A new era beckons for West Yorkshire charity, Kirkwood, as it launches a new identity designed to rally people to the cause and help them support even more people living in Kirklees with a life limiting illness.

Built on strong foundations and a simple mission to support local people affected by a life limiting illness, Kirkwood Hospice is a charity known and loved by the local community, including its patients, families, supporters and volunteers.

But what many in Kirklees don’t appreciate is the extent of the charity’s services and how many more people facing a progressive illness could experience a better quality of life by simply reaching out for care and support.

Over 3,000 people in Kirklees are currently living with an illness from which they will not recover. The reality is that only half of these people reach out and receive the dedicated support available to them. But Kirkwood is on a mission to change that.

“Our goal is to support many more people than ever before,” explains chief executive, Michael Crowther. “We currently support about half the people in Kirklees affected by a life limiting illness and there are thousands more who would benefit from our care. Our focus is, and always will be, on quality of life for every one of our patients, we just want more people to access it.

“Many people believe that Kirkwood Hospice is a place that cares for people at the very end of life. Whilst that’s true, it’s only a small part of what we do. Our team support local people in lots of different ways, at every stage of illness and in bereavement. There is also a common misunderstanding that other charities, such as Macmillan Cancer Support, are providing specialist support for local people in their own homes, when in reality it’s Kirkwood Nurses that provide this service in Kirklees.”

It’s not a new challenge for Kirkwood. Helping people to see that hospices exist to support quality of life, not just end of life, is a challenge faced by many charities in the UK. That’s why Kirkwood has done something different, launching a new identity, which they hope will help local people to reach out for care, and inspire them to join their movement.

The Kirkwood Support Life
The charity will now be known as The Kirkwood with one simple goal – to Support Life. Not just a logo tweak or set of guidelines, this new identity is more deep rooted than that. It harnesses the pioneering spirit dating back to when The Kirkwood was first founded by a group of dedicated individuals who refused to accept the status quo, believing that everyone deserved to have access to the very best care as they approached the end of life.

By raising awareness of their services through their new rallying cry and call to arms, Support Life, The Kirkwood are determined to increase the number of people they support in the local community so that they can make a positive impact. Support Life is, after all, at the very heart of the charity and the reason for its existence.

“This is not about changing the way we look," explains Michael. “It goes much further than that, to the core of what we do. We need to challenge and change perceptions. We’ll never shy away from the fact that we provide care for people at the very end of life. Talking about death is an important part of our work and we need to be open and honest about it. But we need to show people how we support life, and help people to live well – for however long that may be.”

Created in partnership with design studio Kenyon Weston, this new identity is the start of a new era for The Kirkwood. The identity, which has been a labour love for the team at Kenyon Weston, is a far cry from the agency’s usual global client list, but it has been a project that has resonated with the whole team.

Matt Kenyon, Director of Kenyon Weston, says: “The opportunity to create something lasting and meaningful that benefits the whole of the local community is probably one of the most rewarding things we can hope to do as an agency. I have vivid memories of visiting my grandfather at the In-Patient Unit at The Kirkwood when I was boy, so we were honoured to offer our services to the charity at no cost. We don’t just want to thank The Kirkwood for their collaboration and trust in us, but for making Kenyon Weston part of this amazing community of people. We’re all now life supporters of Support Life.”

Join the Kirkwood movement
The Kirkwood is not just a building or a place. It is a movement of people. From medical and clinical professionals, to patients and families, volunteers through to supporters, everyone is united in the belief that the people of Kirklees deserve the very best, compassionate care, every step of the way.

Through the thick and thin, the good and bad, everyone in the community can all make a difference to the lives of those who need it most.

Michael continues: “We want more people to reach out for our care and to inspire new supporters to make a positive difference. We cannot succeed alone, and need more help than ever before from our supporters, our team and the community.”