It’s been 25 years since St Clare Hospice cared for its very first patient, and since then more than 10,000 people across West Essex and the East Herts border have received the charity’s compassionate care, free of charge at one of the most difficult times of their lives.

Throughout that time, the Hastingwood-based Hospice is proud to say the families it supports have remained at the heart of all it does, as it continues to strive to ensure every person receives the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

One of St Clare’s five strategic goals is to increase awareness and understanding of the Hospice and its incredible way of caring. A challenge for any small charity, let alone one that people think, mistakenly, is only to do with death and dying.

So, a year ago, the Hospice set out on a journey and, coinciding with it Silver Anniversary celebrations, has revealed a new visual identity and launched a new website.

The inspiration for the  new look sprang from a pen portrait that was written using words and phrases you would use to describe St Clare if it was a person. The Hospice also took a long, hard look at its current visual style, which was felt to be rather clinical, official and dated – the opposite of the feedback given by the patients and families the charity cares for. The conclusion was St Clare’s visual identity needed to better reflect the essence of who St Clare is; to look warmer, brighter and more comforting.

So a project steering group with representatives from across the Hospice was formed to oversee the development of the new branding and website. The group considered different visual styles, testing each against St Clare’s pen portrait plus nine different criteria, with one emerging as the outright winner. It was shown to groups of staff, volunteers and people who have experienced St Clare’s care and support, and it passed with flying colours.

Two phrases in particular from the pen portrait helped to spark the creative idea: ‘holding hands together’ and ‘feels like arms being wrapped around you’.

St Clare chief executive Tanya Curry said: “Celebrating 25 years of incredible hospice care and looking to the future, it seems a fitting time to introduce a visual style and website that better reflect the heart and passion of St Clare: to be there for those living with a life-limiting or terminal illness and all those close to them.

“As the new look is rolled out over the coming months and visitors to the new website increase, our hope is that people across West Essex will notice the difference, become more aware of St Clare Hospice and seek to understand more.”

For more information, visit www.stclarehospice.org.uk