The Unseen Hands project had the challenge of removing the stigma surrounding blood-borne viruses (BBV) and connecting two communities: those who work with BBV samples and those with lived experience of BBV. The project aimed to break down barriers and create a more inclusive and supportive environment for everyone affected by BBV.
To address the challenge, the project sought to create an engaging and creative way to confront stigma and enable respectful and considered dialogue between the two communities. The goal was to empower affected parties, improve testing and treatment, and deliver research with real-life impact. By taking a unique approach, the Unseen Hands project aimed to create a more equitable and supportive environment for everyone affected by BBV, and to develop a manifesto that called for improved education, more equitable funding, multi-disciplinary collaborations, and stronger services.
Unseen Hands was created as a partnership between the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR) and the Terrence Higgins Trust Peer Support Scotland Group (THT). The project aimed to explore the many different experiences of living with BBV and to develop a manifesto that called for improved education, more equitable funding, multi-disciplinary collaborations, and stronger services.
The initial concept of the project was ‘Journey of a Blood Sample,’ which aimed to connect people who work with BBV samples with the source of those samples – people. Through respectful and considered dialogue, the project broke down barriers and enabled people with lived experience to have a voice. Our contribution was co-producing video that communicated the journey of a blood sample with scripted content delivered by those who undertake the work. This was accompanied with a flagship video that brought all of the parties together to communicate this important work.
CVR Unseen Hands Project Video:
FoSho STUDIOS delivered a variety of videos introducing the journey of a blood sample from key experts at the CVR. The videos showcased the various stages of the journey of a blood sample, from the original person donating a sample through to nurses, couriers, lab technicians, and researchers. The videos aimed to reduce stigma by getting to know the people behind the diagnosis and listening to their stories.
In addition, FoSho STUDIOS created a project wrap-up video that communicated the project outcomes. The video content covered what the project is, the difference it made to those involved, and the long-lasting value created. The video showcased the manifesto that the project developed and called for improved education, more equitable funding, multi-disciplinary collaborations, and stronger services.
Unseen Hands has brought together two communities that were reliant on each other but had never met, and it has enabled them to work together towards a common goal.
The project has had a significant impact on reducing stigma and improving understanding of BBV. The project’s manifesto has called for improved education, more equitable funding, multi-disciplinary collaborations, and stronger services. These calls to action will help improve testing and treatment, deliver research with real-life impact, and remove stigma, giving agency to and empowering affected parties.
Through FoSho STUDIOS’ videos, the project was able to communicate its message to a wider audience, and the project wrap-up video showcased the impact and outcomes of the project.
“I have worked with FoSho STUDIOS for nearly 18 months now and I wouldn’t use another production company again. From start to completion of every project (and they are working with us on many now) I cannot fault them.
I work in an academic setting with folks who are more used to being behind a laboratory bench than a camera, and everyone comments on how relaxed Fynn and the team make them feel, and how they actually end up enjoying being in the limelight!
I also trust them implicitly with the vulnerable folks we work with, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them for any project no matter how big or small.“
Engagement and Communications Coordinator
MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR)