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News from our Secretary-General

Catherine Leonard has led INTO since its formation in 2008 and has since then supported heritage organisations all over the world – from Australia, Bavaria and China to Trinidad, USA and Zimbabwe!  She joined the National Trust in 1999 from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and with a background in modern languages and international public and cultural relations.

Her blog is part personal reflection, part update on activity within the INTO Secretariat, part sharing of learnings.  Do contact Catherine with any thoughts on these posts.

  • Trustees to visit Rajasthan (Weekly blog, 20 October 2019) Trustees to visit Rajasthan (Weekly blog, 20 October 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Trustees meeting This week, we confirmed that the INTO Trustees will meet in India next year.  The Board generally meets by teleconference on a quarterly basis. And every two years in person at the International Conference of National Trusts.  But we have found that these interim meetings in the non-ICNT years ...
  • Plain English (Weekly blog, 13 October 2019) Plain English (Weekly blog, 13 October 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General This week I went on a plain English training course.  The day-long programme helps people write more clearly, in an appropriate style for the audience.  And in shorter sentences.  Plain English means writing something as simply and directly as possible.  In a language that all readers will understand. We’re probably all ...
  • Climate reflections (Weekly blog, 6 October 2019) Climate reflections (Weekly blog, 6 October 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Climate change was the theme of a podcast I recorded for the ROCK project this week.  ROCK is developing new approaches for the regeneration and reuse of historic city centres.  It’s an EU Horizon 2020 funded project.  The podcasts are one of the project outputs. I met Project Manager Lucy Latham ...
  • Value of co-ordination (Weekly blog, 29 September 2019) Value of co-ordination (Weekly blog, 29 September 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Co-ordination was high on the agenda at The Heritage Alliance’s second annual International Event this week.   Along with funding and capacity building.  It a great opportunity to hear about the global activities of our UK heritage sector and to make new connections for INTO.  So much to learn and share. The ...
  • Share and learn (Weekly blog, 22 September 2019) Share and learn (Weekly blog, 22 September 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General At the beginning of every Board meeting, the Chair asks the Trustees to share what’s going on at their organisation.  It’s such an interesting and valuable exercise.  Hence I’m going to share a short summary here. Alex Bishop began by talking about the recent hurricane which had hit the Bahamas so ...
  • INTO the news … INTO the news ...  As our colleagues at the Bermuda National Trust baton down the hatches against Hurricane Humberto, my little article about our Conference there earlier this year, lands on the doormats of millions of National Trust (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) members! Climate change and natural disasters were amongst the topics discussed by delegates and the global heritage ...
  • Open arms, doors and gates (Weekly blog, 15 September 2019) Open arms, doors and gates (Weekly blog, 15 September 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Open Days Last week saw the beginning of this year’s Heritage Open Days in the UK.  The festival, celebrating its first 25 years in 2019, is co-ordinated by the National Trust.  And there are other INTO members that also run open days in their territory.  Like Herita in Flanders which manages ...
  • International National Trusts: Secretariat News (June – September 2019) International National Trusts: Secretariat News (June – September 2019) Latest news from the INTO Secretariat In our strategy for 2018-2020, we committed to building on INTO’s successful track record of transferring knowledge and expertise between National Trusts.  As part of the INTO family, our members are always happy to share their experience but resource constraints at home can limit the assistance they are able to ...
  • Harvest time (Weekly blog, 8 September 2019) Harvest time (Weekly blog, 8 September 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard (Secretary-General of INTO) Harvest was on my mind this weekend.   Usually at this time of year, I’m thinking about back-to-school or la rentrée as it’s known in France.  It’s a time full of excitement, emotion and chaos – not just for a new school year, but for everyone.  Going back to work, ...
  • St Helena connections (Weekly blog, 1 September 2019) St Helena connections (Weekly blog, 1 September 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General St Helena National Trust It was wonderful to meet colleagues old and new from St Helena last week.  Firstly, we had arranged a long time ago for Alonzo Henry to speak to National Trust staff in Swindon.  Alonzo has been Head of Operations at the St Helena National Trust for the ...
  • INTO in Scotland (weekly blog, 26 August 2019) INTO in Scotland (weekly blog, 26 August 2019)This week, our weekly blog comes from Alexander Lamont Bishop, Deputy Secretary-General, who has just returned from two weeks embedded in the National Trust for Scotland. The Road from Bermuda Appointed in March this year, I spent a first week in equal parts bewilderment and excitement, inspired by the incredible richness of the conference that the Bermuda ...
  • What is a ‘model’ National Trust? (Weekly blog, 18 August 2019) What is a 'model' National Trust? (Weekly blog, 18 August 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General This week I’ve been thinking a lot about the National Trust model.  What is a National Trust and what does it do?  There are various reasons for this.  Firstly, we’ve had a couple of enquiries requesting INTO’s help and advice on the National Trust model.  Our member organisations in South ...
  • French-spiration (Weekly blog, 11 August 2019) French-spiration (Weekly blog, 11 August 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General French wrench This weekend, we came back to England from our lovely French holiday.  What a wrench!  I’ve had a blissful 2 1/2 weeks away.  And as foreshadowed in my earlier blog, I’ve barely given INTO a second thought.  This is because my wonderful Deputy, Alexander Lamont-Bishop, has been very capably ...
  • Cold turkey? (Weekly blog, 21 July 2019) Cold turkey? (Weekly blog, 21 July 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Cold comfort Last week was a bit of a mixed bag.   I was suffering from a cold, which is unlike me.  Because I usually take liberal quantities of Maureen Liebl’s special magical Pepper-Up Potion (Samahan).  But this time I succumbed.   The fact that I couldn’t stop coughing certainly made interviewing for ...
  • Antwerp anticipation (Weekly blog, 14 July 2019) Antwerp anticipation (Weekly blog, 14 July 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General On Friday I spent the day in Antwerp.  INTO members, Herita, will be hosting our next conference in the city from 19-23 April 2021.  And this was a kick-off meeting to visit the venue and discuss initial programme suggestions. Firstly, Antwerp is amazing!  I’ve visited before but on Friday I saw ...
