Local charity, Voluntary and Community Services Peaks and Dales, who help over 5,300 people in the Derbyshire Dales and High Peak area to live safer and more fulfilled lives is undergoing some exciting changes. From 1 March 2019, they will be Connex Community Support.
Connex Community Support, originally established in the High Peak as Buxton Volunteer Bureau in the 1980’s, has undergone various transformations over recent years, including the introduction of many new services which support vulnerable people within their local community. Whilst the new portfolio of services has enhanced the lives of many through projects like Alive and Kickin’, a befriending service funded by Comic Relief; the changes have also caused confusion amongst services users, volunteers and the public. Gill Geddes, Chief Executive explains,
“Feedback revealed that our existing name was not only lengthy and sometimes hard to remember, but that it was causing confusion over our service portfolio – we were still remembered as ’the bureau’ which was renowned for volunteer development.
‘Today, we have so much more to offer, ranging from our specialist Readycall Macmillan befriending service, which supports those affected by cancer and life-limiting illnesses, to our transport and home maintenance services. Our service portfolio is vast, and it was clear we needed a new communications plan that would tackle this and promote us effectively.”
The charity, which has offices on Eagle Parade in Buxton and on King Edward Street in Ashbourne, was lucky enough to be awarded additional grant funding to help support the much-needed rebrand. This enabled the organisation to employ the support of a local specialist in Third Sector communications and branding to help devise a new communications strategy that would elevate the charity. Debbie Hackett. Business Development Manager comments,
“The key to the rebrand was understanding the DNA of the organisation. We needed a name that was memorable, short, yet flexible enough to communicate our varied service portfolio. When you have services like domiciliary care and disability support services sitting alongside property clearance and maintenance services – it’s a complicated brief for any agency.”
The new name was selected from numerous viable solutions for its simplicity. The new identity and sub-consequent brand extensions have been designed specifically to promote the diverse offering in a simple and effective manner, whilst galvanising the brand to gain greater reach. At the heart of the brand was a desire to keep production costs down whilst maintaining a professional appearance and a sense of pride for those who connect with the organisation and for those working within it. Gill Geddes adds,
“Connex Community Support has a positive effect on everyone it encounters, and our communications should do the same. We are really proud of our ability to deliver 100,000 hours of care and support to those who need it and even though we’re valued in the community, our goal for 2019 is to reach and help more people who need us.”
The Charity is looking forward to communicating their service portfolio confidently and as a result reaching and supporting more local people in the Peaks and Dales.
The new name was officially launched between on 1 March at the Buxton office, with a small event attended by Ruth George, MP for High Peak, and in the Ashbourne office on 8 March, with attendance by Sir Patrick McLoughlin, MP for the Derbyshire Dales.
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