Period Emojis

Period Emojis

A set of emojis to subtly communicate when you are menstruating at work.

Client: Flo Health

Download the Emojis 😀

The Challenge

The ‘Difficult Topic’

Not enough people are talking about how periods affect them at work .

The outcome

A set of 4 downloadable emojis and guidebook which can be used at workplaces and on Slack statuses for people to talk about their periods at work. 

How it works 

I worked with Flo on a campaign to use emoji as a more approachable and opt-in alternative for menstruating people to talk about periods at work. The emoji come with a guidebook which detail the context in which the emoji are intended to be used. There is also advice for people who don’t menstruate about supporting those on their period.


The instinct to see it as oversharing is actually a reflection of the stigma and Tabboo associated with it. That in itself opens a can of worms, but these worms need to be released if we are to achieve true gender equality. Good on you Sophia Luu for having the courage to raise this!

McKinsey Engagement Manager

Bravo! I’ll admit, when I read the first line, I ws shocked…in a good way. It has never occurred to me to add this status, but as you say, a period can seriously impact your day, mood, productivity etc. We know this, but are uncomfortable discussing it. So that little drop becomes quite a powerful and positive addition”

McKinsey Engagement Manager

Research and development

  • Context and restrictions


    A few months ago, I told 11,000 people at work that I was on my period. 

    It’s normal for me to throw up from pain on my period and I found myself uncontrollably cramping during meetings. I had just come back from being ill, and worried it would look like I was ‘slacking’.

    I didn’t feel comfortable starting this conversation in the team room, so I used a red drop emoji and set it as my ‘Slack’ status. It was my way of saying “I’m in pain, please be mindful and recognise that I might not have the energy to deal with some tasks.” For me, this was essential information for me to do my job, but it’s a very personal choice.

    It ended up sparking many conversations across the company, with some colleagues expressing they too had the same experience, some who were unsure about the approach, and others who didn’t have periods wanting to know how best to support. The conversation also expanded into thinking about other hormonal changes, such as IVF and menopause.

    I raised this during International Women’s day because menstrual anxiety can affect all people who have periods/PMS and can still impact our lives profoundly. And remember periods can affect more people than women as well – including nonbinary, intersex people, and trans men. 

    The response went viral on LinkedIn and started many conversations about periods in the workplace.

    Who should have been included in this work, but was not. 

    People who work in settings where they don’t have online communication platforms, such as those in the hospitality and acting industries. 

  • The Impact

  • The Impact


    “The instinct to see it as oversharing is actually a reflection of the stigma and taboo associated with it. That in itself opens a can of worms, but these worms need to be released if we ever want to achieve true gender parity. Good on you Sophia Luu for having the courage to raise this.”

    “Thanks for posting. It’s important to understand how hormones affect many, including those going through IVF and menopause. I’m sure there are many other treatments where the side effects just wreck havoc on your bodies’ ability to regulate their hormones for women and men.”

    “Hey Sophia! First, sorry you’re in pain – that sucks especially while trying to work… well done on the post, always good to normalize these things. While as a trans woman I don’t menstruate, I do get PMS symptoms and definitely have felt invisible pressure to not bring that up to teams so they don’t doubt my general productivity, etc.”

    There are many subjects which are traditionally thought of as taboo which severely impact whether someone feels they can perform well at work. A solution that supports people on their period also works for those who, for whatever reason, might want their colleagues to know that they need to take a break or turn their camera off for a day. This is particularly also in the case of chronic illness and other mental health situations.

  • Results

    Downloaded and used commonly in many companies, including Flo Health, McKinsey and even Slack themselves!

  • If I could do this again...

    I don’t believe in a perfect solution. What I can do though, is reflect on how to make things better in hindsight. Given the digital focus for this project, I didn’t consider other online platforms like Microsoft Teams or Zoom. The emojis were only able to be applied on Slack, and so were not compatible for workplaces using other software. If I could do this again, I would consider that more.

  • People and press

    Everybody Bleeds

    Everybody Bleeds

    Plasters shaped like sanitary pads to get everyone talking about periods.


