Creating a sustainable healthcare masterplan

We’ve enjoyed a fruitful relationship with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust over the years, developing their Green Heart behaviour change branding and associated campaigns, and supporting the sustainability team with a wide range of communications.

Our latest project saw us working with the team at MFT and Hillbreak to support the development of the Trust’s new sustainability strategy, known as The Masterplan. 

As the biggest acute Trust in the UK, we all had lofty ambitions for this strategy. It was crucial the first step should be to consult with the Trust’s diverse staff base to understand what the Trust’s sustainability goals and objectives should be – and how the Trust could lead the field.

Using our combined knowledge of sustainability reporting and governance in the healthcare sector and beyond, we worked alongside Trust staff to develop The Masterplan: Making Sense of Sustainable Healthcare, 2018-2023, which has already been deemed by NHS Improvement (NHSI) as exemplar. We look forward to supporting the Trust further with promotional activity relating to this strategy.

You can read the strategy here.

Frontline Care: Saving the NHS?

Focused Care is a model of care revolutionising the NHS. It works alongside GP practices in Greater Manchester to assist patients who have complex needs such as homelessness, long term illnesses, substance misuse and domestic violence.

Creative Concern has worked with the team at Focused Care and ITV Shiver for a number of months on a 30-minute television programme that followed two Focused Care workers, Ruth Chorley and Lisa Chattington, as they helped their patients to rebuild their lives.

The programme Frontline Care: Saving the NHS? was aired by ITV Tonight in November and was watched by 2.5 million viewers.

People's Powerhouse: A charter to transform the fortunes of the North and its people

People’s Powerhouse came to us to work on developing the design for their new charter, which was launched at their conference in Bradford in November. 

The People’s Powerhouse is a movement made up of a diverse network of people who came together to help shape the debate and ensure that people and communities are at the centre of Northern Powerhouse plans. 

The People’s Powerhouse charter outlines their vision of trust, change, fairness and diversity, setting the foundations of the movement to which individuals and businesses can subscribe to. 

With such potent core messages, it was vital to design a document that highlighted and presented them in a clear way, while at the same time remained in keeping with the People’s Powerhouse’s current branding. We therefore integrated their logos characters throughout the document to illustrate the messages of the people.

We designed a charter that encapsulated the location of the North with a ‘Northern skyline’ including not only the most famous landmarks but distinguished and diverse structures from across the North of England. The design was then incorporated into event signs and boards for their conference venue and widely shared by the organisation’s supporters on Twitter.


The full charter is available to read and sign up to here.

Manchester Museum: It's in our nature

In the summer of 2018, Manchester Museum came to us to reveal their exciting new plans for their future. 

As the Museum closes a number of its galleries to enable essential building work to take place as their new South Asia and Chinese Culture galleries take shape, the Museum needed to communicate to visitors that their renowned natural history galleries are still open for business – and their dedication to natural history and environmental issues as steadfast as ever.  

As the Museum and Creative Concern share a similar outlook and approach – with shared values, especially regarding sustainability and environmental stewardship – we are excited about the Museum’s longer term ambition for this much-loved Mancunian institution. 

We came up with the Change? It’s in our nature strapline to demonstrate how Museums are continually evolving their exhibitions and gallery spaces to adapt to new influences and to accommodate new ideas, much like the natural world. A physical change to the space, we hoped to convey, shouldn’t be something to fear. This new strapline also signals the Museum’s ‘back to nature’ focus: examining its roots and celebrating its history whilst looking forward. 

Manchester Museum has long had a strong, distinct and memorable visual identity. We wanted the Change? Campaign to work within this well-established framework, but also to evolve and push its boundaries. To carry the strapline, we introduced a bright, bold colour palette, with a gradient to illustrate moving and shifting. We also sought out images of natural phenomena synonymous with change and evolution, such as weather and migration, to further lift the creative and provide visual interest.

On approval, we supplied the campaign assets for the Museum team to roll out across signage, building dressing, interpretation and digital channels. You can read more about the plans for the Museum’s transformation on their website.

We wish Manchester Museum all the best for the forthcoming programme of activity and we look forward to enjoying the new-look Museum when it opens in 2021.


A Cycling and Walking Strategy for Greater Manchester

Following our work on the Made to Move strategy, which set out the ambitions of Chris Boardman, GM’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, we teamed up again with Chris Boardman and his teams at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Transport for Greater Manchester to show the region – and the world! – the exciting new cycling and walking infrastructure planned for Greater Manchester.

