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6 June 2022

Introducing NHS Lothian Charity; new name, new brand, same amazing support

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From today, the official charity of NHS Lothian, Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation, will now be known as NHS Lothian Charity.

In November 2021, the charity commissioned creative agency and branding specialists, Ave, to develop a new brand strategy, a vibrant new charity branding and a more engaging and accessible website that better represented the needs of their audiences.

Jane Ferguson, Director of the Charity, said: “We’re delighted to now reveal our new brand to all our supporters, partners and stakeholders.

“It’s been a really exciting time over the past few months as we’ve worked with Ave to take a good look at how our brand could help us better engage with all our audiences, and really dig deep into who we are and what we stand for as a charity.

“Whilst supporting our incredible NHS colleagues through COVID, it was evident that people in our community didn’t realise we existed, or if they did, they knew very little about our purpose and all the incredible work that we do across the region. With such a wide range of services that we support and deliver, we also found it difficult to clearly articulate who we were and what we did.

“Through extensive consultation and research with our supporters, stakeholders and the local community, Ave really got to understand our charity and what our audiences needed from us. They have helped us develop a new brand strategy that simplifies our purpose and articulates this in a much clearer, easier to understand way.

“We also used what we had learned from the brand consultation to influence the design of our new website as it was important that our audiences had a consistently excellent experience of our new brand in all interactions. The new website has clearer signposting so that visitors can quickly and easily find what they’re looking for, as well as improved functionality, such as the facility for supporters to donate online, taking into account the move towards a more cashless society.

“The new brand and website radiate the people-centred approach we take as a charity, coupled with a clear name that helps our audiences understand our purpose, and represents and reflects our relationship with NHS Lothian as their official charity and strategic partner. It really brings our brand to life for those we support and those who support us.

“The new brand and website radiate the people-centred approach we take as a charity, coupled with a clear name that helps our audiences understand our purpose.”

“We couldn’t have got to this point without the enthusiasm and commitment of all those who got involved in surveys, workshops and focus groups. We were delighted with the response rate and the really valuable insights that this consultation provided. Thanks go to Ave too for getting us to this point.

“With the launch of our new five-year strategy as well, this is a really exciting time as we embark on the next stage of our journey. I’m really looking forward all the opportunities this new brand brings us, giving us solid foundations to take the charity from strength to strength for those we support and those who support us.

“Although the name and logo are different, the core of what we stand for remains the same; we are here to support NHS Lothian; all its work, all its staff and all the patients and families they care for. Together, we can improve healthcare for those we love the most.”

Ellie Thompson, Founder and Creative Director of Ave said:

“When we started working with NHS Lothian Charity in late 2021, our primary area of work focused on designing a research methodology that would enable us to understand the current perceptions of the brand, as well as the vision and aspirations of both internal and external stakeholders.

“A month-long consultation period was undertaken, during which focus groups, interviews and surveys were held. It was clear from the research that the existing brand was not working hard enough to convey the uniqueness of the charity, their values nor the scale and scope of what it did.

“The findings helped us to then develop a compelling brand proposition and strategy that would strengthen the charity’s ability to engage with its audiences, encapsulate its ambitions, and communicate the value and relevance of what it offers.

“Following the research, we also strongly recommended a name change to help clarify the charity’s relationship with NHS Lothian, and to also remove the confusion that we identified with the current name. After further consultation and agreement on the new name, the brand promise and branding strategy were delivered.

“We then worked together to create the brand identity. The new identity has a multi-layered meaning, symbolising much of what NHS Lothian Charity stands for and represents to its communities. The logo symbol is an evolution of the original Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation marque – a nod to all the good work that has gone before, and something familiar to established audiences. However, the progression brings forward the foundations set out in the charity’s new five-year strategy.

“The icon is divided into four segments, representing NHS Lothian Charity’s four priority objectives, four acute hospitals, four geographic areas, and four strategic programmes. The symbol is endlessly looping, hinting at the idea of infinity; infinite support and care for those who need it most. The linked, looped shapes show connectivity, both as a dedicated team internally, as well as its relationship with NHS Lothian, its supporters, partners and stakeholders.

“The new website helps to bring the brand to life further, showcasing the unique position of the charity and the work that it does to improve the health and wellbeing of those in Edinburgh, the Lothians and beyond.

“Together, the new brand strategy, name, logo and website, will enable the charity to deliver its distinctive standpoint, convey its people-centred, warm approach and be more easily understood, accessible and engaging. The new brand keeps the charity’s messages focused and simple. It helps to tell its story effectively, demonstrating the impact that the charity makes on NHS Lothian staff and patients, both in hospitals and in the community.”

For more information on the Charity and the work it does to support people across Edinburgh and the Lothians, visit: www.nhslothiancharity.org

Whilst the change in name will take effect from 7 June, the Charity will be transitioning to the new brand over the next few months. During this time instances of the old brand may still be found across various platforms and assets.

“I’m really looking forward all the opportunities this new brand brings us, giving us solid foundations to take the charity from strength to strength for those we support and those who support us.”

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