    Product, 2 months

    The Challenge

    The Problem

    A brief written by McKinsey Design, The Case for Her and D&AD: ‘End period stigma’. The campaign had to be global and local.

    The Outcome

    A gender neutral campaign using plasters to end period poverty.

    How it works 

    Both sanitary pads and plasters do the same thing: soak up blood. But one is taxed and the other isn’t. It’s one of the many examples of how period stigmas are affecting global wellbeing and body confidence. 

    This campaign uses the plaster as a visual metaphor to get those who don’t have periods to better understand the sight and experience of menstruation. 

    All profits go towards access to sanitary pads and campaigns to end period tax worldwide. By talking about our plasters online you raise more money for our cause. Whatever you have to say, you’re helping us to face up to period stigma.

    Research and development

  • The Insights

    The Insights

    Speaking about periods has become a gendered construct, despite blood itself being gender-neutral

    Conversations about periods with people who don’t have periods usually exclude the actual physical and emotional experience of menstruation. 


    Two key facts which informed this project:

    1. Most period campaigns target cis-women, and do not generally recognise that not all people who have periods are cis-women. 
    2. Both sanitary pads and plasters do the same thing: soak up blood. But one is taxed and the other isn’t. It’s one of the many examples of how period stigmas are affecting global wellbeing and body confidence.

  • Methodology


    Interviewed: 6 cis-men (17-29), 2 non-binary people (20s) and 11 cis-women (15-30).
    A mixture of Black-British, White-British, British-Asian and Vietnamese, all able bodied. 70% students. 

    Interviewed people form a range of ages, ethnicities, genders and locations in the UK. I then compared this to a few interviews in Vietnam. My main focus was on cis-men. I found them this an interesting target group because they were the furthest away from the experience of menstruation, yet would all know someone in their lives who would be affected by periods. I also targetted cis-men in their late teens/ early 20s, who were likely to be in more mature relationships with people in their lives who are mensturating. 

    Key research questions for cis-men:

    • Have you ever heard of a period? 
    • When was the first time you heard about periods?
    • What happens during a period? Probe on physical effect, probe on mental effects, probe on type of blood
    • What do you think are some of the challenges for people who have periods? Probe on daily routine, probe on access to products, probe on use of products
    • What ways do you think people can manage their period? 
    • What can you tell me about the types of people who have periods? 
    • How do you think you could support people on their periods?

    Initial prototyping

    Two initial thought processes came out of this research: 

    1. People who don’t have periods don’t know how to show their support for people on their period
    2. Periods seem to come at an inconvenient time for people 

    I first went down the route of time and started developing some watches which were based on streaks of blood made out of resin. The concept was that people who bought the watches supported a period charity, in a similar way to live strong bands, and others would see it as a status symbol. I quickly realised this wasn’t going anywhere, and people didn’t understand the visual metaphor.


    I then started thinking about developing a visual metaphor, and that’s when I got the idea of the plaster. These were initially made of bandage paper and cotton which I tested with my focus groups. I knew I had my eureka moment when my brother came down the stairs, saw what I was doing, laughed, and said ‘I’d actually wear those!’. This sparked a really interesting conversation about how the plasters compared to sanitary pads. 

    Who should have been included in this work, but was not. 

    I did not, and could not, capture everyone’s voices while researching this project. However, there were some groups who I did not actively reach out to, and thus could have been negatively impacted from my work due to blind spots in my work. These were: 

    • Transgendered people 
    • People with disabilities 
    • Very young children 
    • Those who don’t have access to sanitary towels 

    I found that transgender people were especially crucial for this project, and admittedly, at the time of researching this project I didn’t know where to start and how to bring up this conversation with trans people. I had spoken with some non-binary people for the project, who had given me lots of feedback, but felt like in all I was missing a massive angle of the project. I now know that I could have taken the project to grassroots organisations, friends of friends or even online campaigns and paid people for their time. I was very junior as a design researcher and had not properly thought through all these methods. 

  • The outcome

  • Quotes


    — CIS-MALE, 23, LONDON









    • Nick Whiting, Senior Expert, McKinsey & Company

  • Results


    • Awarded a Graphite Pencil at D&AD 2019, as well as a place on the D&AD Academy for top junior creatives 
    • Invited to speak at the Design Kids event about how to craft a winning campaign 
    • Invited to speak at D&AD podcast on success 
    • Featured in the Irise International Period Positivity podcast 

  • If I could do this again...

