Fingerprint characters win hospice top award

Local children’s hospice charity Shooting Star Chase was presented with a national award on Wednesday September 17 for creating a group of fingerprint characters to tackle the misconception that children’s hospices are depressing places only for end-of-life care.

Shooting Star Chase Communications Team with Third Sector Award for Brand Development SUS-140110-122001001
Shooting Star Chase Communications Team with Third Sector Award for Brand Development SUS-140110-122001001

The charity, which supports children across the district, won the Brand Development category at the Third Sector Awards – the most prestigious awards in the industry – which is set up to recognise the outstanding work carried out by charities, not-for-profit organisations and their partners.

Shooting Star Chase follows in the footsteps of Prostate Cancer UK and Mencap, who are both past recipients of the Brand Development award.

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The brand, which launched in February, was developed by global brand agency FITCH London completely free of charge after one of its directors and his family were supported by the charity.

The rebrand project started in 2012 after the merger of Shooting Star Children’s Hospice and CHASE hospice care for children.

The charity involved families, volunteers, supporters and staff and discovered that until a person has seen the hospice in action, the perception is they are depressing places only for end-of-life care. On the back of that Shooting Star Chase created a group of lively fingerprint characters designed to help break down the misconceptions by showing the fun and vibrancy of the work which aims to make every moment count for families going through unimaginable circumstances.

The fingerprint concept has also been used to reflect Shooting Star Chase’s tailored approach to their care service – all fingerprints are unique and each family is given care and support based on their individual needs.

Shooting Star Chase also broke the mould by using the Friendlies to make up five different logos.

The multiple logos were created to reflect both the sunny and sad days experienced at a children’s hospice and the highlight the wide range of services on offer to the whole family, including hospice short breaks; hospice at home; music, play and art therapy; counselling and fun days out.

Kevin Doherty from FITCH London, said: “We spent the last three weeks of Tommy’s life at the hospice and we were looked after incredibly well. Although it was a very sad time it was also one of the happiest times of my life because the hospice allowed me the experience to be a normal father for the first time.

“There are sad stories within the hospices they are actually very happy places and I think what we have created is very reflective of that. We’re incredibly proud of it and we would be even without the personal connection.”

Judge Deana Selby, publications manager at the Dogs Trust, said: “I loved the idea of the Friendlies characters: they’re warm, appealing and look great for children.”

Adam Petrie, Head of Communications & Marketing at Shooting Star Chase, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the way people have embraced the Friendlies and winning such a prestigious award is recognition for the passion, dedication and creativity shown by all those who made it happen.

“Professor Popplepants, Sparklina, Mrs Pinkypops and co have played a vital role in showing what a children’s hospice is really like. We hope the Friendlies will continue to play a vital role in communicating our work so we can raise more money to care for even more families who need our support.”

To find out more about Shooting Star Chase and meet the Friendlies visit and @sschospices

Report and picture contributed by Shooting Star Chase.