My Home Life Essex Community Association was founded in 2008. Its purpose was to offer free, confidential and expert advice to the community about residential care for older people and to support care home residents. In 2014 the Association launched FaNs (Friends and Neighbours) – a community movement to foster community support and relationships with local care homes within Essex. Its aim is to help make sure that people living in Essex care homes are able to enjoy the best possible quality of life according to their individual needs and wishes.

The aim of this project was to develop a comprehensive integrated campaign across Essex to improve the perception of care homes in Essex and promote interest in supporting them and their residents. This involved the creation of a clear and recognisable brand identity for the FaNs network to be applied to all marketing collateral including information packs for individuals, organisations and care homes signed up as FaNs.

Brand Facts

  • The My Home Life Essex Community Association (MHLECA) grew out of the Relatives and Residents Association (Essex) that was formed in 2008.
  • FaNs (Friends and Neighbours) help to keep older people in Essex care homes connected to their wider community.
  • Through the power of social media, the idea of FaNs is being replicated nationally and now even internationally.

Project Facts

  • We worked with My Home Life Essex to develop a comprehensive integrated campaign across Essex to improve the perception of care homes in Essex.
  • This involved the creation of a clear and recognisable brand identity for the FaNs network.

The Client

Creating a positive philosophy around care homes

The national My Home Life movement was established to improve the quality of life of everyone connected with care homes for older people. It has become the recognised voice for the sector, which promotes best practice through appreciative support and transformative action. This approach was adopted by Essex County Council to create a ‘My Home Life Essex’ movement and there was active encouragement to involve Essex care home managers. Working with Mackman, this project needed to:

  • Build a community of people willing to take an active interest in care homes and their residents
  • Allow care home owners, managers and staff to take advantage of good will, support and practical help provided by FaNs
  • Facilitate the easy recruitment of future FaNs
  • Ensure the solution was scalable in order that a national roll-out was possible

The Challenge

The care home sector often gets more attention when things go wrong. The new website platform for FaNs needed to ensure people working in care homes feel valued for the tough job that they do and to develop community engagement opportunities.

The Results

  • An official launch of FaNs and build awareness of the movement
  • Build a sophisticated responsive website to allow for easy recruitment and information sharing with current and potential FaNs
  • Build a communications network for FaNs and care homes
  • Implement tactical communication plans (PR, social, email) to officially launch the FaNs campaign and celebrate and publicise the good work of FaNs
  • Provide strategic social media training for the FaNs team

We were excited about working with local agency Mackman, who really understood why FaNs was so important and the crucial elements we wish to communicate with the different types of supporters in the community. To all the Mackman team, thanks for all the hard work, thoughtfulness and the creativity that has gone into the FaNs campaign. You have done a great job for us. The My Home Life Essex Community Association Board and care home managers are mightily impressed by the publicity materials and the website is looking lovely.

Jan Lockyer, Programme Manager – FaNs