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Celebrating one year of our new name

6 March 2024

This week marks the first anniversary of the creation of a new name in hospice care for Birmingham and the surrounding area.

Birmingham Hospice was launched on 7 March 2023, drawing on the 150-year heritage of John Taylor Hospice, based in Erdington, and Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, in Selly Park.

The two hospices had merged 18 months earlier to form a single registered charity – the Hospice Charity Partnership. The decision to move to a single identity was taken to help raise the charity’s profile and open up new opportunities to care for more people living with a terminal diagnosis.

Highlights of the first year under the new brand include:
• Our Selly Park site was rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission, meaning both of our locations now have the highest possible rating.
• We won the ‘Excellence in Third Sector awards’ in recognition of our efforts to build partnerships and engage with the local community.
• We secured Investors in Diversity silver status, in recognition of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
• Successful fundraising events included the new Rainbow Rush, which attracted 266 participants and raised £16,381 in its first year, drawing support from across the city.
• The first Big Brum Bucket collection under the new brand raised £9,700 in July 2023; an increase of £4,100 compared to the year before. We had 38 collection locations and approximately 100 volunteers, compared to 16 locations and 44 volunteers in 2022.
• We announced plans for a brand-new arts trail, on the theme of the iconic Birmingham bull, which will take place in the city next year, raising funds and increasing awareness.
• The £200,000 Room to Care appeal was launched, to convert remaining multi-occupancy rooms with shared bathrooms at our Erdington site into single rooms with individual facilities, giving patients the privacy and comfort they need at the end of life.
• Our Corporate Fundraising Team has used the new brand to drive engagement with business partners, attending more networking events and attracting new supporters, who have undertaken fundraising, volunteering days and gifts in kind.
• All of our shops have been refitted, ensuring they are as welcoming as possible to their valued shoppers and donors, with an 11.5% sales increase in these stores over the past year. A new superstore has opened in Harborne, which has increased sales by 200% compared to its predecessor, and a store in Balsall Common.
• We have continued to build collaborations with communities and faith groups in the city, and showcased this work at the Ikon Gallery through a series of educational workshops focused on ageing and dying well.

This year, we have been using our increased profile to campaign on the vital issue of hospice funding. Despite the significant savings the merger has brought, hospices across the country are facing a funding crisis with rising prices for energy, food and drugs, and the cost of living crisis impacting on fundraising and donations.

In February, we set up stall at Birmingham New Street station to raise awareness of the services hospices provide and encourage passers-by to sign our petition at, calling for improved government support for the sector.

Simon Fuller, CEO, said: “Hospices are facing an exceptionally challenging time at present, with the funding we receive not keeping up with ever-increasing costs.

“Nonetheless, the one-year anniversary of our successful rebrand is cause to celebrate, and we could not have achieved everything we have over the past year without the clear, easy-to-recognise identity we now have.

“We now plan to use this platform to increase awareness of what hospices do, the wide range of services we offer, and the importance of fair and sustainable funding for the sector.”