    If I could do this again …

    I don’t believe in a perfect solution. What I can do though, is reflect on where there were gaps in my projects, and how this might have disadvantaged some groups over others . This is a space to reflect on what could have been better. 

    Respectfully reaching out to people in the trans community, and paying them for their time. (see the ‘Who should have been included in this work’ section. 

    Tried to push harder to make this a product in the market. These plasters exist – I made them and they are functioning plasters. But I would love to prototype further, test with people and get this product out in the market. Otherwise, it would risk becoming a concept piece. 

    Be very aware and mindful of the awards judging process I’m not sure how I felt about ‘blind’ judging, because the success of a project will always be affected by the biases of the judging panel. Ultimately, an award isn’t everything. 

  • Published
    Categorized as Periods

    Ministry of Loneliness

    Ministry of Loneliness

    Combating loneliness by sending letters to those in long term healthcare.

    4 month project, 1 day event

    The Challenge

    The Problem

    Find a creative way to start a conversation about loneliness being recognised as a national health crisis in the UK.

    The Outcome

    This activity took place around a pop-up space that we built, which enabled attendees to sit, write and talk to those around them as much as possible, in order to feel part of a community.

    The Impact

    This successful event got members of the public to talk about loneliness and write letters to those in long term healthcare.

    Research and development

  • Our Methodology

    Research about loneliness

    We started this project by researching loneliness and finding out that in 2018 Theresa May appointed a new minister of loneliness, Tracey Crouch. We learnt that more than nine million adults usually feel lonely, which is almost 14% of the UK population, but the figures could be higher. Labour MP Rachel Reeves said that “loneliness is no longer just a personal misfortune but has grown into a social epidemic.” This inspired us to create a ‘Ministry of Loneliness’ and to create an event based on this issue.

    Pop-up building

    We knew we wanted to create a space where members of the public could sit down, chat together and write on their postcards. This is why we created a wooden pop-up that would allow all those activities to happen and that also forced people to sit close to one another, to make eye contact and hopefully speak to people they didn’t know. We built it out of wooden panels that fit together and made a portable structure we could re-use for future events.

    Stationary branding

    The idea behind the stationary design was to create something that branded us at the ‘Ministry of Loneliness’ and had an official feel in the copy but also a playful visual aspect. We created a pattern of arms and hands on the back of the postcards that all connected to each other once the postcards were hung up next to each other, on the day of the event, to evoke a sense of community and helping one another combat feeling of loneliness.

  • The Insights

    Loneliness is a huge issue worldwide and sending a letter to someone in long term healthcare will not solve the issue, but it can help bring a smile to someone’s face and to start addressing this feeling that our society has turned into a taboo.


    • More than 700 hundred people attended the even
    • 300 letters were written
    • Future collaborations with London Secondary Schools to get more letters

  • If we could do this again...

    At On the Mend, we are honest about our successes and our failures. We know that we can never fix every single problem with a single interaction. Below are some of our key reflections, and things we would change if we could repeat this work: 

    A smaller team

    This was the first project we ever worked on together and at the time On The Mend consisted of a much larger team than now. Although this was a really interesting way to work and taught us a lot, it had its limitations because everyone had very different ideas on how they wanted the project to develop. After having run the event we quickly realised how valuable it would be to have a smaller core of people with whom we could exchange ideas with but knew we could depend on when running events.

    Contact charities and community organisations

    Because we were very short on time, we didn’t spend time contacting charities or community organizations when planning the event that we could have told about the project and agreed on sending postcards too. Since we didn’t do this, we spent lots of time after having done the event trying to find people who wanted to receive these postcards, which was much harder than we expected. Contacting them prior, would have improved the project immensely as they could have given us feedback when we were still developing the event and find ways to tailor it to the needs of their patients more.

    Impact measuring

    After sending out the postcards to different organisations, we didn’t ask for any feedback on how they were received and what patients thought of them, which made it difficult for us to measure the impact of the project. It would have definitely been needed to gather feedback from organizations and patients who received postcards.

