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  • Secretariat News (February – March 2019)

    Posted on March 23, 2019

    Latest news from the INTO Secretariat

    Our focus over the last two months has been the INTO Conference which takes place at the end of March in Bermuda.  The latest programme is here and you can follow the action on #ICNT2019Bermuda.

    The International Conference of National Trusts has since the 1970s been bringing National Trusts and heritage NGOs together to develop professional expertise; to share ideas; to seek common solutions and to build the sense of belonging to a global family. It was the forerunner to INTO and is still very much at the heart of our movement.

    Our other big news is that Alexander Bishop has started as INTO Deputy Secretary-General! Alex will be responsible for developing opportunities for INTO members through the TAP-INTO programme of small grants and seeking new ways for INTO to amplify its voice in the public domain.  Those attending the Conference next week will be able to meet Alex in person, but one of his early jobs will be to reach out to all our members, so he will be in touch with each of you over the coming months.

    – Catherine and the Secretariat team


    Our new Deputy Secretary-General is Alexander Bishop, who comes to INTO with a background in languages and the international heritage and development sector.  Click here to email Alexander

    Catherine Leonard,  Emma Thompson and June Taboroff attended the Innocastle Project Meeting in Brussels

    They took the opportunity whilst in Belgium to meet the team at Herita who will be hosting the 2021 ICNT

    Catherine Leonard and Emily Knurek attended the Regional Membership Conference.  Great for networking and finding out from the front line what membership recruiters and visitor reception staff need!

    Watch the new ‘We are INTO’ film here

    Enjoy a pre-read about the ICNT Diversity Panel

    Check out our newest working holidays here

    You can now save on hotel bookings and help INTO at the same time with Goodwings!


    ICNT news: Catherine, Bill and Oliver have continued to work closely with the Bermuda National Trust team on preparations for the Conference. Bill has also been deeply involved in delegates’ flight and accommodation arrangements, as well as the website and newsletter.   Catherine has in addition been liasing with speakers, chairs and panelists, including the Arches team.  This open source heritage inventory platform could be a valuable tool for Trusts around the world.

    Working groups: Oliver and Bill joined a meeting of the INTO Africa Group mainly concerned with planning the Zimbabwe Conference in 2020.  The Steering Group for the Helen Hamlyn Trust grant will have its first meeting in May.

    Reciprocal visiting: Following our last Board meeting where Natalie reported on progress made on the survey, two meetings of the wider membership were convened (identical agendas, in two different time zones to allow for maximum participation).   The response was deeply encouraging.

    There is great enthusiasm to ‘sort this out’ and a generosity of spirit amongst the INTO membership that was heart-warming (and certainly underlined our Board strategies of Family and Growth). Following the two calls, comments received by email and feedback from the survey, we hope to be able to agree a proposal at the Conference next week.

    Working holidays: Julie Thompson presented a report to the Board at its January meeting. The programme has succeeded in bringing INTO members’ working holidays to a wider international audience since 2011. Moreover it enables members to attract more participants and to increase their international profile.  Julie and Bill have just finalised the latest upload (now with a new layout) and are developing plans for future improvements.  We hope to grow the programme to involve other INTO members.

    Mentoring: Julie has the results of the interim survey from the five matched pairs. Following the successful pilot, Julie is now looking at a CEO programme, matching large and small organisations.

    TAP-INTO: Alexander Bishop started with INTO on 20 March and is responsible for the development of our new Technical Assistance Programme.  Plans for 2019 will be unveiled at the Bermuda Conference.


    Membership growth: We aim to recruit a number of new members at the Bermuda Conference. Indeed we have already received an application for membership from the St Christopher National Trust.  Furthermore National Trusts from Guyana, Haiti, St Vincent and the Grenadines will also be a the Conference for the first time.

    Candidates and new Trusts: Catherine had an interesting meeting about a future National Trust of Portugal, which she is now progressing with Alex’s help (a fluent Portuguese speaker!). We have also reached out groups in Hong Kong and Slovenia interested in setting up a National Trust.

    Geoffrey has been liaising with the Chinese heritage experts we were expecting to host last year.  Their visit will now take place in May/June.


