Carers Week 2022: Our Journey with The Care Collective
Carers Week 2022
Highlighting the challenges unpaid carers face and recognising the enormous contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK, Carers Week shines a light on the seen, and unseen heroes of the sector.
Charities throughout the UK, join in celebrating the efforts of those who don’t recognise themselves as carers, those who just do it because they can – because it’s ‘what you do’. They care for loved ones, family members and friends not because they have to but because they want to. Not for monetary gain but because they feel they should.
It’s these people, who don’t look for help or support for themselves. They don’t expect handouts or special treatment. Yet it’s these people who perhaps need it the most. The people who never give up when the times are hardest. It’s for these people that Carers Week is made. And it’s these people who The Care Collective have made it their mission to help.
During Carers Week, thousands of individuals and organisations come together to draw attention to just how important caring is, provide support for carers, run activities and highlight the vital role carers play in our communities.
We fully support our clients, the newly rebranded The Care Collective, as they join other national charities to raise much-needed awareness this week.
Keep reading to hear all about our rebranding journey with The Care Collective over the past few months….
Who are The Care Collective?
The Care Collective came to us as Carers Trust South East Wales – affiliated with the UK network charity, Carers Trust.
As the largest organisation supporting unpaid carers in Wales, their aim is that unpaid carers are looking after themselves, enjoying their life, and achieving their goals – just like they deserve to be – whilst helping a family member or friend to receive empowering care or support.
Offering often vital aid and guidance through Carer’s Hubs, social centres, signposting, advice and assistance across 10 Local Authorities in South East Wales, The Care Collective work extremely hard to catch people as early in their caring journey as possible. Helping to establish structure, access support, and welcoming unpaid carers into a friendly and inclusive community, The Care Collective have a much more responsive approach to recognising the immeasurable contribution of unpaid carers.
They walked us through a confused and cluttered sector where people – who, incredibly, may not recognise themselves as carers – easily become overwhelmed looking for support or information.
The demand for services in this care sector has never been greater. The Care Collective are leading the way in user centred services – ensuring all their resources are laser focused in delivering the services that truly make an untold difference to carers lives. Giving these selfless and compassionate carers comprehensive access to consultation and collaboration is high on this organisation’s agenda.
Why did they need the help of designdough?
In recent years, Carers Trust South East Wales had incorporated 7 different organisations into 1, becoming one of Wales’ largest charities. Following this rapid growth, unsurprisingly they wanted to take a fresh look at their services. To see if there may be new opportunities to support even more people – in new or different ways. Becoming an independent charity was the first step in setting their own agenda, enabling them to think freely and creatively about their organisation.
This innovative and forward-thinking approach is characteristic. This is a charity after all – unafraid to hold up the mirror, challenge itself and shift gear towards its core mission to support unpaid carers. Giving back to those who need it most.
CTSEW wanted to look and feel different – like a breath of fresh air in a traditional, third sector environment. They needed a brand that felt inclusive, welcoming and most of all, hopeful. Professional without being intimidating or corporate. The new charity would be focused on engaging with carers, but also on growth and attracting new funding opportunities to enable them to continue their crucial work.
CTSEW became The Care Collective
We approached this project as one team. Workshopping with key stakeholders is always (always) our start point. Structured discussion, active listening, feedback and involvement takes place before pen hits paper. This nitty gritty detail helps us get to the heart of a project, and the CTSEW team were fully on board.
We first worked through a list of possible names – challenging them, benchmarking them against the sector. We built our shortlist based on non-traditional sector language.
CEO Keiran described the naming process in a blog post:
‘They came back with six possible names but after careful consideration…one really stood out. I’ve got to be honest, I wasn’t immediately sold on the new name. I had another name in my head for the last 12 months that I wanted us to use… and this wasn’t it.
But in the space of a few hours, I got it and started to see how it could be perfect. How you could use clever strap-lines, how we could tell the story of what we do and how we do things today and how we may do things in future. It is also totally different to the names organisations normally use in this sector.’
The name itself must, of course, be supported with a Brand Strategy. Distilling everything we learn in the workshop and discovery phase into Mission Statements and Brand Values. These breathe life, personality and purpose into brands, giving them a tone of voice, and a new narrative that will allow them to connect with their audiences.
Working on this project, we were surprised to learn that 3 in 5 people will become carers during their lives. We came back to this statistic many times when working on the strategy. It was important to us that The Care Collective’s new brand needed to keep people at its heart – being fully, truly and authentically inclusive, offering everyone a voice at the table. Recognising each and every unpaid carer.
Rebranding an organisation that is so close to peoples’ hearts is always a challenge. And we had just 6 weeks to complete the process – through to public launch. Close collaboration, and complete faith in our design process was essential. While challenging, we enjoyed the tight time frame. We could feel the stretch, but we pulled together, leaned into our established processes and worked side by side with The Care Collective team.
Use of supporting hands iconography, outlines of people, hands or hearts, along with overused typography is characteristic in this sector. The Care Collective were keen to differentiate, and were drawn to the icon usage of some national charities (like Mind, for example).
We weren’t sure they needed an icon. We presented a logo that focused purely on their new name. The Care Collective should be up front, and centre. Welcoming everybody. We used a soft typography, rounding off the edges to show warmth and friendliness, and vibrant colours to attract attention and make the brand more current, positive and active. Rather than an icon, that might detract from the name, we used soft, organic, accessible shapes underneath the text, allowing a logo cut out option – plus the ability to create sub brands, using different shapes and colours.
The impact of a new brand
At designdough, we truly believe that the process is as important as the end design. Our clients always leave us with purposeful, beautiful design, but also meaningful insight and new ways of working. The Care Collective team said that “this work has really galvanised us as a team,” – and that is what makes us tick.
We have just recently launched a new website for The Care Collective too. The overarching ambition here was to offer real value to those who visit. Genuine support; a clear pathway in a cluttered sector. Focussing on growth, attracting new funding and looking at how best to change the narrative around caring, and care. We set out to find a way to amplify the voices of carers. How best to share the experiences that may well be our own, one day.
Across the board; internally at The Care Collective, and within our team, we are all proud of the new brand and the genuine collaboration that ensured it was launched on time. Open dialogue, feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, and a sense of camaraderie and inclusion kept the project on track.
Working with many Third Sector clients has given us real insight into the mountains that supportive organisations have to climb, just to keep the doors open. With overwhelming remits and limited budgets, it’s no wonder that branding is often low on the priority list. We are truly honoured to have worked with The Care Collective to create a brand that not only champions unsung heroes, but gives them an opportunity to be recognised for their tremendous value and rightly feel supported in their care for a loved one.