  • The outcome

  • The Team

    Branding – Mathilda Della Torre, Sophia Luu & Akanksha Bhasme

    Pop up design and build – Alex Clarke, Lucia Lanzalaco, Sophia Luu and Pod Hughes

    Event facilitation – Participating Artists: Mathilda Della Torre, Lottie Bolster, Chang Gao, Sarah Graham, Laura Madeley, Kim Judge, Molly Bonnell, Gazbia Sorour, Michaela Wenkert, Akanksha Bhasme and Mariana Pena Montiero

    ‘Ministry’ Concept – Laura Madeley

    Generously supported by the UAL The Post-Grad Community Project Fund.

  • Press
  • Operation Game

    Operation Game

    A life-sized game of operation to educate people about women’s health

    Product, 2 months

    The Challenge

    The Problem

    Find a way for audience members to engage with a tired museum collection while having one key takeaway about healthcare.

    The Outcome

    A giant, life-size version of the classic “Operation” board game which featured a Desi woman as the patient. Further interaction revealed information about the ways in which blood donations from Black and Brown women played a special role in women’s health.

    Research and development

  • Context

    The Emerge Festival aims to bring galleries and museums to more diverse audiences, especially younger people who would never usually walk through their doors. They do this by hosting an annual weekend take-over of as many museums and galleries in London as possible. Each venue hosts a specific interactive event.

    This meant that our event had to be:

    • Drop in to account for open-access tickets
    • Be completed in under 10 minutes
    • Be accessible to a wide range of people
    • Cannot contain any messy materials which would damage the hospital’s permanent collection
    • Target 16-24 year olds

    The old operating theatre itself is Europe’s oldest surviving medical theatre, was the perfect setting for this project as it only operated on female patients in the 1830s. We definitely wanted to find a way to incorporate this into our project.

  • Our Methodology

    Multiple visits to the collection

    …to interview visitors, collection managers and observe people. It was clear that female bodies was a huge focus for the collection, and we thought this was a unique pull from the venue which we wanted to highlight during the festival.

    Linking the museum collection to women’s health

    We read lots of books, articles and sites in order to link some of the key aspects of the collection to the project. One thing which linked all the operations to every single person was blood. Blood is used in a lot of transfusions for operations, and had a lot of complex health implications.

    Initial research from NHS Blood and Transport, who manage all public donations of blood in the UK, stated that:

    • 67% was used to treat medical conditions including anaemia, cancer and blood disorders, such as sickle cell.
    • 27% was used in surgery, including cardiac surgery and emergency surgery
    • 6% was used to treat blood loss after childbirth

    We wanted to focus on these facts and tailor them to women of colour.

    Collaborating with experienced 3D makers

    To produce a prototype from fully recycled materials. We had a very low cost budget, and wanted to ensure we made the most of it as possible, by collaborating with makers who had true upcycling expertise. This also allowed us to reach a wider audience by interviewing them about their knowledge of women’s health and experience in museums. We also got really inventive with copper tape, and old suitcase and some acrylic offcuts to make the core game components.

    Bold illustrations with a human focus.

    One thing missing from a lot of medical diagrams was a person’s agency. We wanted to bring that back as the main focus of the work. For this, we used a cross section of a person’s body, while also showing their face, hair, piercings, and things which make them an individual.

  • The Impact


    “It’s astonishing to see how much donated blood goes to blood loss after childbirth – it’s literally saving two lives at once!”


    “Can we keep it?”


    “Oh, this reminds me – I was going to register to give blood the other day but I forgot. Thanks for reminding me, this was so fun!”

    RITA, 26

    The insights

    Many diversity and inclusion projects focus on celebrating external differences in people’s bodies, but rarely do we focus on the things we don’t see, like the clinical impacts of health and wellbeing. Taking a game which had a glossy and different exterior acted as a good pull for exploring internal health themes.

    The Results

    • 2 women signing up to donate blood on the spot – with the potential to help 18 adults each year
    • A reusable operation game in the museum’s permanent collection which is used for children’s visits

  • If we could do it again...

