Project Description

Thorngate Living

Hillier Consulting started working with Thorngate Churcher Trust in 2011. During the following seven years we drove a dynamic communications modernisation programme, integrating stakeholder engagement, media relations, PR, branding, marketing, advertising and crisis management.

With Andrew Hillier serving as the organisation’s consulting communications and corporate affairs director, Hillier Consulting led and implemented corporate communications and engagement.

Hillier Consulting designed the Thorngate Churcher Trust corporate identity and Thorngate Living brand as part of the charity's complete corporate communications, marketing and public affairs strategy

Creating a new brand

Thorngate Churcher Trust is a modern charitable registered social landlord, offering independent assisted living and residential care from three sites in Gosport, Hampshire. As Thorngate Living, the Trust operates 124 sheltered flats for assisted living, all with 24 hour warden support, and a 44 bed care home offering residential care for the frail elderly and for those living with dementia.

Hillier Consulting’s first task was to conduct a comprehensive communications audit. After a successful evidence-based presentation to the board of Trustees and chief executive, authorisation was obtained for a complete overhaul of corporate communications, marketing, PR, advertising, media relations and stakeholder engagement. A new communications, engagement and business development strategy was produced and we led the drafting of the Trust’s new values and vision statement. The historic corporate identity was subtly modernised to allow for online and digital presentation and a new brand was created – Thorngate Living.

Designing, producing and launching the new website

A new website was designed to more effectively communicate the Trust’s purpose, presence and service provision. The Thorngate Living brand was quickly and meticulously introduced throughout the organisation, energising staff with a renewed sense of purpose in a modernising charity. The importance of professional photography came to the fore in capturing the essence of the Thorngate Living community. Effective internal communications ensured the new values and vision ran as a golden thread throughout the Trust. Andrew Hillier led training sessions for Trustees and a new staff recruitment and retention strategy was launched together with a bold new recruiting campaign. Precisely targeted advertising also addressed the housing voids, resulting in a high-value waiting list for Thorngate Living.

Estate signage was updated with the new brand and a new range of publications written, designed and produced. The annual report and accounts were re-designed and reformatted to more clearly explain the Trust to potential charitable donors and financial institutions as well as the beneficiaries. Stakeholder engagement, PR and media campaigns were highly successful in raising the profile of the Trust and of its chief executive. Andrew Hillier launched and edited the chief executive’s blog and was invited as a communications expert to speak at high-profile charity, residential care sector and housing conferences.

The new corporate identity

In March 2017 we designed and launched Thorngate Churcher Trust’s new corporate identity to more accurately reflect the charity’s progressive management style and its contemporary realisation of the founders’ 1868 charitable aims. Originally created by us in 2012, the Thorngate Living brand was, at the same time, refreshed and updated. The Trust now had a modern, highly successful and seamlessly integrated corporate communications strategy.

Supporting inward investment for new builds

The heightened profile of the Trust, its modern, professional communications and carefully managed stakeholder engagement were instrumental in securing significant new funding to build new flats for older and vulnerable people, thus driving forward the Trust’s original aims, established in 1868.

“An outstanding example of how a dynamic new overarching communications, engagement and marketing strategy, professionally led and implemented, has transformed the fortunes of a long-standing charity, reinvigorating it with a new sense of purpose in challenging times.”

Hillier Consulting is proud to have played a leading role in the modernisation and success of Thorngate Churcher Trust.