This photo was taken at the launch event of a truly unique and highly creative campaign entitled: ‘Help Aggie the Alien find her way around the NHS’.
I’m sure you’ve probably seen the various incarnations of the Stay Well this Winter advertising campaign (here’s the national TV ad):
It’s well documented how challenging the winter months have been for the NHS in recent years, especially for urgent care services. Stay Well this Winter aims to ease some of this pressure by reducing the number of people who become so ill that they require admission to hospital. Principally it does this by encouraging all those at risk of seasonal illness to visit their pharmacy for advice and to have the flu jab at the earliest opportunity.
It’s been implemented with a high degree of professionalism and it’s reached a very large audience. But is it perhaps lacking a spark of personality?
Step forward Aggie the Alien.
Aggie is a Meep from the planet Gupply and she has a problem. Her planet only has one Meepital (hospital to you and me) and it’s full because all the Meeps are becoming unwell. So Aggie flies to earth to research how other cultures deal with this problem. Aggie lands her spacecraft in a playground in the London Borough of Hillingdon, where she meets lots of children. The children proceed to tell her their stories about what they do to stay well.
Our Communications team of NHS Hillingdon CCG invited local schoolchildren to write a story of 500 words about promoting self-care and using your local pharmacy. The short story competition resulted in 180 entries from local schoolchildren, with the winning nine entries featured in the Help Aggie the Alien storybook. The winning entrants were presented with their own copies of the storybook by the Mayor of Hillingdon and Natasha Baker, Paralympic Gold Medallist for Great Britain.
And amid all the fun of the alien theme, there is of course a serious underlying message (as shown on the back cover of the storybook):