Many charitable organisations will tell you their most cherished assets are the people involved with them as staff or supporters, and this is brought to the fore in Making Every Day Count, East Cheshire Hospice's annual report.
Based in Macclesfield, the hospice cares for people with life-limiting or terminal illness. The report, put together in-house by Phil Robertshaw, its fundraising and communications manager, uses a 'day in the life' format to guide the reader through an average day at the hospice, highlighting the contributions of people involved at different times of the day: carers, domestic staff, receptionists, volunteers, families and supporters.
Part of the aim is to dispel preconceptions of what life in a hospice is like. Prospective patients are often anxious about what they will encounter, and it was important to show the hospice as a caring, human environment, using quotes from patients and family members and a wealth of photographs to illustrate the range of activities. The professional aspect is catered for - a 'during the year' statistic or fact on each page outlines specific achievements in each area of the hospice. Pie charts on expenditure appear near the back of the report.
The judges said it was a cost-effective annual report, with minimal production costs of £2,000 for printing and some photography. Two thousand copies were printed and the report also appeared on the hospice's website.
The judges also commended the clarity of purpose and accessibility of the report, and the way it managed to address different audiences - existing staff and volunteers, prospective patients, clinical professionals and potential supporters - in one simple document. Most of all, it gave a clear sense of the role the hospice plays in the community.
Caroline Diehl, one of the judges and chief executive of the Media Trust, said: "There is a tremendous sense of the people involved in the hospice and the impact it has on the local community, through strong but simple photography and story-telling. This is a real story of the difference the charity makes."
For the annual report or review that best communicates the organisation's mission, operations and achievements
Tom Burgess, publications manager, WaterAid
Gill Dandy, chair, Chartered Institute of Public Relations' Fifth Estate
Caroline Diehl, chief executive, Media Trust
Richard Evans, head of communications, World Cancer Research Fund
Jane Moyo, head of media relations, ActionAid