    At On the Mend, we are honest about our successes and our failures. We know that we can never fix every single problem with a single interaction. Below are some of our key reflections, and things we would change if we could repeat this work:

    Manage queues! – Many other venues were fully booked nearby, meaning that floods of crowds were heading to a venue which had a 30 person limit. A lot of the time, people had arrived at the venue to discover that they had queued up for a 10 minute activity. We should have accounted for this and provided a way to manage queues.

    Include a QR code or some means to make signing up for blood donations quicker and easier. Lots of people asked about signing up but would be dissuaded from having to search about blood donations on their phones. We should have had some physical and digital material at hand to help with this.

    Highlight the underlying concept when introducing the game Our event was a pop up straight after the live operation demonstration. In the introductory speech, we should have made clear that we were focusing on highlighting what happens to blood donations and how important the role of women of colour was. This might have grabbed the attention of those more interested in healthcare equality, but less interested in a game.

    Include two facilitators! This event was facilitated by one person, meaning that a lot of the time Sophia had to speak to people about health awareness while also managing the mechanics of the game and making sure no one was accidentally damaging the venue! It was a lot for one person to handle and meant that we couldn’t focus as much on the quality of the health information conveyed.

  • People and press

  • The Team

    Illustration: Sophia Luu

    Visual Concepts and Storyboarding: Mathilda Della Torre

    Electronics: Minh Huynh

    Woodwork: Minh Huynh and Sophia Luu

    Research and Marketing: Rashmi Shankar

    Photography: Michael Tigchelaar

    Partners: Emerge Festival and the Old Operating Theatre. Special thanks to Svetlana and Monica.

    Special Thanks to Josie at Machines Room and Peter from Solowood Recylcing for helping us sourcing materials and prop space!

  • Demistify


    Using a hospital art collection to positively disrupt a patient’s routine

    4 weeks, 1 day event

    The Challenge

    The Problem

    Creating a framework for a group of NHS staff to make an ITV
    Find a low-cost way to incorporate the hospital’s art collection into long-term patients’ daily hospital experience in order to improve wellbeing.

    The Outcome

    Four perfumes inspired by four paintings from around the hospital. They were portable so could be taken to patients in their wards, rather than them having to travel to the paintings themselves. The link between smell and memory was especially fitting for Charing cross hospital, which has the biggest dementia and stroke rehabilitation unit in London. 

    • Jo Bruton “Landing Girls” wallpaper – Vintage floral scent inspired by popular perfumes of 1950s

    • John Piper Stained Glass window – Fresh Aquatic notes with a hint of incense, evoking smells of a chapel

    • Simpson and Son’s Tiles for original Charing Cross Hospital – Apple and fruity notes, fresh cut glass, wood

    • David Mach “Visit London” – Tobacco, Leather, Rubber, Vanilla

    Research and development

  • Our Methodology

    Context and restrictions

    • Can only be used for a one-day event
    • Must be low cost
    • Needs to adapt to a fast paced changing hospital environment, and easy to take down in an emergency


    For the first week, we visited the hospital, observed patients, interviewed stakeholders and did trails of the current artwork on display. This also involved a visit to the paintings archive within the hospital, which contained hundreds of stored paintings! A lot of thought had gone into the placement of the paintings within the hospital. For instance, painted tiles from the original hospital site were placed on a corridor which linked the new wards to the chapel, symbolising the transitions to new places. We also noticed that for a lot of patients, the hospital artwork was the least of their concerns as they waited for test results and appointments. We realised we needed to find a way for the work to be disruptive and engaging.

    Research about Charing Cross Hospital

    Our work is always site specific, and we wanted to create an interaction which was very meaningful to the hospital, it’s specialisms, treatments, and the patients who attend there. After a lot of research and interviewing with stakeholders, we found that Charing Cross Hospital has the largest stroke rehabilitation and dementia unit in London. Both of these are conditions which affect memory. Strangely, we found that there is a strong link between smell and memory: 80% of people who show signs of poor smell will eventually develop dementia. We knew that there was a way to link these projects together and we decided to create some perfumes.

    Perfume development

    We returned to the hospital to decide which artworks were the most accessible and recognisable. We wanted paintings which provided a diverse range of recognisable environments.


