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P-215 Support life: building the Kirkwood movement through a refreshed identity
  1. Michael Crowther,
  2. Duncan Batty and
  3. James Coward
  1. The Kirkwood, Huddersfield, UK


In our 30th year, The Kirkwood undertook a market research project to test a number of hypotheses about how local people and healthcare professionals viewed the care we offered and our need for support. In many ways, the results were unsurprising and reinforced anecdotal evidence from conversations with our community over many years.

It was clear that beliefs local people held about ‘Kirkwood Hospice’ were acting as a barrier to people reaching out for care earlier, and a barrier to people supporting aspects of our work they believed were being delivered locally by other charities or organisations. The Kirkwood’s vision is of a world where no-one needs to face a life-limiting illness alone, and to achieve that vision we needed to challenge pre-conceived notions about hospice care, increase self-referrals and deliver more income. The solution to all these problems was the same – if people understood what The Kirkwood did, we could encourage more people to reach out and inspire more people to support our cause. That change was the single driving force behind the change in our brand identity – from Kirkwood Hospice, a place where people go at the very end of their life, to The Kirkwood, a movement of people who are passionate about improving quality of life for those affected by a life-limiting illness.

The Kirkwood’s refreshed identity is more modern, purposeful and clear about who we are and what we do. Initially launched in the September of the pandemic, The Kirkwood’s new approach has supported growth in fundraising and positive responses from clinicians, and our Support Life messaging is opening up conversations with more people than ever. As we continue to activate our brand through new services like ‘Connect with The Kirkwood’, we are confident we will maintain a balance between additional patients cared for and additional income to support their care.

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