Call us  44 (0)20 7824 7157

20 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0DH, UK

  • Secretariat Report (February – April 2018)

    Posted on April 23, 2018

    Latest news from the INTO Secretariat

    Whilst our usual activity (described below under Family, Growth, Voice and Strength) continued this quarter, the Secretariat has been involved more than usually in UK-focused conversations. Mostly about what international heritage co-operation might look like post-Brexit.

    We were delighted to feature in a report published by The Heritage Alliance’s earlier this month (left) on the international activities of its members. We were also invited to contribute thoughts on how the UK’s Heritage Lottery Fund might better support international engagement.

    Whilst not wanting to over-emphasise this thread, it is part of the overall landscape in which we operate. And perhaps an opportunity for INTO?

    – Catherine and the Secretariat team

    (If this page doesn’t fully load, please try our Smartphone version.)


    We are proud to feature five holidays with FAI – Fondo Ambiente Italiano – the National Trust for Italy and two from the Ruan Yisan Heritage Foundation in the latest Working Holidays upload.

    We are commissioning specialist advice for the National Trust of Georgia which is developing a conservation plan for its new Headquarters. Two expert volunteers will travel to Tbilisi in June.

    The National Trust of Western Australia was featured in the latest INTO column in the NTWENI’s magazine.

    We joined the Foundation for Jewish Heritage at the launch of their research mapping the historic Synagogues of Europe. One of the flagship projects is the Great Synagogue in Slonim in Belarus, where relatives of newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky (above) worshipped before the Holocaust.

    Our inspirational INTO women went viral on International Women’s Day!  Thanks to everyone who participated!


    Supporting our members in the achievement of their goals by providing opportunities to collaborate and share ideas, resources, skills and knowledge; and developing a global heritage offer that celebrates what is unique and special about the National Trust approach.

    The International Conference of National Trusts (ICNT) is the first action under the family strand.  The next ICNT takes place from 27-30 March 2019.  Oliver Maurice chairs the ICNT Panel meetings on a monthly basis and the Secretariat has been working closely with the Bermuda National Trust to finalise the theme, programme, speakers and funding.

    Engaging more young people in INTO’s work was a suggestion from our last international conference.  So we’ve been looking at different ways to achieve this.  Find out more here.

    Regional groups are another important part of ‘Family’ and Oliver and Bill Turner continue to support the INTO Africa group at monthly meetings.  Oliver prepared a list of potential funders for their conference in Zimbabwe (15-18 October 2018), as well as for INTO more generally.

    We are delighted to see this new report from Sharon Waterworth about the INTO Africa Encourage African Youth Project.  So heart-warming to see students from Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe sharing their culture.  ‘Makorokoto’ to one and all!  (‘Congratulations’ in Shona.)


    Building global capacity for heritage conservation by nurturing National Trusts – new and existing – and growing the movement.

    In February, we awarded an INTO Small Grant to the Falkland Islands Museum and National Trust to develop their fundraising capability.  The primary purpose of the SGP is to build capacity and strengthen the sustainability of INTO members, and this ambitious project will clearly help ensure the Trust’s financial sustainability and impact a large number of people.  This tranche was the last under Susan van Schalkwyk’s tenure.  We are grateful to Susan for managing the programme for the past three years.  The current application deadline for SGP proposals is 31 May 2018.

    Julie Thompson, our Volunteer Placements Manager, is currently reviewing the Mentoring pilot which we will report on for the next meeting.  Bill and Oliver are both part of the programme and involved in regular calls with their mentees.

    This year, we will be building on these successes as we develop our new Technical Assistance Programme, TAP-INTO, with the help of Jo Burgon, a new Secretariat volunteer.  TAP-INTO aims to mobilise our combined expertise and resources towards developing the technical, business and operational capacities of our member Trusts.   An example of this is the recent collaboration between the National Trusts of Canada and England, Wales and Northern Ireland (NTEWNI) on an exciting new project.

    Membership growth is also a part of this strategy and Oliver has been negotiating with organisations in Cameroon and the Maldives.  In addition, he is in contact with a group in Senegal through the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN).  He is also exploring conservation ngos in the Philippines with the GEN representative there.   Furthermore a Syrian organisation has expressed an interest in INTO.

    One way we can build capacity within the National Trust movement is by supporting our members’ fundraising efforts.  In this period, we have filed an interim report on our Arcus Foundation grant on behalf of the CCFU.  We have also worked with the National Trust for Historic Preservation on our report to the American Express Foundation.


