The Eric Liddell Centre will become the Eric Liddell Community from the start of next month.
An Edinburgh charity and community hub has announced that it is to change its name and carry out a rebrand in an ongoing tribute to its namesake.
The Eric Liddell Centre which celebrated its fortieth anniversary in 2020 is now to be known as the Eric Liddell Community and with the assistance of Edinburgh creative agency Union Direct is also unveiling a complete update of its branding.
The changes, which will come into effect from April 1, sees the charity present a new look but continue to carry out its work one of Edinburgh’s few specialist dementia day care providers, its services to help carers and the wide range of activities that take place in its building as a popular community hub.
The rebrand and name change is an ongoing tribute to Eric Liddell, an inspirational Scotsman whose short life is remembered and renowned nationally and internationally for his accomplishments in many different ways.
John MacMillan, CEO of the Eric Liddell Community, said: “The former Eric Liddell Centre was set up in Edinburgh in 1980 to support the local community and vulnerable individuals. Soon after its establishment, Eric’s daughters gave permission to use their father’s name, to honour Eric’s belief in community service whilst he lived and studied in Edinburgh and dedicated it to inspiring, empowering, and supporting people of all ages, cultures and abilities.”
“Eric is remembered in many ways to different people – as a sportsman, a husband and father, a devout soul who lived his life according to his beliefs, a graduate of Edinburgh University and a missionary in China who refused to leave those he looked after during the Second World War. If he had lived longer than his forty-three years, who knows what more he could have achieved.
“The Eric Liddell Community reflects Eric’s values and principles to help and support those who need it and the people who look after them in a spirit of community, inclusivity, diversity and generosity. His legacy is strong and we are now connected to a number of international communities which celebrate Eric and we wanted to recognise and embrace their worldwide connectivity to our own community.
“It is in celebration of Eric’s centenary of winning his 440 yards gold medal at the Paris Olympics in 1924 that the Eric Liddell Community is planning a series of developments and events to commemorate Eric’s life and how he lived it, launching in the lead up to 2024 and with the intention of establishing a continuing and international celebration of his legacy thereafter.
“The change of name and the rebrand will be exciting and new but the caring services we provide will not be affected at all.”
Eric is well known for his abilities as a sporting champion and was capped for the Scotland international rugby team seven times.
He is one of a rare few who has had his “lost” international cap reissued and was inducted into the Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame in January 2022, on the centenary of his first international cap.
In 2002, when the first inductees were inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame, Eric topped the public vote for the most popular sporting hero Scotland had ever produced.
The champion sportsman is probably even better known for his gold medal win in the 440 yards at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris.
He has been immortalised in the film “Chariots of Fire” and celebrated in Scottish author and broadcaster Sally Magnusson’s book ‘The Flying Scotsman’ and a number of other books have been written about his life.
Union Direct kindly agreed to do the creative work for the rebrand and worked closely with John and his team to achieve designs that are bright and colourful, whilst also being mindful that certain creative proposals and colours can be difficult for people living with dementia.
Gus Chalmers, managing director of Union Direct, said: “It has been a huge pleasure to create this new branding for John and his team at such an exciting time in their journey.
“Eric lived a life of enormous joy, compassion and, of course, sporting achievement and we hope the new look reflects these values and will help bring the Eric Liddell Community around the world together.”