ve been asked to invite councils and other organisations to join up for free!

Called Tripbeat, worldwide deals of up to 60% off 600,000+ hotels, resort stays from £299 – plus savings on car hire, flights, and activities – are all available. Most family resort offers are scheduled to tie in with low-cost airline dates and times. The club’s 4,000 trained travel guides are on hand as support.

Once you've signed in with your organisational code and filled in your details, you're enrolled as an individual on the free version of the scheme. You also have the choice to sign up for a premium version for £69 a year with deeper discounts (usually made back on just one booking).

For those who can afford to go away next year, here are examples of deals available week ending 9 December, comparing Tripbeat prices with those you can get on or

Family offers based on four-six sharing a hotel unit or apartment:

  • Park Royal Orlando, Florida, various dates in February: Tripbeat Premium, £318.00;, £580.00 (45% saving).

  • Holiday Club Salla, Lapland, various dates in January: Tripbeat Premium, £299.00; £573.00 (47% saving).

Couples offers based on two sharing a room:

  • Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity Covent Garden, London, 27-29 January: Tripbeat Premium, £379.28;, £736.00 (48% saving).

  • Cairn Hotel & Apartments B&B, Edinburgh, 17-19 February: Tripbeat Premium, £164.15;, £365.00 (55% saving).

Derbyshire Dales Council has just launched the first UK Tripbeat travel club portal. It's operated by Panorama Travel Solutions on behalf of the world’s largest holiday ownership company Travel + Leisure Co.

If your internal comms team or staff rewards team is interested in finding out more, email for details on the simple set-up.

John Lewis team join our webinar fostering discussion

It was a shot in the arm for council fostering teams when this year’s Christmas John Lewis TV advert told the story of a nervous soon-to-be foster dad trying to skateboard to impress his new foster daughter. And two members of the John Lewis Care Experience Team – Meg Vaughan and Aileen Woodard – joined last month’s Foster Recruitment Hub webinar to share the work going on behind the ad with 100-plus fostering comms and recruitment folk.

Aside from trying to generate conversation on fostering in the UK, John Lewis is setting up employability hubs – with councils and other organisations – to support care leavers into work and developing foster-friendly policies to help existing staff become foster carers.

The latest Ofsted fostering stats released by government revealed that the proportion of children in mainstream foster care looked after by IFAs has increased by 5% since 2018, adding substantially to the financial burden on councils due to the higher cost-per-placement. Our latest Fostering Hub webinar this month investigated these concerning trends and how councils could learn from them.

November’s webinar is also available so you can catch up on YouTube on why it’s important to get fostering web landing pages right and how to identify and avoid the pitfalls.

Want to make the most of the national conversation inspired by the John Lewis ad and increase foster care recruitment for your council? Contact for a chat. There’s the chance to licence branded versions of two short fostering council-funded films (which have already generated thousands of click-throughs) plus tried and tested fostering campaign assets.

January behaviour change masterclass – enrol now for less

Learn how to run behaviour change campaigns that deliver real impact and save money compared with more traditional comms over five weeks from early January.

Our frequent collaborator and founder of the Behaviour Change Network, Dominic Ridley-Moy, is running a virtual course to give communicators an in-depth appreciation of what drives human behaviour, including which barriers prevent people from acting on your campaign messages.

Themes covered on the course include cost of living, debt and managing finances, climate change, and shifting residents online. It’s followed by an individual one-hour, one-to-one session.

Register by the end of the month for the early bird offer. Or drop Dominic a line with questions about the course at or book a zoom chat with him to see if it is right for you.

Front Foot

What’s coming down the line that communicators need to know about? Want insights into what’s been working (and not) in these and other public sector digital campaigns? Drop us a line to

Children’s mental health issues on the rise

The number of children with mental health problems being seen by social workers has risen by more than 50% in the past five years according to a recent study from the Local Government Association (LGA). The figure increased from 57,410 in 2018 to 87,750 in 2022.

The LGA found that across all aspects of children’s social care councils spent more than £10.5 billion in 2020/21, nearly 25% more than in 2016/17.

The London Borough of Barking has teamed up with mental health organisations Kooth and Papyrus HopelineUK to trial a Snapchat campaign with us over the Christmas holidays, giving young people aged 13 to 17 access to immediate support as they browse online.

If your council or NHS ICB wants to trial something similar in the New Year, email our John-Paul Danon for advice at

New government fund supports vulnerable tenants

Councils can access a £20 million new government fund aimed at tackling landlords who exploit supported housing at the expense of vulnerable residents.

The Supported Housing Improvement Programme will punish poor-performing landlords with penalty notices of up to £30,000 and a ban from operating if they don’t provide decent accommodation for residents who need extra care, support or supervision because of previous homelessness, mental health issues or domestic abuse.

Communicating with both landlords and tenants on housing-related matters is an ongoing theme for councils running campaigns with us. If you want any insight into what works, drop an email to Allan Watson:

“Zero-tolerance approach” to mould urged

Even before a coroner’s report last month blamed the death of a toddler in Rochdale on exposure to black mould, the Housing Ombudsman had issued an open letter urging social landlords to be proactive rather than reactive about damp and mould problems in their properties.

It’s one of several issues councils find they need to highlight in campaigns as part of intervention work to prevent health issues caused by poor housing – from signposting support to get warmer homes this winter to making sure pest control solutions kill pests and not people.

Get in touch for insight into the performance of these campaigns.

Hope you’ve found something of interest in this issue!

Goodbye for now!

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