    Speaking out with authority and purpose on global conservation issues critical to INTO’s membership; celebrating what is unique and special about the NT approach; and supporting our members with their influencing.

    On 8 March, we celebrated INTO’s inspirational women as our contribution to International Women’s Day. Because these profiles stimulated a lot of discussion and debate, we will draw on them again as the year progresses.

    In 2018, we aim to develop our evidence base to support our advocacy work.  To that end, Oliver has recruited Anita Canovas as a new Secretariat team member.  Anita is exploring with Oliver how the work of INTO members relates to the Sustainable Development Goals.

    Voice is also about collaboration and partnership.  We are proud members of The Heritage Alliance, which featured INTO in its recent report on the international activities of its member organisations.  The report examines how cultural relations developed by civil society organisations can complement government diplomacy.   Which is increasingly important as traditional diplomacy with countries such as Russia becomes more challenging.  See Catherine’s blog for more detail.

    Oliver has been leading our work with the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) with whom we collaborated at the last COP, will potentially partner at the forthcoming HLPF in New York and are considering an MOU.

    Catherine met Alexander Warr, International Adviser at Historic England, and discussed amongst other things working with British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean to help identify valuable heritage sites before the next hurricane season.

    Our 2017 Annual Report and Accounts is being designed and will be available shortly.   Bill has been working hard on our GDPR compliance and also producing an E-Newsletter.


    Building financial stability and demonstrating best practice in our governance and organisational culture.

    At our meeting on 26 April, the INTO Board will formally agree the asset transfer from the old INTO Limited, INTO Foundation and Charter Organsiation to the new INTO CIO.   Whilst this will change little in practice, there are advantages to having all the INTO entities ‘under one roof’ including simplified administration and clearer roles and responsibilities.  

    This will bring to a conclusion our Governance Review and we’re very grateful to everyone who contributed to it.  As we wind up the old entities, we also express our thanks to all those who have been involved in these in the past, particularly Simon Molesworth and the late Rodney Davidson.

    As part of our governance changes, we are also putting together an MOU between INTO and the NTEWNI, which hosts the INTO Secretariat.

    In March, we heard that our funding application to the Interreg Europe programme had been approved.   It’s called INNOCASTLE (or INNOvating policy instruments for the preservation, transformation and exploitation of heritage CASTLEs, manors and gardens).  The project plans to develop a new approach, one that is inclusive, place-based and economically and environmentally resilient. This will be modeled in four different regions (in Romania, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands).

    Being a part of INNOCASTLE will bring kudos to INTO amongst our partners and stakeholders.  It will be an opportunity to learn and share with colleagues across Europe and beyond.    And the funding will enable us to strengthen our networks, knowledge and visibility.  Finally, 2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage – what a great way to celebrate the past to build the future. You can read more about it in Catherine’s blog.

    Bob Gordon, Jacqui Sealy, Julie and Catherine met on 16 April to discuss the Business Plan and how we bring to life the document approved by the INTO Board at their February meeting.  Action points include reviewing our membership growth strategy; better defining membership benefits and seeking more help with fundraising.

    Jackie Hunt continues to efficiently manage membership renewals.  We are opening a new bank account for the new CIO so please take note when paying subscriptions in the future.

    As part of the Strength strategy, Catherine has been undergoing some executive coaching to develop her leadership skills. She has also been reaching out to different people for ideas and suggestions. These include INTO members and Secretariat volunteers as well as stakeholders and similar organisations. One useful conversation was with the International Secretariat of Amnesty, for example.

    Catherine attended an event celebrating 25 years of the Darwin Initiative in February

    Coming up

    Catherine will be meeting the Ambassador of Hungary, which is considering establishing a National Trust, later this month.  She has been invited to attend a special workshop on the importance and key role that culture, heritage and community identity play in sustainable urbanisation, hosted by UN-Habitat and Think City, supported by INTO contacts in Malaysia, Khazanah Nasional Berhad.   And she will be guest of honour at the Czech National Trust Abroad’s anniversary event on 19 June.

    Justin Albert will be speaking at an Executive Course in Heritage Management in Portugal in May.

    Catherine’s blogs are available here.

    Find out more about the INTO Amicus supporters programme here.

    The International National Trusts Organisation is a non-profit organisation registered as a limited company in England & Wales No 06718966 and a Registered Charity No 1128224.  Our registered office is 20 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0DH.

Translate »