    SDGs Paper: Anita Canovas has updated our paper on Heritage Conservation and the Sustainable Development Goals.  With Alex’s design help, it is now ready for launching in Bermuda.

    Raising our voice: The INTO Secretariat has developed a calendar of events around which we will speaking out in 2019.

    Innocastle: Catherine continues to lead our involvement in this EU funded Interreg Europe Project.  The group met in Brussels in February.  This was a partner meeting to discuss project management, the organisational learning, stakeholder mapping and baseline survey.   Furthermore it was an opportunity to further define the forthcoming study visit to Wales.

    We met our European partners, the Province of GelderlandUniversity College of Ghent and the Romanian National Institute of Heritage.  We also met for the first time our new partners from the Regional Government of Badajoz in Spain.

    Having just finished the first project report, it was particularly good to get into the real content.  Following the Romanian visit, we have identified topics under the four objectives (governance, finance, promotion and dissemination).   We will explore each in more detail over the coming months.   Our study visit will touch on several, including audience development, partnerships, business planning, branding, etc.

    INTO Excellence Awards: Still top secret until Bermuda, ‘the Awards celebrate the very best of our member organisations’ work around the world, often undertaken amid difficult circumstances and without seeking glory or acclaim but just trying to look after our global heritage for future generations.  The Jury selected winners that will delight and inspire all those involved in heritage conservation, wherever they are in the world” says Catherine.  Emily has designed and overseen the production of the actual awards.

    We are INTO: A little film that brings to life the idea of INTO as a global family and highlights the diversity of what we do.  Our wonderful member organisations responded instantly to our request for help. Combined with the editing services of film student, Oscar Albert, the finished product features 16 INTO members.


    Governance: Our new governance arrangements are now firmly embedded. Bob Gordon has set up a new accounting system, which will be managed by Jacqui Sealy. We have nearly finished winding up INTO Limited and the old charity has been removed from the register.  We will be having our 2018 accounts formally audited to make sure we set off on the right foot. The 2019 Budget was signed off by Trustees at their meeting in January.

    Helen Hamlyn Trust grant: At the time of writing, Alex has only been in post for 2 days but is poised to deliver the project. The first tranche of funding has been banked and a Steering Committee established.

    New membership renewals system: We have trialed a new system for membership subscriptions. It still needs some tweaking so we hope our members can bear with us while we figure it all out.

    Amicus: We will take the opportunity in Bermuda to meet some of our Amicus friends and seek their help in reviewing the programme.

    New technology: John Martin has helped Bill add summary information about INTO member organisations to our website. He has also reviewed all their websites.  Catherine has had conversations with the NTEWNI about technology solutions for INTO, including the website and a possible app. Catherine, Alex and Bill will work on this further over the coming months.

    Once again we are deeply grateful to the (mostly unpaid) Secretariat team that continues to deliver a great service to our members.  INTO’s achievements are the results of the combined efforts of every individual, from our member Trusts to our Amici, social media supporters to major donors. Thank you all!

    If this post does not display correctly, you can download it here as a pdf!

    Coming up

    We are all so excited about the Bermuda Conference! ICNT is an invaluable opportunity for members of the INTO family to gain insights from their peers across the world. We are a diverse group but our members all share the same ideal, goals and challenges. And through INTO are able to learn from each other, cooperate and innovate.

    Our deliberations next week will not only encourage new thinking within the National Trust movement on how to be more multicultural and inclusive.  But will also find solutions to address issues of environmental conservation; making history and heritage meaningful in a digital world; building membership and volunteerism among younger people; and ensuring that the heritage preserved by National Trusts fully reflects our communities.

    In May, we will mark World Day for Cultural Diversity by sharing relevant outcomes.  It’s going to be a busy month as we will also host the Innocastle study visit to Wales and a public event about heritage and national identity.

    Catherine’s blogs are available here.

    Find out more about the INTO Amicus supporters programme here.

    The International National Trusts Organisation (INTO) is a non-profit organisation registered as a charity England and Wales (No 1175994).  Our registered address is 20 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0DH, UK.

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