Research charity decides short isn't always sweet

A charity supporting medical research at Southampton University has lengthened its name in a bid to attract more funding.

The charity, formerly known as Hope, began operating under the name Wessex Medical Research earlier this month.

The rebrand goes against the trend for charities to opt for shorter, attention-grabbing titles. Trustees decided Hope was too ambiguous and did not tell the public anything about its work.

The majority of the charity's income comes from community fundraising.Wendy Burchall, its Fundraising Manager, said supporters had been receptive to the change once it was explained.

"The old name made it difficult for fundraisers to explain what we do," she said. "We hope the new name will help us increase our volunteer base and boost funding."

She said the new title reflected the charity's relationships with local partner organisations, such as Wessex Heartbeat and Wessex Cancer Trust.

Wessex Medical Research celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. It has raised millions of pounds for medical research into diseases such as meningitis and breast cancer. Its innovation fund supports scientists, doctors and nurses early in their careers.

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