South London Hospice St Christopher’s has launched a bold new strategy and vibrant new look in an effort to combat the reality of people dying ‘alone and in pain’. 

Launched during Hospice Care Week, the charity’s new strategy pledges to understand and tackle inequalities in palliative and end of life care and ensure that everyone has access to the care and support they need. 

It follows a YouGov survey commissioned by St Christopher’s earlier this year which found 57% of people living in South East London didn’t know what type of care was provided by the hospice.  

The polling also found that more than one in four people surveyed didn’t know St Christopher’s offered free care to people of any income background, while more than half of people didn’t realise the hospice cared for people in their own homes. 

In actuality, less than 10% of patients supported by St Christopher’s in 2022/23 stayed on the in-patient unit, with the vast majority receiving care in the comfort of the place that they call home. 

The hospice’s new approach was developed by working closely with patients, the public, supporters, volunteers and staff to understand what makes people fearful of hospices or stops them from accessing support. 

Helen Simmons, Chief Executive of St Christopher’s, said: “We fundamentally believe that no one should die alone, afraid or in pain. This new strategy and brand take us one step closer to ensuring that is a reality. 

“Palliative and end of life care in the UK is ranked as the best in the world. But many people still do not have access to the care and support they need, when they need it. That’s not good enough. That’s why at St Christopher’s we’re launching a new strategy and visual identity. It’s bold, vibrant and ambitious; just like us. Most importantly, it showcases our commitment to ensuring the people of south east London have access to the very best care and support at one of the most difficult times in their lives. 

“With our community we’ve reimagined St Christopher’s to remove barriers, improve accessibility and better reflect the breadth of our offer.” 

Ava Parkes, 68, an outpatient from Croydon, was daunted when she was first referred as she thought people only came to the hospice to die. “Once I visited, I found it was completely different. I’ve completed a gym programme, a singing group and I just love coming and sitting in the garden,” she said. 

Mike Reid, 79, recently spent five weeks on the in-patient unit over the summer but is now back in his own home. He said: “I thought hospices were just about dying. When I was referred by the hospital they said it was for respite care but I really didn’t want to go in. My view has changed so much, it’s about care, about support. They helped me get back home and helped make my home safe for me.” 

The hospice has also launched a new film featuring a number of patients and staff to combat the misconceptions raised by their research. Watch it here and discover more about St Christopher’s at their website here.  

The new brand was designed by agency Spencer du Bois who were brought in to transform St Christopher’s visual identity to match their ambitious new strategy to reach more people. 

The organisation is already working to the new strategy while the new visual identity and logo will be gradually rolled out over the next few months – including across St Christopher’s 23 charity shops! 

Max du Bois, brand consultant at Spencer du Bois, said: “The pioneering work in end of life care that St Christopher’s started in the 1960s is as important today as it was then. St Christopher’s new brand will help them reach out across its boroughs’ highly diverse community and tackle the ‘myth-understandings’ surrounding hospice care and seal their role as a beacon of expert compassionate care.”  

About St Christopher’s Hospice