  • German memories (Weekly blog, 7 July 2019) German memories (Weekly blog, 7 July 2019)Castles in the air? On Monday, I met some German MPs who are thinking of setting up a National Trust.   I’ve always loved meeting people and talking to them about my work.  And this was no exception.   Our guests were well-informed about the work of the National Trust, although less familiar with INTO.  So it was ...
  • Sonsbeek Symposium (Weekly blog, 30 June 2019) Sonsbeek Symposium (Weekly blog, 30 June 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, INTO Secretary-General Sonsbeek sitting rooms* On the second day in Gelderland, we joined a symposium with a number of other stakeholders.  (More about our incredible first day in Gelderland this blog.)  It took place at Villa Sonsbeek, a beautiful estate on the outskirts of Arnhem.  It is Sonsbeek that joins up to ...
  • INTO Castles? (Innocastle study visit to Gelderland) INTO Castles? (Innocastle study visit to Gelderland)  This week, 25-28 June 2019, we are in Gelderland on a study visit for the Innocastle project.   The programme involves visiting a number of country houses, a symposium with stakeholders from the province and various partner meetings.  The full programme can be found here.  One of the best bits is going to be catching up ...
  • Precious Prague (Weekly blog, 23 June 2019) Precious Prague (Weekly blog, 23 June 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Precious Prague Prague was my destination this week.  And what a precious place it is!  Even more so as the location of the ‘Our heritage: Forever for everyone‘ conference marking the fifth anniversary of the Czech National Trust.   The event took place at the Stahov Monastery which was a fittingly beautiful ...
  • Growing your own (Weekly blog, 16 June 2019) Growing your own (Weekly blog, 16 June 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Growing INTO and National Trusts Growing the movement was on everyone’s minds at our latest Trustee teleconference this week.  Moreover our report to the Helen Hamlyn Trust was a key item on the agenda, which is summarised below.  (The full Secretariat Report for the last quarter can be found here.) At the ...
  • Grange or henge? (Weekly blog, 9 June 2019) Grange or henge? (Weekly blog, 9 June 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Grange grandeur I had the pleasure of spending much of this week in the company of a very dear friend and colleague, David J Brown.   David was in the UK with his wife Candice, and kindly agreed to speak to staff and NTEWNI headquarters.  Another reason for their visit was to ...
  • International National Trusts: Secretariat News (April – June 2019) International National Trusts: Secretariat News (April – June 2019) Latest news from the INTO Secretariat It was wonderful to see so many INTO members and friends (new and old) at our Conference in Bermuda in March.  We are deeply grateful to everyone who made it the success we all found it to be, particularly the  Bermuda National Trust, their wonderful staff, Board and volunteers.  I ...
  • The idea of European unity (Weekly blog, 2 June 2019) The idea of European unity (Weekly blog, 2 June 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General National Identity and the idea of European unity Last week, we invited experts to discuss local loyalties in relation to the cosmopolitan ideal of world citizenship. Irena Edwards, Chairman of the Czech National Trust, Joep de Roo from the Innocastle project and Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary-General of Europa Nostra took to the ...
  • European co-operation continues in Wales European co-operation continues in Wales European heritage collaboration for inspiration and to improve heritage policies Last week, a group of policy makers and heritage experts from Romania, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain came to the UK to gather inspiration in how to better support historic castles, manors and estates in their regions. The visit is part of our Interreg Europe funded ...
  • Hay Festival and Cultural Diversity (Weekly blog, 19 May 2019) Hay Festival and Cultural Diversity (Weekly blog, 19 May 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Our event at the Hay Festival is in two weeks’ time!    On Thursday 30 May, our colleagues and collaborators from across Europe will join INTO Trustee, Justin Albert on stage.  The subject under discussion is: National identity and the idea of European unity. Haymaking The panel features Dr Irena Edwards, Chairman of ...
  • Getting into Innocastle (Weekly Blog, 12 May 2019) Getting into Innocastle (Weekly Blog, 12 May 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General This week has definitely been focussed on Innocastle.    It was another short week, due to a Bank Holiday Monday.  (And another weekend in the garden!  I love May … ) Slightly concerned that people may have missed some of my blogs since Bermuda. I’ve been playing catch up so ...
  • Oliver Maurice’s INTO legacy (Weekly Blog, 5 May) Oliver Maurice’s INTO legacy (Weekly Blog, 5 May)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Back in France Earlier this week, Alex and I went to France to spend time doing a handover with Oliver.  Oliver, who many of you know, has been with us here at INTO since the very beginning.  In fact, since before the beginning.  I had known Oliver while he still worked ...
  • Garden gladness (Weekly Blog, 21 April 2019) Garden gladness (Weekly Blog, 21 April 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General What a weekend!  It has been gloriously sunny for the whole, long Easter weekend.  And I have been reconnecting with my garden. Glorious garden When I came back to live in my childhood home eight years ago, I gloried in the garden.  I was desperate to get down in the dirt and ...
  • Liberty in New York (Weekly Blog, 14 April 2019) Liberty in New York (Weekly Blog, 14 April 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General A quick one this week as I’ve been away on leave over the children’s Easter holidays. We took a rather last minute decision to go to New York City.   And it was wonderful.   To summarise the whole experience in a paragraph is impossible so I’ll tell you about Ellis Island.   ...
  • Conference learning/takeaways (Weekly blog, 7 April 2019) Conference learning/takeaways (Weekly blog, 7 April 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General There was so much to absorb from the Bermuda Conference, it’s hard to distil into a single blog.  I know there’s only a short window of time for immediate reflections however, so here goes.  Here are ten brief things that stood out for me: Heritage ‘continuation’ rather than preservation: you preserve ...
