Client: Help the Aged
PR Team: In-house
Campaign: Home Truths
Timescale: February 1996 - 2000
Budget: 70 per cent of annual resources
By the year 2001 there will be 2.6 million people in the UK aged over
80. Research by charities such as Help the Aged show that the vast
majority of these would prefer to stay in their own homes.
But for older people, the phrase ‘safe as houses’ does not have a
reassuring ring. Their fear of attack in the home is greatly
exaggerated, but their fear of accident in the home is very real. People
over 75 are 15 times more likely than others to have a fatal accident at
home. Half of people aged over 75 live alone, but this is often their
To raise pounds 10 million of corporate funding by the millennium, and
attract business partnerships to support independent elderly living
through installation of safety and security devices and transport
provision. Head of communications Amanda Chalmers says that the Home
Truths campaign sets out to show the positive possibilities for elderly
people living alone.
Home Truths is Help the Aged’s first long term national campaign which
is expected to evolve as it progresses towards the millennium. The
campaign was launched to the political and business community with an
event fronted up by Thora Hird at the Reform Club on 29 February.
The agency has also commissioned research on ‘Growing Old in the
Countryside’ which has been presented at five regional conferences since
A regional media campaign hinged on the results of a home safety pilot
scheme which has been running in Lincolnshire since the beginning of the
year, and a more recent scheme in the North West sponsored by
Littlewoods Lotteries, with individual case studies and photography fed
to the local media.
A series of fundraising events are already underway, including support
from runners in the London Marathon.
According to Chalmers, around pounds 250,000 has already been raised in
terms of corporate funding.
Safety projects are currently under way in four areas and the charity is
recruiting in a fifth. The charity has attracted a number of business
partners - Littlewoods Lotteries, for example, has pitched in with a
‘Help the Aged’ scratch card and MiniBus Plus is providing support in
terms of transport facilities.Regional press and radio have picked up on
Help the Aged’s case studies, although the campaign has yet to generate
much interest in the nationals.
As a locally pitched campaign, Home Truths has generated significant
media interest - its grass roots approach and the use of case studies to
humanise the campaign has paid dividends in terms of regional coverage.
It is increasingly hard for PR-conscious charities to differentiate
themselves in a crowded market. However, as a fundraising adviser to
other charities, Help the Aged would be expected to perform when it
comes to getting corporate bodies to part with their cash.
The pounds 250,000 raised so far is a fair result, and while Chalmers is
anxious to point out that this is a long-term effort, such an approach
may generate its own problems in terms of maintaining momentum.