    We tried to incorporate as many sensory elements into our branding as possible, accounting for the fact that there were many patients who had different perceptions of the senses. This included:

    • Physical perfume bottles in the same shape and orientation as the original artwork
    • Scents directly mapped to the ratios in the painting e.g. a painting which had 90% apples would have 90% apple scent
    • Matching visual elements within the perfume bottles and the original paintings


    We delivered the exhibition as a stand in two locations around the hospital over 8 hour blocks. The first was in the out-patient lobby, so we were able to capture staff, patients and visitors as they entered and left the hospital. We then toured the perfumes to the stroke and rehabilitation wards and spent an hour with the patients there. Each of the scents had take home tester strips which people could take home with them as a reminder of the event.

  • The Impact

    “Since my stroke, I have not left the hospital for months. I actually loved smelling the perfume based on London dirt because I even miss the smell of pollution outside! Thank you for bringing a piece of the outside in for me. ”


    “This perfume is vintage smelling, and reminds me exactly of the sorts of scents I used to wear when I went to dances in the sixties.”


    “I have completely lost my sense of smell after a tumour. Although I can’t smell, the feeling of the bottles reminds me of perfumes I used to wear in my youth and the glamour of it all. It feels so nice to hold an object like this again”


    The Insights

    Clinical environments often strip the sensory experiences of daily life. By bringing smells of outside into the hospital in a controlled way, we create a hospital experience which is more familiar and friendly.


    • Working relationship with Imperial Health Charity
    • 5 new memories for older patients

  • If we could do this again...

    At On the Mend, we are honest about our successes and our failures. We know that we can never fix every single problem with a single interaction. Below are some of our key reflections, and things we would change if we could repeat this work:

    A more absorbable paper 

    The diffuser paper was waxy, meaning that it didn’t absorb the scents properly! Next time, we will invest in filter paper so that the scents last longer.

    Bring some plastic sheets!

    There are a lot of restrictions on what materials are allowed in hospitals in order to manage infection control. However, we would like to bring wipe down sheets and screens next time to add a bit of colour to our stall.

    Branding which had bolder and more visible text

    The tester strips were small, and we packed in too much information about the project. We also used a light text on a black background, which was harder to read. We would change this next time.


    Our stall was placed in the outpatients’ area, which is where the weekly pop-up bookshop used to be. This meant that some long-term patients and regular visitors thought that the perfumes were for sale. Next time, we would have more mobile workshops in each of the wards to avoid this.

    Impact measuring

    It would have been beneficial to leave the patients with an anonymous feedback form so they could tell us whether this project was something they would like to see again and what could be improved.

  • The outcome

  • The Team

    • Perfumery and Branding – Sophia Luu
    • Event Facilitation – Mathilda Della Torre
    • Generously supported by the Imperial Health Charity (Lucy, Kate and Delphine)

  • Letters to Sue Ryder

    Letters to Sue Ryder

    Using your lunch-break to give someone else a break from COVID-19.

    4 weeks, 2 day event

    The Challenge

    The Problem

    Creating a framework for a group of NHS staff to make an ITV
    Corporate employees working from home feel disconnected from the harsh realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every year, the company’s UK offices hold a charities day where they hold fundraising initiatives, but this had been cancelled because of the pandemic. People had screen fatigue and didn’t want to do another virtual event.

    The Outcome

    A series of online workshops in partnership with Sue Ryder where employees hand wrote letters to a stranger in a hospice which shared a moment of positivity. 181 of these letters were then posted were delivered to 11 different hospices around the UK. 

    Research and development

  • Our Methodology


    Mazars is a global auditing firm with more than 40,000 employees in 91 countries. Most employees are auditors and accountants working long hours on a number of high profile cases. As such, the outcome had to be:

    • Able to engage hundreds of employees at once
    • Adjust around time-poor employees and their schedule
    • Not be completely reliant on a screen
    • Encourage empathy when writing to an audience with very different circumstances
    • Involve a variation of the ‘Ministry of Loneliness’ event, as this was why Mazars had approached us in the first place

    Our methodology

    Our first task was to find a charity to partner with. We wanted to target somewhere with wide reach, who also needed somewhere to grow. We spent two weeks interviewing charities to understand what their needs were, and created a package of proposals for Mazars staff to decide which group they would like to write letters to.