  • Conference capabilities (Weekly blog, 31 March 2019) Conference capabilities (Weekly blog, 31 March 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General What a week that was! INTO’s biennial Conference came to a close yesterday.   What a wonderful week in Beautiful Bermuda!  The Bermuda National Trust, its volunteers, colleagues and supporters organised the whole thing beautifully and I really enjoyed getting to know the island’s people and places.   As I’m still really only ...
  • Secretariat News (February – March 2019) Secretariat News (February – March 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 ...
  • For everyone: Open to change (Weekly blog, 17 March 2019) For everyone: Open to change (Weekly blog, 17 March 2019) A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General ‘For everyone, forever’   is the motto of the Bermuda National Trust.   It may sound familiar.  The National Trust (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) often uses ‘forever, for everyone’ to describe its purpose.  And it is not without controversy.  There have been times when the places National Trusts look after ...
  • Arches: We dream our dreams of home (Weekly blog, 10 March 2019) Arches: We dream our dreams of home (Weekly blog, 10 March 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Underneath the Arches … we dream our dreams of home* This week, I met the Arches team in London.  A joint project of the Getty Conservation Institute and World Monuments Fund, Arches is an open source heritage inventory platform. Last month, I connected with Tim Whalen, GCI Director, following an introduction ...
  • Bermuda Triangles, Squares and all other Angles (Weekly blog, 3 March 2019) Bermuda Triangles, Squares and all other Angles (Weekly blog, 3 March 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Bermuda conference Bermuda is THE focus for the INTO Secretariat and Board this month. Reaching out to participants and cross-checking all delegate information, finalising workshop sessions, writing speeches … it’s all systems go! It was certainly back to work with bang on Monday after a week of poor data connectivity on vacation.  ...
  • Membership on our minds (Weekly blog, 17 February 2019) Membership on our minds (Weekly blog, 17 February 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Talking about membership Membership has been at the front of my mind this week.   Firstly, I spent the morning at the National Trust (London and the South East) Regional Membership Conference on Tuesday.  Emily and I ran a stall at the Marketplace, during the networking sessions.   I wasn’t sure what to ...
  • Eurostar-dom (Weekly blog, 10 February 2019) Eurostar-dom (Weekly blog, 10 February 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Eurostar – direct connection to Europe I’d forgotten how much I love the Eurostar. When I first started working for the National Trust I travelled to Brussels quite regularly.  I was part of a team that focussed on European relations.  My role was to run the European Network of National Heritage ...
  • National Lottery Heritage Fund Launch (Weekly blog, 3 February 2019) National Lottery Heritage Fund Launch (Weekly blog, 3 February 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Wicked Wednesday Some days surprise you.  The morning did not start well.   Getting everyone ready and work/school had complications of its own because of the snow last night.  Indeed, I ummed and ahed briefly about going to London at all.  I was off to the launch of the new National Lottery ...
  • Burns the Bard (Weekly blog, 27 January 2019) Burns the Bard (Weekly blog, 27 January 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Burns Night Along with the rest of the world, we celebrated Burns Night on Friday.   In fact, it was Robert (‘Rabbie’) Burns’ 260th birthday on 25 January 2019.    Burns is a cultural icon in Scotland, who wrote poems in the Scots language in the 18th century.   His most famous poem is ...
  • Secretariat News (December 2018 – January 2019) Secretariat News (December 2018 – January 2019) Latest news from the INTO Secretariat Our big news this quarter is that we have appointed a Deputy Secretary-General of INTO!  Alex Bishop will be joining INTO in March from the British Council where he manages Cultural Protection Fund grants.  This Fund supports projects in 12 countries across the Middle East.  Alex will take responsibility for ...
  • Start as you mean to go on! (Weekly blog, 20 January 2019) Start as you mean to go on! (Weekly blog, 20 January 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General A new start I love the start of the year.  Something very refreshing and exciting about it.  An opportunity to reflect, re-set and start afresh.   Last week, I met up with Fiona and Justin in Cambridge for a mini-strategy session and my development review.  As you know, I’ve been doing a ...
  • Conference preparations (Weekly blog, 13 January 2019) Conference preparations (Weekly blog, 13 January 2019)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Conference year Well, welcome to 2019!  I can’t quite believe that it’s another Conference year.  We moved the International Conference of National Trusts to March (to be off-season but reasonable weather).  Which therefore means it’s only 18 months since the last Conference, rather than the usual two years.  It’s come around ...
  • A European Christmas (Weekly blog, 23 December 2018) A European Christmas (Weekly blog, 23 December 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Last week I read a couple of Christmas related articles on the National Trust website.    First a lovely piece about why we sing Christmas Carols.   This comes from the ‘Trusted Source’ project, a partnership between the National Trust and Oxford University.   The author lectures in music and is researching the ...
  • The clock is ticking in Katowice (Weekly blog, 14 December 2018) The clock is ticking in Katowice (Weekly blog, 14 December 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General This week I have been in Katowice with the INTO team, facing into stark reminders of the ticking climate clock.  This is the first time I have attended one of the UNFCCC Conferences of the Parties, or COPs.  And it has certainly been eye-opening. Flying saucers … This was the second week ...
  • Weekly blog (9 December 2018) Weekly blog (9 December 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Rather like exercise, my blog seems to be one of the things to put to one side when things get busy.  And it has been a busy couple of weeks.  Not only have I been putting together the first report for our Innocastle project.  But I have also been recruiting ...
  • Kulturerbe Bayern: New kid on the block (Weekly blog, 25 November 2018) Kulturerbe Bayern: New kid on the block (Weekly blog, 25 November 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Kulturerbe Bayern is the Bavarian National Trust and it was established around three years ago.  This week, I went to Munich to celebrate the launch of their new Foundation.  The events included the ‘Sharing Heritage’ symposium at the Bavarian Parliament (below), which involved several INTO members and friends. Sharing Heritage The Chairman of ...
  • Secretariat News (September – November 2018) Secretariat News (September - November 2018) Latest news from the INTO Secretariat The big news this quarter is that our proposal to the Helen Hamlyn Trust has been approved and we have started the recruitment process for our new Deputy Secretary-General.  This exciting new capacity building programme will enable us to better support our members in the achievement of their objectives.  It ...