Working with Peter Saville, we took the region’s much-loved icon, the bee, and developed a marque that we hope will become synonymous with cycling and walking in the region as it will feature on the signage for the new cycle and walking pathways which will make it easier, safer and more enjoyable for the region’s residents to leave their cars behind. We also designed the document that outlines the plans and shows local residents where the new pathways will be constructed, and exhibition boards for the event that launched the scheme to the public. As the initiative evolves, we have remained involved, designing and producing lapel badges and consultation documents, and we look forward to sampling the new infrastructure when it goes live! 

A forest for the north

Last week saw the launch of the Northern Forest, an ambitious vision from the Woodland Trust and Community Forests to plant 50 million trees over the next 25 years. The Northern Forest covers over 120 miles from Liverpool to Hull and the trees will help to provide natural flood management and boost wildlife habitats as well, protecting ancient woodland areas and iconic species such as the red squirrel. It will also providing a tranquil space for millions of people and generate more than £2 billion for the country’s economy. And if that’s not enough, it is estimated that the new tree planting would lock up an estimated 8 million tonnes of carbon.

We love being part of this project. We’ve produced a prospectus outlining the vision as well as extensive research and insight to demonstrate the need for the project.
We’ve also worked alongside the Woodland Trust PR team – managing regional press across the north to drive public engagement and excitement and generate investor interest to make the vision a reality.

The Northern Forest was launched in an announcement by Environment Secretary Michael Gove. The Government has pledged £5.7 million to launch the project, and forms part of its 25-Year Environment Plan, which sets out how we will be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it.

Follow all the latest from the Northern Forest on the Woodland Trust blog
Check out the prospectus

2002 – 2017: new brand, new website, new work

This November see us reach a bit of milestone: fifteen years of working with some amazing clients, fifteen years of creating work that matters. To mark the occasion, we decided now was a good time for a new brand, new website and a new way of talking about what we do. If you have a minute please let us know what you think, feedback is always welcome.

Recruiting future adopters

Creative Concern has worked in the adoption sector for several years, supporting local authority and charitable adoption agencies to raise their profiles, and to encourage a more diverse range of people to consider adoption as a way of growing their family. 

Recently, we have been honoured to work alongside two of the new ‘regional adoption agencies’ in the North of England, developing their brands and identities, and powerful launch campaigns. In early 2017, a partnership of five local authorities in Greater Manchester and Cheshire commissioned us to find a name, and create a high profile launch recruitment campaign. The result was Adoption Counts. Alongside a high impact brand and new website, Creative Concern created the creative for its extensive outdoor and digital campaign. The results speak for themselves: over 300 enquiries from future adopters have been taken since the campaign launched in July. 

In summer 2017, Adoption Now (the Regional Adoption Agency for Bury, Bolton, Blackburn with Darwen, Rochdale, Oldham and Tameside) commissioned Creative Concern to develop its visual brand. Customer and colleague consultation led to the creation of a brand that reflects the agency’s eagerness to tackle the tricky questions that surround adoption and help Adoption Now stand out. The brand is set to launch in winter 2017. 

You Can Foster

You Can Foster is a region-wide recruitment campaign that aims to shift perceptions of foster carers and recruit new carers within particular areas of need. The campaign has recently been extended to cover Yorkshire. As part of this, our PR and Content Team has been working with poet Tony Walsh and children’s authors Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Cathy Cassidy, Dan Worsley and Livi Michael on a writing competition that encourages young people in foster care across the North of England to tell their own stories.

The aim of the campaign is to encourage new foster carers to sign up and make a real difference to a child’s life. Huge media interest in the campaign has led to hundreds of entries from youngsters wishing to show the world the scale of their ambition.

This is the Place

It was an honour to be approached to be part of the ‘This is the Place’ book, a creative memorial in response to the attack on Manchester Arena in May 2017. The book, based around Tony Walsh’s poem 'This is the Place’, brought the creative community of Manchester together to reflect on the tragedy. We were given one line of the poem and the challenge of creating one page of the book.

Our idea wouldn’t have been possible without the support of IPAF, which provided a cherry picker to capture the image. The proceeds from the book sales will be split equally across three Manchester charities.

Please support by buying a copy, every penny of the cover price goes to charity.