As part of our pro bono Project:Pledge, this year we’ve decided to commit to giving our time and skills to make a difference with Nick and Susannah Parker (cancerjourneyman.co.uk). When Nick told us his personal health story and how he wanted to create a wellbeing festival for the local community of Chipping Norton, we wanted to get involved.
On Christmas Eve 2015, Nick was diagnosed with terminal stage 4 prostate cancer and was told there was nothing that could be done – he was simply ‘unlucky’. According to his doctor, it was the end of the road and he was recommended to consider palliative care. However, this was one pill Nick wasn’t going to swallow.
Instead, he decided to embark on a journey of holistically changing his lifestyle and health to achieve better wellbeing – whether this would give him 6 months, 4 weeks or a day more, he was going to work harder than he had ever worked in his life. Two years later, his efforts paid off:
“… [I] joined a tiny handful of people living in the UK [becoming] one of just 17,000 people, or 0.7% of the 2,500,000 individuals who are living with cancer [to] pass their 2nd anniversary and enter their 3rd year living with stage 4 of the disease.”
Nick’s personal experience and the knowledge and support he received along the way, helped defined his vision: to help his community, to challenge their received wellbeing wisdom, and to inspire them to proactively start taking steps towards a brighter future.
So ChippyWellFest was born. A unique day of talks to open minds and challenge understanding around lifestyle, health and wellbeing. A day at the Chipping Norton Theatre designed to empower attendees to make positive changes that will have a real and lasting impact on their lives. The day is made up of eight speakers, all local practitioners in various fields (acupuncture, yoga, fitness and fibre to name a few), all giving their time for free, relaying eight stories about different ways to be well.
ChippyWellFest aims to inspire every person to actively commit to positive lifestyle changes. The long-term goal is to have a positive impact on the wider community, educating and encouraging everyone to make their own better, more informed healthy lifestyle choices.
So where do we come in?
A brand identity was needed to help bring this non-for-profit event to life. Approaching it like every other mark-making* project, we first helped to focus the purpose of the festival:
“We believe that the holistic understanding of lifestyle health and wellbeing, combined with the power of community in action, will transform the quality of our lives today and for future generations.”
What does this look like?
Nick’s journey was and continues to be a constant conversation between conventional and alternative treatments – pills vs herbs being just one example. We wanted to capture this and the challenging mind-set Nick adopted back in 2015 – the fact that it’s OK to colour outside the lines or forge your own path.
While there are hard facts backed by science and research, there are also alternative therapies that can work. Nick’s journey was an experimental one – he allowed himself to engage with both. He is at no point saying that the things he tried would have the same results for someone else. He is simply living proof that it is possible to improve your wellbeing, both if you are living with a chronic disease or ideally to avoid ever experiencing one.
This conversation between two worlds stood out to us and it’s what defined ChippyWellFest’s mark. The two typefaces represent the conversational nature of the day and the conventional and alternative methods working together: science and facts working with more human approaches. ChippyWellFest is a day to challenge what we know about wellbeing and to make us evaluate any preconceived notions we may have – to open our minds. It is about re-evaluating our internal and external conversations with wellbeing.
Naturally, the identity had to reflect this challenger spirit. The colour palette was inspired by a few things: the pops of colour in the local area that come with spring. Pink blossom, bright yellow rapeseed fields, blue skies and fresh zingy green leaves are all like nature’s vibrant highlighters and give us a sense of renewal and a fresh start.
In order to really capture the community’s attention and begin to open their minds from the outset, we developed statements that took the speakers’ key thoughts and surmised their unique point of view, in a challenging and thought-provoking way.
We’re very excited to announce that the identity is now live on Instagram (@ChippyWellFest18) and Facebook (ChippyWellFest), so make sure you check them out… or even make your first pledge and attend the day!
What are the next steps?
This is only the beginning for ChippyWellFest and we are currently working away on the website, so please watch this space. It is also just the beginning of Nick’s vision and should ChippyWellFest be a success (which we think it will be!) the event will travel to other areas in the region and even nationwide.
We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Nick and Susannah to bring ChippyWellFest to life and look forward to tracking how it is received. It really is time to take control of our wellbeing, individually and as a community, wherever we may be.
In Nick’s own words, “Keep well. Keep the belief.”