UCLH Charity covid appeal - Creative Clinic
UCLH Charity
30th July 2020
29th June 2023

branding, websites, campaigns, marketing and fundraising for learning disability and autism charity


Langdon is a charity that helps hundreds of adults and young people with learning disabilities and autism across the UK to live independent lives through supported living, education, employment support and social activities.

Creative Clinic was appointed as Langdon’s retained communications agency to develop a new brand identity, over-arching awareness and fundraising campaign, two websites, publications, appeals, event collateral and campaign graphics. Elements of our campaign work were ‘Highly Commended’ in the prestigious 2020 Third Sector Digital Awards.

Although the existing logo did not require any changes, there was a lack of coherence and consistency in wider brand applications, visual language and campaigns, which is what we were tasked with establishing.

The first over-arching brand campaign created was ‘Shining Lights’, which was all about positioning Langdon members (service users) front and centre, ‘shining a light’ on their personal achievements (which could include learning skills to live independently, catch a bus, make friends, go to work etc. – small milestones for many of us, but significant for young people with learning disabilities). The campaign showcased the achievements of members – as well as volunteers, parents and fundraisers – by placing them alongside their ‘names in lights’, a proud celebration and acknowledgement of their accomplishments.

The new brand style and language was applied to the design and build of two new websites, an advertising campaign, stationery, newsletters, fundraising collateral, appeal mailers, social media, event theming and branding, plus wall graphics and signage for the Langdon head office. We unified and standardised the use of typefaces and created a distinctive and confident visual style for advertising, web, social and print. Although launching as part of the new ‘Shining Lights’ campaign, we created a brand style that could seamlessly evolve and complement future campaigns.

The aims and goals of the brand, campaign, activations and fundraising were to:

1. Raise awareness, increase understanding and counter stigma of learning disability and autism (an often ‘hidden’ disability), specifically amongst the Jewish community.

2. Position Langdon as the go-to support organisation for young adults with learning disability and autism within the Jewish community – for service users (members), their families and organisations operating in and around the Jewish community.

3. Communicate the wide range of support services provided by Langdon, including independent living, education and employment.

4. Engage donors, fundraisers, volunteers, employers and professionals to support the charity.

In addition to the above, the onset of coronavirus led to new challenges and communications objectives, including:

1. Communicating how Covid-19 impacted on both the physical and mental health of members, many of whom suffered increased anxiety and confusion as a result.

2. Communicating how Langdon was able to pivot and adapt its services and support to take in to account social distancing.

3. Increased fundraising needs as a result of Covid-19 response.

4. Cancelling and pivoting the charity’s two largest fundraising events – their annual gala dinner and Velo Cycle Challenge.

Most brand communication was built around the ‘Shining Lights’ campaign, utilising various specially shot images and video of members, parents, volunteers and employers alongside their names ‘in lights’. This was a combination of studio shoot and CGI composite. For more generic or specific messaging and design requirements, the ‘Shining Lights’ style was adapted or represented. For example, headline typography and borders were reminiscent of bulbs, and in the visual theming of the invitation, brochure and screen graphics for the charity’s annual gala dinner, a spotlight graphic device was used as a highlight and to frame images.

Various appeals to existing donors were created using a combination of printed mailers, e-shots and press advertising. In one execution, coinciding with Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), this was supported with near-lifesize charity shop window vinyls in the same style as the ‘name in lights’ graphics, wishing the Jewish community ‘Shana Tova’ (happy new year). During Chanukah (the festival of lights), donors were sent branded packs of Menorah candles as an extension of the ‘shining lights’ message.

Two new websites were designed and launched. One is for the organisation at large, providing information about services offered and how to access them, plus a donation mechanism, news, events and an ‘easy read’ section for members. The other is specifically for ‘Langdon College’, which provides an exciting and flexible programme of study for students with learning difficulties, disabilities, social anxiety or autistic spectrum disorders, who are aged between 16–24 years and who have an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Social media was widely used to reach and widen the campaign and charity’s messaging. Various video was shot at different times for use in social, on web and in fundraising appeals.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, much of the charity’s activity and approach had to pivot. This included creation of an emergency fundraising appeal and ‘lockdown activity boxes’ for members, in order to keep them occupied, stimulated and engaged with the organisation.

The charity usually runs several fundraising events throughout the year, with one of its largest (in fundraising terms) being their annual Langdon Velo Cycle Challenge which had to be cancelled as a result of Covid-19. The cancellation of this and the 2020 annual dinner represented a major shortfall of around £400,000, so Creative Clinic, proposed and created an online campaign rebranding the event as the Langdon Virtual Velo.

Within two days, branding, a microsite, a promo film and social media was launched, all whilst everybody worked from home under lockdown. This was followed by an emotional video message from the chairman, recorded from his doorstep and emailed to supporters. The campaign resulted in mass participation, increased brand awareness and over £265,000 being raised within just a few weeks.

We are particularly proud that this campaign was ‘Highly Commended’ in the prestigious 2020 Third Sector Digital Awards in the category of ‘Best Online Fundraising Campaign’.

Third Sector Digital Award - Clap For Our Carers

As the pandemic continued it became clear that other key events, such as the Langdon annual dinner (the then biggest fundraiser of the year), was not going to be able to function in the way that it had done in previous years. As a result, Langdon decided to cancel their planned 2020 in-person dinner event and pivot to an all-online digital event.

Creative Clinic produced the concept for this – LangdOn Air – developing a robust online platform that supporters could log on to watch 40 minutes of specially created streaming content that we conceived, shot and edited in an attempt to make them want to donate even more generously than they had expected to. You can watch this video content below:

In October 2021 it was again decided that an in-person dinner was not viable, so instead Creative Clinic worked with Langdon to create a 36 hour online crowdfunding campaign and event called ‘Livingness Live!’. This effectively marked the launching of Langdon’s new campaign, ‘Livingness’ (moving on from ‘Shining Lights’) which was all about how Langdon enables people to live their best lives and be their very best selves.