  • INTO Europe: Learning and sharing workshop (5 November 2018) INTO Europe: Learning and sharing workshop (5 November 2018) European collaboration was focus of INTO’s first ever round table discussion in London on 5 November.  INTO members, volunteers and supporters joined colleagues from the UK heritage sector to learn and share. (See the full programme here.) Why Europe? Well, for obvious reasons really.   But also because 2018 is European Year of Cultural Heritage.  And INTO has been ...
  • Capacity Building for the National Trust Ideal: A grant from the Helen Hamlyn Trust Capacity Building for the National Trust Ideal: A grant from the Helen Hamlyn TrustThe Trustees of INTO are delighted to announce a new grant from the Helen Hamlyn Trust for £275,780, over the next three years, to support the “growth of the charity’s ability to catalyse and grow the international family of National Trusts and to develop and promote the charity’s global messages more visibly”. INTO Chairman, Dame Fiona ...
  • Fit for the Future (Weekly blog, 4 November 2018) Fit for the Future (Weekly blog, 4 November 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Recently I attended the Fit for the Future ‘Network Harvest’ here in London.  Fit for the Future is an environmental sustainability network of charities, heritage organisations, cultural venues, public sector bodies and others.  These groups work together in order to become more climate-friendly, adaptive and resilient.   Once a year, the Fit ...
  • 24 hours in Paris (Weekly blog, 28 October 2018) 24 hours in Paris (Weekly blog, 28 October 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General I was delighted to be invited to Paris by INTO members, Union REMPART, this weekend.  As part of the International Heritage Fair, REMPART organised an event focused on volunteer involvement in heritage.  I was asked to speak about the National Trust, INTO and the future of engagement.  I joined other ...
  • Launch of Kulturerbe Bayern, the Bavarian National Trust (Weekly Blog, 21 October 2018) Launch of Kulturerbe Bayern, the Bavarian National Trust (Weekly Blog, 21 October 2018) A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Next month I will be joining European colleagues to celebrate the establishment of Kulturerbe Bayern, the Bavarian National Trust. It’s a great pleasure to be part of the creation of a this new organisation.  Moreover an honour to have been invited to address the launch. Kulturerbe Bayern will take care of cultural ...
  • Joining Rempart at the Salon du Patrimoine on 27 October 2018 Joining Rempart at the Salon du Patrimoine on 27 October 2018 We are delighted to have been invited to participate in a debate hosted by INTO members, Union REMPART as part of the 2018 International Heritage Fair. Each year, REMPART offers to more than 3,500 people from France and abroad an experience of heritage through participatory, collective and civic action. Because heritage has no borders, REMPART and ...
  • Official launch of Innocastle and the first study visit in Romania Official launch of Innocastle and the first study visit in RomaniaTuesday, 9 October 2018 Innocastle, an ambitious new European project dedicated to castles, manors and estates was launched last week, on the 2nd of October 2018 in Bucharest, Romania.  We are delighted to be part of this important partnership! At European level, many castles and manors have difficulties in maintaining or adapting themselves for the future . ...
  • When in Romania … (Weekly blog, 7 October 2018) When in Romania … (Weekly blog, 7 October 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General This week, I have been in Romania with our Innocastle partners.   This was the first of several study visits that are a core part of the project learning.  It was hosted by the INP or National Institute of Heritage. Study visit to Romania The study visits aim to generate an exchange of ...
  • Family history matters (Weekly blog, 23 September 2018) Family history matters (Weekly blog, 23 September 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, INTO Secretary-General Family history I spent this weekend talking with cousins about “Recollections of an Octogenarian”, the memoires of our great, great, great aunt.  Like all good book clubs, part of the joy was simply in being together.  But unlike many, which can easily morph into purely social events, we kept on ...
  • Secretariat News (July – September 2018) Secretariat News (July - September 2018)Latest news from the INTO Secretariat In June, Bill and Catherine joined the Trustees in New York, kindly hosted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.   It was a great meeting but it was also wonderful to see something of the Trust’s operations (at Lyndhurst and the Philip Johnson Glasshouse) and meet some of their contacts ...
  • Fire! Lessons from Rio (Weekly blog, 9 September 2018) Fire! Lessons from Rio (Weekly blog, 9 September 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General The terrible fire at the National Museum of Brazil has shocked and saddened us all.  Thankfully there have been no reports of loss of life or injury.  But the loss of so many irreplaceable artefacts – Egyptian mummies, frescoes from Pompeii, and the 11,500-year-old remains of a woman known as ...
  • INTO joins Mobilization to Unite Cultural Heritage for Climate Action INTO joins Mobilization to Unite Cultural Heritage for Climate Action I’ve had a break from blogging over the summer but this morning received an update on the Cultural Heritage Mobilization which I thought I would share here: What is the Cultural Heritage Mobilization? The urgent need for increased ambition by the cultural heritage sector on climate change is uniting culture, heritage, indigenous, sustainability and community organizations from ...
  • Marvellous volunteers (Weekly blog, 12 August 2018) Marvellous volunteers (Weekly blog, 12 August 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General I’ve been thinking about volunteers this week.  Firstly, I received a report back from the team we sent to advise the National Trust for Georgia.   Secondly, I’ve been visiting properties and met, once again, some truly amazing and dedicated volunteers.   And lastly, we’ve taken on a new volunteer in the ...
  • Kicking off INNOCASTLE (Weekly blog, 5 August 2018) Kicking off INNOCASTLE (Weekly blog, 5 August 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General This week, we have been looking more closely at the INNOCASTLE activity schedule.  INTO/National Trust’s role is as a knowledge partner.   Which means that we will share our expertise and experience in all aspects of heritage management.  INTO/NT will also lead the learning activities, such as the study visits and ...
