As of Thursday 5 October, Worthing-based charity, The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home (QAHH) has changed its name to Care for Veterans.
The charity, which provides residential nursing care, rehabilitation, respite and award-winning end of life care to physically disabled ex-Service personnel and their families, carried out extensive research into how well it was known, both in the local area and beyond.
Focus groups were set up and included input from supporters, staff, volunteers, residents and their family members, and it was found that ‘The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home’ did not inform people what the charity does nor who it cares for.
Furthermore, their research showed that: the word ‘hospital’ gave people the impression the facilities were NHS funded, which they are not; the word ‘home’ made people believe it was just a care home, when it is so much more; and it was constantly confused with the NHS hospital in Portsmouth, which shares the same name.
This not only impacted heavily on fundraising efforts, but also made it more difficult to promote the charity’s services to the veterans that may need its care.
With the new name and new look, Care for Veterans hopes to communicate its message to even more disabled veterans, and to attract new supporters to help reach its fundraising target of £1.5 million each year.
Care for Veterans Head of Fundraising and Marketing, Elizabeth Baxter explains: “We want to assure people that the decision to rename the charity wasn’t taken lightly. We followed our research, took advice, and consulted another Armed Forces charity which was in a similar situation and has been renamed in recent years, and to great success: they now raise more money, are supported by more people and receive more referrals for their care.”
Elizabeth continued: “I also want to reassure our supporters that this has not cost a lot of money. We did much of the research and groundwork ourselves, which has greatly saved on costs. Plus, we had the support of an excellent marketing and design company who have charged only a small fraction of what this would ordinarily cost, for which we are most grateful. We remain committed to keeping our costs as low as possible, so that as much of what we raise goes directly to caring for our veterans – currently 94p of every £1 raised – a figure we are extremely proud of.”
The charity insists that although its name is changing, its commitment to provide the very best care and rehabilitation for ex-Service personnel and their family members remains paramount.
Elizabeth added: “We shall celebrate our centenary in 2019, and we believe our new name will take us through our next 100 years of caring for our nation’s veterans.”
To mark this occasion, Care for Veterans will be displaying an exhibition on the history of the charity at their facilities at Gifford House, Boundary Road, Worthing from Friday 13 October to Tuesday 17 October, 10am – 2pm. Entry is free and refreshments will be available.
About The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home
The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home was established in 1919 – the charity celebrates its 98th anniversary this year (2017).
The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home is a registered charity, providing care and rehabilitation for physically disabled ex-Servicemen and women. Our residents’ needs are complex and many have multiple disabilities; many have Acquired Brain Injuries, some have neurological disorders’ such as Parkinson’s or Multiple Sclerosis, others are paralysed or do not have use of their limbs, some are terminally ill. We support on average 140 residents a year.
We take up to 59 residents at any one time.
The average age of residents is 75 with the eldest resident being 98 and the youngest 32.
Our residents represent the tri-services: Royal Navy, Army and RAF.
Services at QAHH include nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, an active social and recreation department, rehabilitation kitchen, a chaplaincy service, counselling, IT facilities, a rehabilitation garden, sensory room, coffee shop and function room and regular outings on our specially adapted coach.
With no regular government funding The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home must raise over £1.5 million each year to maintain its nursing and rehabilitation services for ex-Servicemen and women.