    It was important for us to include a range of charities, for grassroots local groups to those with a national reach. In the end Sue Ryder was chosen because the hospice environment and how patients and hospice staff would need a particular boost at this particular time.

    There were three main groups of users to consider when designing this project:

    Mazars employees – who were time poor and needing a quick activity which would also make them feel like a part of a local community.

    What did we do?
    We wanted to really focus on sharing moments of positivity, being mindful that the employees were writing to strangers and might not always have been aware of their individual circumstances. The aim was to dissuade  We led some mindfulness exercises to ground the employees in the moment and created smaller breakout rooms to share experiences. To add a personal touch, we numbered each letter and introduced a tracking system, so that employees could see where their letter had ended up. This protected patient confidentiality while also making each person feel as though they had made a unique contribution.

    Hospice residents – who had been in isolation since March 2020 and could not be around their friends and family.

    What did we do?
    We had to be very careful about the materials and objects we were sending to the hospices, guaranteeing that they would be free from traces of the virus. This ended up being a very difficult back and forth between Sue Ryder staff, hospice management and our design team. In the end, we created a template for the Sue Ryder staff to scan and make posters of the letters, which were then sent to each facility and printed as posters to hang up in communal spaces.

    Sue Ryder Staff – who had to coordinate the sanitising, sending and distribution of the postcards entirely remotely.

    What did we do?
    We consulted with postage companies to create a bespoke posting service, and supplied a stamp to each employee so that they could send their letter back directly to the Sue Ryder staff without any delay. Each postcard had a QR code which allowed staff to track where the letters had been. We provided poster templates.

  • The Impact


    “A reminder that helping someone else helps me as well. Also that I have a creative side in writing that I almost never use”

    “I came away with a smile and the presentors were lovely”

    “The variety of work Sue Ryder do was much greater than I realised and how big of an impact something small can have”

    “I enjoyed thinking about the simple things in life that bring me positivity and hopefully inspire others too through my letter”

    Mazars Employees

    These projects can often be very time consuming for charities, especially when we only have 1 full time staff member in the corporate partnership team and I personally only work around 1 full day a week in this department. So to have your input and the on the mend team dealing with the delivery and logistics of the project meant that the project was completed to a high standard and on time.

    Sue Ryder Staff

    The Results

    • 100% of people said they would consider returning to another On the Mend workshop.
    • 95% of people found the event very positive, and 100% found the workshop positive overall.
    • 325 sign ups
    • 200+ attendees
    • 181 letters received

    Sent to the following hospices:

    Leckhampton Court Hospice, Cheltenham

    Manorlands Hospice, Oxenhope

    St John’s Hospice, Bedford

    Thorpe Hall Hospice, Peterborough

    Wheatfields Hospice, Leeds

    Duchess of Kent, Reading

    Palliative Care Hub, Wallingford

    NCC The Chantry, Ipswich

    NCC Dee View Court, Aberdeen

    NCC Lancashire, Preston

    NCC Stagenhoe, Hitchin

  • If we could do this again...

    At On the Mend, we are honest about our successes and our failures. We know that we can never fix every single problem with a single interaction. Below are some of our key reflections, and things we would change if we could repeat this work:

    Speak with hospice staff personally – Some hospice staff had expressed concern about receiving a bulk of letters – not just for the extra workload added but out of concern that they could be carrying the virus. We of course did not want to be the cause of any staff burden, and in the end we managed to make things work by providing a printable poster. But we should have thought to consider the staff much sooner in the process.

    Order a copy of the postcards for ourselves

    We made over 300 copies of the postcards to be sent to the employees, but we didn’t think to send any to ourselves. This meant it was slightly harder to lead workshops without the postcards in front of us. It also meant that we never got to see the final result of our design!

  • The outcome

  • The Team

    Misaki Hata – Workshop design and facilitator

    Minh Huynh – Letters distribution and logistics and facilitator

    Mathilda Della Torre – Letter design and facilitator

    Sophia Luu – Charities outreach and project coordinator and facilitator