  • The inevitability of change (Weekly blog, 22 July 2018) The inevitability of change (Weekly blog, 22 July 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Time for a change Change has been on my mind this week.   Last week was the end of term and the end of our son’s time at primary school.  I’ve found myself wondering where those seven years went.  Reminiscing over the lost years and feeling nervous for the future.   To be ...
  • Membership matters (Weekly blog, 15 July 2018) Membership matters (Weekly blog, 15 July 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Last week, I went to a membership engagement conference organised by the Association of Association Executives.  Engage 2018 sought to explore key issues in membership development and provide an opportunity to connect with people in similar roles to mine.   I attended the Associations Congress at the end of last year ...
  • Trustees meeting: Outcomes and Impact (Weekly blog, 8 July 2018) Trustees meeting: Outcomes and Impact (Weekly blog, 8 July 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General I described the ‘fun’ bits of our Trustees meeting in my last blog.   Here’s a summary of the official content! INTO Family The Trustees agreed that we must continue to focus on member retention and recruitment.   They did not feel it was right to charge for services, unless as a ...
  • American dreams (Weekly blog, 1 July 2018) American dreams (Weekly blog, 1 July 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General I have just returned from New York where the American National Trust for Historic Preservation hosted our 2018 Trustees meeting.  What a week!  Two days in the boardroom at wonderful National Trust properties, Lyndhurst and the Philip Johnson Glass House.  A day in Newport RI with the amazing Preservation Society. ...
  • Secretariat Report (April – June 2018) Secretariat Report (April – June 2018)Latest news from the INTO Secretariat This quarter the Secretariat continued to make progress on our Family, Growth, Voice and Strength strategies (described in more detail below). In addition we have put a lot of energy into the forthcoming Trustees meeting, the objectives of which touch on all our strategies.  Working face-to-face on the INTO business plan; ...
  • Wetland worries in Zimbabwe (Weekly blog, 17 June 2018) Wetland worries in Zimbabwe (Weekly blog, 17 June 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General This week has in many ways been more of the same as last week… one thing that particularly stood out however was an enquiry we had about an endangered wetland in Zimbabwe. Save Monavale wetland! A group of passionate activists trying to save a major and very important wetland in Harare approached ...
  • Tuesday 19 June 2018: “To be or not to be an aristocrat with a chateau to keep …” Tuesday 19 June 2018: "To be or not to be an aristocrat with a chateau to keep ..." We are delighted to share details of the Czech National Trust’s annual London event: When:   19th June 2018 at 6.30pm Where:  St John’s Notting Hill, London W11 2NN Event:    Historic UNESCO town of Telc – an exhibition and debate “To be or not to be an aristocrat with a chateau to keep …” Docent Josef  Stulc, former ...
  • Conservation conversations (Weekly blog, 10 June 2018) Conservation conversations (Weekly blog, 10 June 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Every now and then it feels worth doing an ‘update’ blog. Just to give an impression of the variety of activity at the INTO Secretariat. Conservation conversation So this week began with an early meeting with Ben Cowell, Director of the UK’s Historic Houses and Irena Edwards, Chairman of the Czech National ...
  • Project Reporting (Weekly blog, 3 June 2018) Project Reporting (Weekly blog, 3 June 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Our latest project report for Encourage African Youth To Embrace Their Heritage was due this week.  As it was half-term and I had a few days off, I thought I’d include the report in this blog-spot. The way GlobalGiving organises all of this – from the prompt to write to the attractive ...
  • Magical meetings (Weekly blog, 27 May 2018) Magical meetings (Weekly blog, 27 May 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General I’m sure that many of us feel we have too many meetings. Or perhaps too many disappointing meetings? It’s rare to find someone who thinks they need more meetings. However, strangely I sometimes find myself in that category. My ‘I’ preference, which I’ve written about before, means I’m happy working on ...
  • Unity in diversity (Weekly blog, 20 May 2018) Unity in diversity (Weekly blog, 20 May 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Diversity was centre stage yesterday at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.   It was a brilliant, multicultural, multiracial, multinational occasion.  (I hope you spotted the role of the National Trust’s Cliveden House. More about that later!)  And tomorrow, 21 May 2018, we celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity. But ...
  • Beauty is but a lease from nature (Weekly blog, 13 May) Beauty is but a lease from nature (Weekly blog, 13 May)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Reclaiming beauty In my latest coaching session we reviewed values and went on to talk about strengths.  We also considered emotional intelligence ahead of a 360⁰ questionnaire. If you read my earlier blog on values, you’ll know a bit about where I come from on this.  However, during the discussion I ...
  • Urban Heritage (Weekly blog, 6 May 2018) Urban Heritage (Weekly blog, 6 May 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Mainstreaming culture and heritage in urban regeneration A few years ago I met a group thinking of establishing a ‘National Trust’ in Malaysia.   They went on to establish the National Heritage Trust and Yvonne Lim attended our conference in Bali. The group was called Think City and this week, we had the chance ...
  • Apples and oranges (Weekly blog, 29 April 2018) Apples and oranges (Weekly blog, 29 April 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Comparing apples and oranges is a metaphor for contrasting two things that cannot practically be compared.  I normally like to group things together in my blog but this week, everything is so diverse there is no natural grouping.  So my theme is apples and oranges (apples do come up later!). ...
  • Secretariat Report (February – April 2018) Secretariat Report (February – April 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 ...
  • Meeting expectations (Weekly blog, 15 April 2018) Meeting expectations (Weekly blog, 15 April 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Meeting deadlines After a relaxing Easter break, it’s been full steam ahead this week!   Back at my desk on Tuesday and one of my first jobs was to contact all our governance volunteers.  We are nearing the end of INTO’s restructuring and – ahead of our meeting on 26 April – ...
  • Values (Weekly blog, 8 April 2018) Values (Weekly blog, 8 April 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Values have been on my mind this week.  I’ve been on holiday, but what better time to think about things that really matter?  And skiing is really very good for thinking.   Like running, the rhythm and privacy provide space for reflection.   In addition, the beautiful landscapes drenched in spring sunshine ...
