Media Release  

For release 3 April 2018

Generous gift allows full hospice story to be told

A very generous gift in kind from a highly experienced international marketing expert who lives in Ventnor, and his award-winning agency Thinkfarm, has given a unique opportunity to explain the full story of our hospice care across the Isle of Wight.

Stephen Izatt, who runs the agency Thinkfarm, has gifted the charity a way to better tell the story of how the Island’s amazing fundraising supports Islanders and their families when they need us most. Working with Luisa Parsons, an Island-based member of his team, who has close personal experience of care from our Island’s hospice, a new name and look has been created, which now reflects the many, growing and different services we offer.

As of Tuesday 3 April, the whole organisation that was Earl Mountbatten Hospice will be known as ‘Mountbatten’. The word hospice will continue to be used where it refers to our building in Newport, ‘Mountbatten Hospice’. Our ten hospice shops will become more local and relevant to their local populations, through the use of their town’s name in the shop title, for example ‘Mountbatten Ryde’, ‘Mountbatten Ventnor’ and so on. Our Care at Home teams will be known as ‘Mountbatten at Home’, and nurses and carers who work across the organisation will be known as ‘Mountbatten Nurses’ and ‘Mountbatten Carers’. Our whole Island community, including fundraisers and other supporters, will be encouraged to join our movement to make the biggest difference across the Island and continue to raise awareness and funds at events which will be in partnership together, for example ‘Walk the Wight with Mountbatten’ and ‘Santa Dash with Mountbatten’ etc.

Nigel Hartley, Chief Executive, said: “Often you hear people say ‘the Hospice’ when they talk about our service and usually they mean the 16 beds at our building in Newport. But this is just the tip of the iceberg of what we do. Recently someone mentioned to me that they do not support us as they believe that £7m per annum for 16 beds is rather expensive. We have to help people to understand the growing breadth of what we offer.

“Thanks to our Island’s fantastic fundraising support, on any one day we also provide 24/7 care to over 650 people who are facing death and dying in their own homes. This number continues to grow, through our new and innovative services such as the Mountbatten Coordination Centre and our expanding domiciliary (personal) care services, where we are supporting hundreds more people. People also don’t realise that we have our own team based at St Mary’s Hospital, providing education programmes for professionals and supporting hundreds of patients to return home to the places that the live as quickly as possible.

“It is also important to understand that we have never solely cared for people with cancer. Every day, our experts support those living with cancer, but also older people living with increasing frailty, those living with dementia (which is now confirmed as the biggest cause of death across the UK), heart failure and other more long-term life threatening illness. Through our Mountbatten Coordination Centre, we are able to reach Islanders much sooner in their illness, so we can better plan together for their future care and make sure their wishes are known. Our Island-wide bereavement service caters for all ages, including children, and for anyone who has been bereaved, wherever the death may have occurred, even if not under the care of Mountbatten.”

Alongside the new name, a new logo retains the iconic sunflower but it has been simplified with the poignant addition of one petal gently departing from the main flower. There is also a new strapline, which describes the three core elements of Mountbatten’s work: living, dying, remembering. This highlights that Mountbatten’s support extends to many areas of people’s lives; for example, living describes how we support people to live as well as possible until they die as well as Mountbatten’s social programme, which is helping to tackle social isolation, the monthly concert series, our shops and many events. It also emphasises the work with our Island to challenge perceptions and to change their attitude towards death, dying and bereavement. Dying describes the expert and specialist end of life care given to people and their families including the small amount of care which goes on within the hospice building.

Remembering is vital and an often-overlooked aspect of what we offer. It describes that Mountbatten will never forget those who have been important to us who have died. This is through extensive bereavement support and care, as well as events held in people’s memory, for example Lights of Love and Walk the Wight. Nigel Hartley added: “As the leading local charity across our Island, we also want you to remember us. Those of us who intend to live our lives out on this wonderful Island will need Mountbatten even more in the future. We need to ensure that we are here and remain strong for years to come. Please remember us and help us to do this through offering your ongoing support. The Island cannot afford to lose any of our vital services, particularly as other health and social care services begin to be more uncertain. It is vital that this organisation, our services and our expertise are available for years to come.”

As well as encouraging Islanders to think of services differently, the new look also aims to encourage people to really think about their own futures. Nigel Hartley said: “Our core message is that we want to create and to support a community who can be much more ‘at ease’ with death, dying and bereavement. Most of our work at Mountbatten involves crises management, where people have not given much thought to what they need when they approach the end of life. We must change this, as we know that early planning and open conversation can really change people’s experiences. It is always difficult, and we understand that it is so much easier to avoid talking about it, but we will all die and we will all be bereaved. Our work around this includes a social programme to encourage everyone to use our hospice building in Newport and to not be afraid. Although only a part of our work happens here, we have an amazing building, which we want to use to its full potential. Our Sunflower Café is open to the general public seven days a week, and weekly events such as our Community Choir, Death Chat groups and concerts provide the opportunity for people to come and experience our kindness and welcome, whilst changing perceptions about who we are and what we do.”

As well as Stephen Izatt’s invaluable support, a £10,000 donation specifically given to provide a change of this nature has been made available to launch the new look, which will firstly be used to create new signage for Mountbatten buildings.  Nigel Hartley said: “I have been surprised by some people’s commitment to changing the way we look. People have been very clear that helping us replace our signage and look will help how our Island community perceives us. Without this very specific donation, and without Stephen’s incredible support, we simply wouldn’t have been able to achieve this. We are very mindful of spending precious resources wisely, and we are very clear that we will not waste funding on changing everything at once. We will use up old stocks before we print new stock, and we will not be changing our uniforms until they have worn out. You may notice that this year’s Walk the Wight will carry our old name and branding, for the reasons described above, and you will still see our old branding for some months to come.”

Stephen Izatt said: “It’s been a delight to work with Nigel and the team to develop a new brand identity and messaging that helps them communicate the diversity of support delivered by the Mountbatten team into our Island communities. Charity fundraising is a competitive business. We sincerely hope that applying our thinking and experience from the commercial world will help to encourage much-needed donations.”


Nigel Hartley, Chief Executive, concluded: “There are two important messages here; the first is that this positive and purposeful change has only been made possible by people’s generosity. The second and more vital message is that we will use this opportunity to really enable our local community to understand everything that we offer, and where your fundraising goes. You can also expect us to be a bit more direct with our fundraising. Our work is our message and what we do really matters. We therefore need your support in the years to come. Help us to continue and to grow, so that we will be here for everyone when they need us. On behalf of our patients, their families and carers, our staff and volunteers, a heartfelt “thank you”.


You can read more information about the changes on Mountbatten’s website


Note to Editors: