CHD Living Adopt-a-Grandparent


CHD Living, a care home group, looks to us to raise its brand profile and project positivity about its services, while underlining the group’s person-centred approach to care.

The Covid crisis saw a devastated sector under the spotlight, and CHD Living tasked us with formulating a PR response that would help counteract the negative and often frightening news headlines surrounding care facilities, while positioning them as a care provider committed to supporting and improving resident wellbeing.

To do this, we proposed a campaign centred on 'adopting' a grandparent, which looked to focus on the brilliant characters living within care settings, while at the same time educating the public about life in care settings and making them more accessible.


Adopt-a-Grandparent sought to partner residents with volunteers, helping to form intergenerational relationships and reduce loneliness, while generating awareness of and good will towards care homes, often hidden at the heart of communities.

COVID-19 caused physical care home visits to immediately cease, with enforced isolation presenting an enormous mental burden on residents. We realised though, that we could benefit from the boom in Zoom and use video calling technology to create vital connections with the outside through a wide-ranging, highly impactful digital campaign.

With people locked down worldwide and loneliness a global issue, video calling presented the opportunity to introduce residents to colourful and interesting characters across the world – helping to spread the benefits of the campaign to a much wider audience.

Knowing journalists would be looking for feel-good news to counteract gloomy COVID-19 headlines, the launch plan saw us aim to put out a call for volunteers to join the scheme, targeting a mix of UK national, regional and care press at the outset, with social media supporting, before expanding our target media to a global audience as the initiative gathered pace.

Further plans were dependent on the number of signups – but were centred on highlighting positive take-up and promoting successful pairings, while we also had a view to facilitating face-to-face meetings once safe to do so.

Upon launch in April 2020, almost immediately, we were greeted with positivity and interest from journalists keen to know more. National media coverage began to flood in, followed by almost blanket UK regional coverage. The number of volunteers who’d signed up to the scheme grew exponentially, surpassing 28,000 within two weeks of launch.

Despite this influx, we continued pushing the campaign, trumpeting the number of signups, while highlighting the benefits of intergenerational relationships and connecting with someone new.

At this point we also looked to push it globally, targeting international media in the campaign’s next stage.

Having been picked up by US media – we saw an explosion of interest, and coverage began to snowball worldwide, with press reaching out to us directly to find out more and request interviews.

Feedback from both press and public was tremendous and the campaign met with almost universal acclaim.

In addition to the press activity, we formed a partnership with Meta in September 2021, developing video content, which was subsequently promoted worldwide on Meta’s own Facebook and Instagram channels, further driving volunteer sign-ups.


The campaign generated more than 1,200 pieces of media coverage, including BBC News, Sky News, ITV News, Reuters, Daily Telegraph, Heart FM, LBC News, Mail Online, Guardian, The Independent, Metro, Mirror.co.uk, Evening Standard and many more, including extensive regional coverage via PA Media, while the BBC’s The One Show also featured ‘grandparents’ meeting their ‘adoptees’ face-to-face in May 2021 as Covid restrictions eased.

Internationally, we achieved coverage across hundreds of media outlets, including Good Morning America, CNN, ABC News, NBC, CTV, People Magazine, iHeartRadio and more.

At the height of the campaign CHD Living’s website traffic saw a 6,306% increase thanks to more than 171,000 unique visitors – while the average web traffic since has maintained a 125% YOY increase.

More than 90,000 volunteers have signed up across the world in a continually growing database, from countries as diverse as Canada, Australia, the US, Germany, India, Thailand, Dubai and more, with ages ranging from one to 85-years-old. High profile pairings included a Daily Telegraph journalist, and Hollywood actors Bitsie Tulloch and Ruby Rose, who talked about her involvement in interviews with NBC News, Shape Magazine and Vogue Online and is now an official patron of the scheme. Others, such as actress Amber Tamblyn and author and illustrator Charlie Mackesy have voiced support on social media.

The Duke of Edinburgh charity in the UK has endorsed the scheme in its volunteering section, while it’s also been recommended by John Lewis, Capital One, RBS, Natwest, IBM and various universities.

Following this success, Adopt-a-Grandparent has now become an established, stand-alone charity; with its first full-time employee in place and an app in the final stages of development that will facilitate, streamline and speed up the ‘adoption’ process, as we look to combat loneliness on a larger scale, providing opportunity for care residents around the world to benefit from the service.

The campaign went far beyond our client’s expectations, projecting positivity about their brand on a global scale and driving quality traffic to their website, while positioning them as a provider that genuinely cares.