  • Listening and sharing (Weekly blog, 1 April 2018) Listening and sharing (Weekly blog, 1 April 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Listening sessions Listening and sharing have been high on the agenda this week.   In advance of our face-to-face board meeting this June, I’m talking to a lot of people about INTO.   Board members, Secretariat volunteers, INTO members and other stakeholders.   Open and honest conversations about what’s working well ...
  • INTO Youth (Weekly blog, 25 March 2018) INTO Youth (Weekly blog, 25 March 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Youth engagement This week, I had a great conversation with Anika Molesworth about ‘INTO Youth’.  Engaging more young people in INTO’s work was a suggestion from our last international conference.  So since Bali, we’ve been looking at different ways to achieve this. This weekend has shown us – if we needed showing ...
  • A new funding partnership (Weekly blog, 18 March 2018) A new funding partnership (Weekly blog, 18 March 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Funding approved! This week, we heard that our funding application to the Interreg Europe programme had been approved.   Whoop!    Although not a huge project, we have been working on this proposal for several years, so it’s great news that it’s now going ahead. Interreg Europe helps regional and local governments across ...
  • Growing global capacity for conservation: Catherine Leonard Growing global capacity for conservation: Catherine LeonardCatherine Leonard, Secretary-General, International National Trusts Organisation “By bringing together the INTO family, we can begin to create the sort of world where protecting our heritage is seen as integral to our global society’s future” When did you start working for the National Trust?  What is your job? I got my first job with the National Trust in ...
  • Snow days! (Weekly blog, 4 March 2018) Snow days! (Weekly blog, 4 March 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Snow has taken over our lives this week.   I can’t even quite remember when it started.  There was definitely snow on the ground on Tuesday night as I recall crossing the field in the moonlight.  It was nearly a full moon and felt almost like daylight.   The sparkling snow reflecting ...
  • Queue jumping (Weekly blog, 26 February 2018) Queue jumping (Weekly blog, 26 February 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Jam packed It took me thirty minutes in a stationary queue to decide to go another way to work this morning.   Why? Well, the queue was due to congestion at the junction where I was trying exit the motorway.   But no, I wasn’t wondering about the reason for the queue.   I was ...
  • Rural roots (Weekly blog, 28 January 2018) Rural roots (Weekly blog, 28 January 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, INTO Secretary-General Rural idylls This week has been one of consolidation: Development reviews; checking in with new members and new volunteers; preparing for the next Board meeting.   I’ve also been helping our Czech National Trust colleagues with a presentation about the INTO family.  Looking back at the history of the movement ...
  • Secretariat Report (December 2017 – January 2018) Secretariat Report (December 2017 - January 2018) Latest news from the INTO Secretariat Our first on-line Secretariat Report (November 2017) was widely welcomed.  So here is a similar-style note of the last two months. December and January have been relatively quiet and a good opportunity to consolidate.  Thus we have been looking forward to the new Business Plan and objectives for next year.  And ...
  • French-spiration (Weekly Blog, 21 January 2018) French-spiration (Weekly Blog, 21 January 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General On Thursday afternoons, I teach French (as a volunteer) at the children’s school.  So it was wonderful to hear in the Thursday morning news about French President’s visit to the UK.  Moreover the prospect of the Bayeux Tapestry coming to London at some point in the future. Emmanuel Macron, France’s charismatic ...
  • 10 National Trust gardens to explore (Weekly blog, 7 January 2018) 10 National Trust gardens to explore (Weekly blog, 7 January 2018)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Next week, I’m giving a talk to a local gardening club.   So I thought I’d share some of my research.  I was a latecomer to the enjoyment of visiting gardens.   Having grown up with a massive garden which seemed to occupy much of my parents’ time, perhaps I ...
  • ‘Twas the week before Christmas (Weekly blog, 17 December 2017) 'Twas the week before Christmas (Weekly blog, 17 December 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Two things stood out this week.   Firstly, I was lucky enough to attend the Association Congress in Manchester.  Three days of intensive learning about how to run a trade association/network.    A perfect way to end the year, looking forward to the next. Olympian inspiration There were lots of fabulous presentations ...
  • Snow globes (Weekly blog, 10 December 2017) Snow globes (Weekly blog, 10 December 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General There is something about snow.  The way it gives a new perspective to the familiar.  The way it dampens sound.   The way it fills your heart with childish delight.  You’d have thought that, having spent ten winters in the Alps, I’d have got used to snow.  But no. It still ...
  • A week of birthdays (3 December 2017) #10yearsofINTO A week of birthdays (3 December 2017) #10yearsofINTOA blog by Catherine Leonard, INTO Secretary-General Ten years ago today, INTO was launched at the 12th International Conference of National Trusts in New Delhi.   We have been marking INTO’s achievements since then for several months now, including a lovely party at our offices on Wednesday.  It was so nice to see friends old and ...
  • #GivingTuesday: Thanks to all our supporters and donors! #GivingTuesday: Thanks to all our supporters and donors!Here’s a video we shared from Catherine Leonard, INTO Secretary-General, on #GivingTuesday thanking all our donors and supporters. We couldn’t do it without you.   Thank you! You can find out more about our Encourage African Youth project here. You can find out more about our Amicus programme here.
  • INTO is 10 years old! (3 December 2017) #10yearsofINTO INTO is 10 years old! (3 December 2017) #10yearsofINTO  2007 was the year the world began to discover the scale of the financial crisis.  Apple unveiled the “iphone”.  The Saffron Revolution took place in Myanmar.  JK Rowling published her final Harry Potter story.   And the International National Trusts Organisations was launched on 3 December in New Delhi. Given the impending reduction in funding available ...
  • Secretariat Report, November 2017 Secretariat Report, November 2017 Welcome to our new look Secretariat Report  ! For every Board meeting, the INTO Secretariat prepares a detailed report of activities. We’ve tried different ways of doing this and this is our first ‘web page’ version. As ever, progress is reported against strategic priorities: Family, Growth, Voice and Strength. We are currently developing our new Business Plan, building on ...
