Creating A Brand – Lisa Holt, Managing Director, The Creative Alchemist

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The Creative Alchemist was originally approached to work on the LDP based on its successful work with Middlesbrough’s Live Well Centre, as well as its experience in working with health brands. Managing Director Lisa Holt and her team were immediately on board with the vision for the initiative.

“The local delivery pilot team were intent on doing things differently by taking a whole systems change approach to getting people in South Tees who are inactive active. When we first met, programme director Mal Fitzgerald gave us an example of how this approach would work. Getting someone to take up cycling was not as simple as just giving them a bike he said. You have to address the obstacles holding them back, such as, would they be confident on the roads? Are there cycling routes they can use? Can the bike be secured? Are showers available if they cycle to work? Would they know how to change a flat tyre?

“Systems change is about understanding all of the barriers and asking what can be done to address the root problems. Working with the LDP and the local community, we recognised that we would have the opportunity to influence attitudes and beliefs, encourage co-creation between partners and change policy. It was this that excited us most as we felt we could have a real impact on local people’s lives.”

Developing You’ve Got This

The Creative Alchemist worked together with the LDP and Sport England to develop the You’ve Got This brand, creating a look, sound and feel that appeals to both ambassadors and influencers (professionals and decision-makers) and the general population. This was focussed on the idea of ‘personal bests’ and the concept that every little counts; how small wins can make a big difference. The two-year project began in 2019 and has thus far seen the introduction of several initiatives and creation of brand collateral, including:

“In developing the You’ve Got This brand, we needed to explore different ways to engage people, communicating the message in a way that they can get excited and enthusiastic about being part of it. For ambassadors, this meant clearly showing how crucial their role is in shaking up health and wellbeing in South Tees. For the public, it’s getting across that activity doesn’t necessarily mean playing sports or going to the gym. It can mean walking to the shops or gardening and increasing activity by doing a little bit more each time.”

Pushing the movement forward

Outside of its work on the brand, The Creative Alchemist works to promote You’ve Got This in its own circles.

“We see it as our responsibility to spread the word about You’ve Got This and bring the conversation around activity to the table. We do this in our interactions with other people we work with, such as architects and clients in health settings and with fellow businesses within Boho. With whole systems change, which is what You’ve Got This aims to create, you need everyone pushing in the same direction. So it’s important that we continue to champion the movement wherever we can and encourage others to buy into the vision.”

Keeping staff active

Being involved with You’ve Got This has influenced The Creative Alchemist’s approach to activity and staff are encouraged to be active in any way they can.

The company has flexible working hours, with staff able to start between 8 am and 10 am and finish between 4 pm and 6 pm so that they can fit in activity around work in a way that best suits them. And team members use their lunch break to get away from their desks and take a walk.

“People have their own routines when it comes to activity, and we want to make sure everyone is catered to. Flexible start and finish times have worked well for members of the team who like to take a class or go to the gym before work and for those who like to fit in activity after work without it eating into their downtime in the evening.”

The Creative Alchemist’s office at Boho One in Middlesbrough town centre also has shower facilities so that staff can run or cycle to work and freshen up before starting. There is also a running and walking group that staff can join too.

Have you got an idea that would help people across South Tees be more active? No matter how big or small that suggestion is, we would love to talk to you about it. Every idea counts and working together, we can make active lives a way of life. Activists, visionaries and influencers like you, can help us do things differently and have a positive effect on our community now and for future generations.

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