Q&A with Sue Smith
Why did you feel that you wanted to change the name of the charity?
When I first took on the role of Fundraising Manager I felt the charity would really benefit from a rebrand. The former West Suffolk Hospital Charity was a little too corporate and I wanted us to break away from that while still ensuring we maintained links with the West Suffolk Hospital. The charity has done amazing work and has created a huge amount of awareness about its role within the hospital but, we are only a small charity and it is easy to get lost in the vastness of working in an NHS Foundation Trust. The rebrand logo and the whole ethos around it will ensure that people know about us and understand our promises and values to them as fundraisers.
Why should people fundraise for the hospital?
Because, unfortunately, it really is needed. The hospital costs £500,000 every day to run, that’s £5 a second, astonishing figures! The Macmillan Unit alone costs £1.5 million a year to run. The West Suffolk Hospital will always give you the best care but by fundraising we can help to ensure that the equipment and facilities are the best they can be and help to provide specialist equipment that make lives easier for both patient and staff.
Every single person in our community has either needed the hospital in their lifetime or knows someone who has. We are not here to bridge any gaps, we are here to enhance the care and support we can offer to the community.
We are quite unique compared to many charities in that we support so many different areas of health and wellbeing. Funds can be raised to support the youngest members of the community to the oldest and our fundraisers and donors can choose to support wherever they wish. We have over 90 funds within the charity supporting not just the main areas such as Neonatal or the Macmillan Unit but also the stroke unit, paediatric diabetes, critical Care and orthopaedics to name just a few. This is the legacy for anyone who chooses to support My WiSH Charity.
How did the re-brand come about?
We realised that awareness, both internally and externally, could always be higher. We chose a logo that would stand out and be more recognisable and distinguishable from the hospitals own branding. We wanted to raise awareness of our aims and achievements and ensure everyone knew they could support so many areas of the hospital and that we are here to support them all the way with their own fundraising.
What are the aims of the new identity?
One of the main aims is awareness. Not only awareness that we are here and supporting the hospital but also to ensure everyone knows we are here to support them too. We also aim to continue to promote awareness of health issues. Our first campaign concentrated on prostate cancer and allowed us not only raise funds for a special scanner to detect prostate cancer but also to inform men about symptoms and signs to look out for. Being a slightly taboo subject this sort of awareness is invaluable. Our 2014 campaign was for the Forget-Me-Not Dementia Campaign.
This has seen amazing success and has allowed us to do what we do best with refurbishment of
wards and patient areas to be dementia friendly aswell as being able to open our amazing memory walk which will be invaluable to patients and their carers will create an area away from the hustle and bustle of the wards
But really our aims are what they’ve always been…to further enhance the care and support the West Suffolk Hospital gives to their patients and their families at a time when they most need it.
Why ‘My WiSH’ Charity?
We had a lot of discussions within the team on names but My WiSH really said we wanted to say. It is about giving ownership to the community. We are their charity for their hospital and feel that by keeping the WSH within our rebrand we still retain our links with the hospitals name. The additional ‘i’ not only obviously allows us to create the word wish but pays tribute to our ‘inspirational’ supporters.
As I said before part of the ethos of the charity is that it belongs to everyone in West Suffolk as does the hospital and by calling ourselves My WiSH we allow others to say what their wishes are with supporting and fundraising. They are able to say ‘My wish is to fundraise for…’ and then choose exactly where they would like it to go. This could be as a thank you to staff, to help raise money for a particular item, or in memory of a loved one.
The beauty of My WiSH Charity is that we can guarantee them that their money will go exactly where they wish it to. And that’s the whole point really, for you all to know that we will care and nurture you with your fundraising the same way as the hospital will with your health and we are your charity here to ensure you always receive the care you deserve.