  • Family gatherings (Weekly blog, 12 November 2017) Family gatherings (Weekly blog, 12 November 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General I spent this afternoon preparing for a discussion tomorrow about the INTO family with National Trust staff in Swindon.  In the process, I took a look back at the presentation I made at our conference in September. Wisdom of crowds Firstly, I said how much I enjoyed being INTO’s Secretary-General, helping our ...
  • Team players (Weekly blog, 5 November 2017) Team players (Weekly blog, 5 November 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Last week, we had a mostly face-to-face Secretariat team meeting.  Five of us gathered at Grosvenor Gardens and Bill joined in by web from Victoria.   Our team is rather disbursed so getting together in person is fairly rare.   A precious opportunity to focus combined energies on driving INTO forwards. We all ...
  • INTO reminiscing (Weekly blog, 29 October 2017) INTO reminiscing (Weekly blog, 29 October 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General This week I have been reminiscing.  We’re gearing up for INTO’s 10th anniversary on 3 December, I have been scouring the archives.   I’m also writing two short articles about INTO.   One for the National Trust here for the Member & Visitor Care Manual, whilst the second is a case study for ...
  • Funding our future (Weekly blog, 15 October 2017) Funding our future (Weekly blog, 15 October 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General I participated in the “Funding our future: Fundraising for heritage conservation” workshop in Bali. As I got some good feedback on my last blog (Too old and too boring) I thought I’d write a quick post about this. We met in a small traditional house, reconstructed in the Taman Nusa cultural ...
  • Young people and heritage (Weekly blog, 8 October 2017) Young people and heritage (Weekly blog, 8 October 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General I very much enjoyed the ICNT workshop ‘Too old and too boring: How to involve young people in the heritage movement’.    At one stage I was going to present INTO’s ‘Trust Kids’ work and share some good practice from across the network.  But then I was able to persuade ...
  • Conservation models (Weekly blog, 2 October 2017) Conservation models (Weekly blog, 2 October 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General This morning I met a group of Flemish politicians, exploring ways of conserving their national heritage. Not surprisingly, they had sought a meeting with the National Trust (NTEWNI), which I was happy to be part of.  As the Trust’s Government Affairs Director explained how the organisation operated however, I found myself ...
  • International exchange (Weekly blog, 24 September 2017) International exchange (Weekly blog, 24 September 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Time to share our most precious assets … The subject of international placements, exchanges and secondments came up often during the INTO Conference in Bali. At the closing ceremony Fiona Reynolds urged delegates to come forward with concrete offers and suggestions. As a consequence we are now beginning the match-making process ...
  • Conference learning (Weekly blog, 17 September 2017) Conference learning (Weekly blog, 17 September 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Our biennial Conference ended yesterday. As I’m en route home, I’m posting my final day’s speech by way of a blog for today.  (More to follow!) It’s good to share As we close the 17th International Conference of National Trusts, I want to take you back to the first. Held in 1978 it was ...
  • Down on the farm (Weekly blog, 3 September 2017) Down on the farm (Weekly blog, 3 September 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Farmer’s granddaughter ‘I’m a farmer’s daughter’ is one of the first things my mother will say to anyone new she meets.   It’s an essential part of her DNA.  I don’t think about my farming heritage in quite the same way, although yesterday’s visit to the local farm show did get ...
  • Small Grants and Big News (Weekly blog, 6 August 2017) Small Grants and Big News (Weekly blog, 6 August 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Small Grants Programme Two things this week. Firstly, Monday was the deadline for applications to the Small Grants Programme.   These are now being reviewed by the panel.  I only took a quick glance but it looks like a tough competition this time with some really strong proposals.   Good luck to one ...
  • Busman’s Summer Holiday (Weekly blog, 30 July 2017) Busman’s Summer Holiday (Weekly blog, 30 July 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Summer holidays are in the air!   This week, the children finally broke up and the long break is under way.  Not quite as long as I remember it being however.   25 July seems a very late finish, although they do go back on 5 September.  Six weeks on the dot. I ...
  • A matter of time (Weekly blog, 23 July 2017) A matter of time (Weekly blog, 23 July 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Time for a change It’s been six weeks since my last confession, sorry blog, as I have been rather snowed under caring for my aging mother.  Time has become a very precious commodity.  And blogging had gone the way of exercise and housework: relegated to extraneous activity.   Things are beginning to ...
  • Volunteering: ‘Not just hands but heads’ (Weekly blog, 11 June 2017) Volunteering: ‘Not just hands but heads' (Weekly blog, 11 June 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Volunteering was the theme of this week and I participated in an excellent webinar on Friday.  We’re hoping these will become regular Friday events in the future so do watch out for the next ones. INTO Volunteering webinar The webinar was led by Shila Brown, formerly National Volunteering and Community Manager with ...
  • A possible new project for INTO (Weekly blog, 4 June 2017) A possible new project for INTO (Weekly blog, 4 June 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General On Monday, I spent a hot Bank Holiday in Brussels meeting partners in a new project within the Interreg Europe programme. Project preparation Last year, through our colleagues at the Gelderland Trust, we were introduced to the people developing INNOCASTLE.   This is a project seeking to revitalise castles, manors and estates by developing ...
  • Keep it in the family (Weekly blog, 28 May 2017) Keep it in the family (Weekly blog, 28 May 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General This week, we welcomed a new member of the INTO family, Bodenfreiheit – Verein zur Erhaltung von Freiraeumen.  Bodenfreiheit is our first Austrian member organisation.  Their goal is to engage people in securing land (Boden) for public enjoyment.  Members contribute €120 pa and the society uses these donations to buy ...
  • Heritage in Trust (Weekly blog, 21 May 2017) Heritage in Trust (Weekly blog, 21 May 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General A Trust model for Russia? So this week began with a meeting with Oleg Ryzkkov, Deputy Minister of Culture for the Russian Federation. Recently promoted from Head of the Russian Heritage Agency, Mr Ryzkhov was on a fact-finding visit with the National Trust here. He is responsible for all cultural heritage ...
