A Leeds city centre homeless charity – which has served upwards of 1.25 million free meals in its 89-year history – has engaged two Leeds-based creative companies to overhaul its brand presence.
Providing essential support to homeless people across the city centre, St George’s Crypt has appointed Aire Design; a brand agency, and Powerhouse; a creative content studio, to support its marketing development. The appointments come as the charity aims to raise funds to extend its housing facilities, within the next 12 months.
The organisation, which already has 73 bed spaces, plans to build an additional 23 flats, buy four 4-bedroom houses and transform its existing 15 hostel units into self-contained flats, while also developing its health and wellbeing offer.
The two agencies – which are gifting the support – have therefore been tasked with generating awareness about St George’s Crypt’s services; changing local public perceptions about the causes of homelessness and educating people about how they can help when they see someone out on the street. They have each chosen St George’s Crypt as their charity of 2019.
Commenting on the ensuing housing and marketing projects Andrew Omond, project manager at the charity, said: “St George’s Crypt is much more than a soup kitchen. Of course, we supply hot food and a warm bed at night, but we also re-house 1,500 people a year, provide health services, offer engagement activities, and deliver training and employment opportunities.
“Sadly, homelessness is on the rise, so we have to continually improve and invest in these services; which are a vital safety net for those people who have hit hard times.
“But the perception surrounding homelessness needs to change, in order to develop donations for what we do. We have plenty of brilliant, feel-good stories to share – including positive client journeys, volunteers who’ve been with us for years, as well as the charitable nature of our wonderful city. So, the support of Aire and Powerhouse will help us to communicate these in an interesting, thought-provoking manner, which moves people towards taking action.”
Work is already afoot to transform the charity’s marketing efforts. Aire is currently developing compelling design content, as well as creating engaging, practical templates which St George’s Crypt can adapt and use across its social media and advertising activities.
Powerhouse – an organisation which works with the likes of M&S and Kellogg’s – is underway with producing creative photography and video assets to be used within Aire’s toolkit, enabling the organisation to create its own content for fundraising initiatives throughout the year.
Neil Adams, managing director of Powerhouse, said: “Essentially, the premise behind what we’re creating is that everything is versatile and adaptable for The Crypt to use in their own way, however and whenever they want.
“By giving them the tools they need to bring their content together, rather than supplying prescribed, fixed content, this will have a longer lasting impact as the charity continue to market themselves effectively, beyond our 12 month partnership.”
Employees of both agencies are also engaged in the charitable efforts, by gifting household essentials to St George’s Crypt, over the 12-month period.
Brogan Harker, marketing executive at Aire, said: “Anybody living or working in Leeds will know that the number of homeless people in the area has significantly increased over the past couple of years. We see this ever-growing problem every day, it’s literally on our doorstep. We wanted to step up and do something about it; so, we’re looking forward to making a difference over our ensuing partnership.”
The initial round of brand content is set to be revealed in April.