London College of Communication students work together on live NHS75 brief

NHS England has partnered with London College of Communication (LCC), part of the University of the Arts London, to provide students with a real-life campaign brief to mark the NHS’ 75th anniversary.

Students were asked to respond to two separate project briefs tied to key objectives; the first was to deliver a campaign to raise awareness of the variety of lesser-known roles available in the NHS, targeting young people especially, inspiring them to consider a career in the NHS.

The second brief, developed in collaboration with NHS Blood and Transplant, was to create a campaign to encourage more young people to give blood, particularly those from black African/Caribbean backgrounds.

This design brief formed part of the University’s Design Professional Practice unit this year, where students worked in interdisciplinary teams to respond to live industry briefs. This includes students who are studying for degrees in Branding and Identity, Graphic and Media Design, UX Design, Art Direction, Illustration and Visual Media and other disciplines.

Over 200 students responded to the NHS75 project, and winning groups were chosen for each separate brief. Their ideas included dedicated events, workshops, creative partnerships, social media activity and PR activations, some of which will be used in the national NHS 75 campaign this year.

Kat Wesley, Strategic Partnerships Manager at London College of Communication, said: “Our students represent the next generation of changemakers who can make a positive difference to the world and communities through their creative work. Working with NHS England and NHS Blood and Transplant provided an excellent opportunity for the students, not only to get real industry experience, but also to help promote a worthy cause, and one of real importance to many in the wider Southwark community in which we’re based. We’re delighted to be part of the NHS’ 75th anniversary, bringing together students and the Health Service, and demonstrating its vital role for many more years to come.”

Fred Marber, a BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media student, worked on the first design brief, said: “We were inspired by the history and culture of the NHS, as well as what we felt were underrepresented roles. Art therapy is a vital tool to understanding people’s emotions and mental health. I think working together collaboratively on such a vital part of life in the UK and UK culture made me realise how important marketing is to a hospital. I also enjoyed researching all the different roles – there was so much more to be discovered about the NHS than I ever realised.”

Sazanias Asrat, a BA (Hons) User Experience Design student, worked on the second brief, said: “The brief was quite challenging at first. The group did a lot of research on the topic of sickle cell disease and blood donation. As the project continued, new finds were made, allowing the group to create multiple iterations and concepts. I was personally excited to work on this project. The importance of this campaign incentivised me to dig deep into this topic. Thinking about how my work could help people in need was incredible.”

Nadine Eaton, Head of Transfusion Marketing at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We were so impressed with the creativity and ideas that came from the students at LCC. The winning concept is one that really compliments our previous campaigns to encourage blood donation uptake and we look forward to showcasing some of this work on our own channels this year”.

Previous examples of NHS collaborations with LCC include Breast Cancer Animation Films, developed with NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Southwark Cultural Health and Wellbeing Partnership (SCHWEP), which was part of a campaign tackling breast cancer screening awareness amongst Black, Asian and minority ethnic women in Southwark.

The LCC team have also worked with South East London Cancer Alliance to develop a series of thought-provoking animations to encourage conversations around prostate cancer. The series aims to support Black communities to have open conversations about the risk of Black men developing prostate cancer and the importance of getting tested.