  • Secretariat news (Weekly blog, 14 May 2017) Secretariat news (Weekly blog, 14 May 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Last Thursday we held one of our quarterly Board and Secretariat teleconferences.  It’s a bit lazy but I’m going to use my Secretariat Report as the basis for this blog because I’m fresh out of ideas!  (However, it is good to recycle … !) My report is an opportunity to update ...
  • An INTO Handbook for Heritage Trusts (Weekly blog, 7 May 2017) An INTO Handbook for Heritage Trusts (Weekly blog, 7 May 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Handbook for Heritage Trusts This week, I have been thinking a lot about our new manual, ‘From Start Up to Sustainability: An INTO Handbook for Heritage Trusts’. The idea of the Handbook is to showcase the work, philosophy and organisational structures of National Trusts around the world. It is intended as a ...
  • Raising the roof (Weekly blog, 30 April 2017) Raising the roof (Weekly blog, 30 April 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Roof-tops This week, we dropped in on one of our local NT places, the Vyne.  Oh my, what a treat!  We used to be fairly regular visitors when a friend of ours was Head Gardener, but haven’t been for a while.   Wow.  We had a wonderful time exploring the new exhibitions ...
  • Trust Kids! (Weekly blog, 23 April 2017) Trust Kids! (Weekly blog, 23 April 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General This week we celebrated World Heritage Day with a speech by INTO Chairman, Fiona Reynolds, in Cambridge, and the launch of our new resource, Trust Kids! World Heritage Day UNESCO designated 18 April as International Day for Monuments and Sites in 1983. While UNESCO is responsible for the listing of World Heritage Sites, ...
  • Feeling nostalgic (Weekly blog, 9 April 2017) Feeling nostalgic (Weekly blog, 9 April 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Feeling nostalgic I’ve been feeling rather nostalgic this week, for a number of reasons. On Tuesday, I met INTO Chairman, Fiona Reynolds, at the National Trust HQ in Swindon for an INTO brainstorming session.    It felt like a (lovely) step back in time! I count myself lucky to have worked with ...
  • Saint Lucia: A causeway for concern (Weekly blog, 2 April 2017) Saint Lucia: A causeway for concern (Weekly blog, 2 April 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General News from Saint Lucia The Saint Lucia National Trust is fighting two planning battles at either end of their beautiful island. At the INTO members Global Meet-up on Tuesday, Director Bishnu Tulsie briefed us on these alarming development proposals. Firstly, to build a dolphin park at Pigeon Island, one of the Trust’s ...
  • A look back at 2016 (Weekly blog, 26 March 2017) A look back at 2016 (Weekly blog, 26 March 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General I’ve been finalising the 2016 INTO Annual Review this week.   Just waiting for the figures from our Accountant now and then we’re good to go.   Having this week also drafted a long speech for World Heritage Day however, my creative juices are running dry.  It’s cheating but I’m ...
  • New ideas (Weekly blog, 19 March 2017) New ideas (Weekly blog, 19 March 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General “The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones,” said John Maynard Keynes.  Well, I’m rather regretting blogging about time management and spring cleaning last week! Think big This week has been full of the kind of big thinking I was extolling.  Finalising the new ...
  • Spring cleaning (Weekly blog, 13 March 2017) Spring cleaning (Weekly blog, 13 March 2017)A short blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Spring cleaning was my goal this weekend.  Inspired by National Spring Cleaning Week (6-12 March), I had a long list of jobs from rotating matresses to reorganising the larder. Sad to say, I didn’t complete the challenge.  These things always take longer than you think … (more about that later). Still, ...
  • Russian reminiscences (Weekly blog, 5 March 2017) Russian reminiscences (Weekly blog, 5 March 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General On Friday, I caught a brief report by the BBC’s Russian Correspondent, Sarah Rainsford, in which she took a nostalgic look back at visits to Moscow.  I was momentarily transported from a wet drive home to my own five months undergraduate placement to Voronezh in 1992. Voronezh 300 miles south of Moscow, Voronezh ...
  • INTO EC/Board Meeting (Weekly blog, 26 February 2017) INTO EC/Board Meeting (Weekly blog, 26 February 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General We held our most recent EC/Board meeting on 16 February, as I mentioned in my last blog.   (This one actually covers a fortnight ago, as I was in France last week enjoying the winter sunshine.  Sigh.) Conference calling We hold our EC/Board calls by webinar.   There is something really magical about ...
  • Collaboration: Internal and external (Weekly blog, 12 February 2017) Collaboration: Internal and external (Weekly blog, 12 February 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Internal collaboration I’ve just finalised the Secretariat Report for our INTO Board meeting next week. We hold about five of these every year by teleconference and one in person.   In addition to the reporting back, it’s a chance to discuss strategic issues and to take the pulse of the broader INTO membership, ...
  • GlobalGiving crowdfunding experience (Weekly blog, 5 February 2017) GlobalGiving crowdfunding experience (Weekly blog, 5 February 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General You will have not been able to miss our GlobalGiving campaign at the end of last year – many thanks for following the story, sharing and donating!  Here is some feedback on the experience from my perspective, which I hope you will find useful. What is GlobalGiving? We applied to join the ...
  • Archives, monuments and gardens (Weekly blog, 30 January 2017) Archives, monuments and gardens (Weekly blog, 30 January 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Endangered Archives Programme Last week, I had a great conversation with Ruth Hansford, Grants Portfolio Manager at the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme.  (She’s new to the role and you can read her first impressions of the job here.) We talked about the challenges of physical digitisation as well as access and rights.  ...
  • Historic House Futures (Weekly blog, 22 January 2017) Historic House Futures (Weekly blog, 22 January 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, INTO Secretary-General 70 historic house businesses may fail in the next five years, according to UK Historic Houses Association (HHA).   Rather a startling statistic from a great talk by Ben Cowell, HHA Director General (and former National Trust Director of the East of England) here in London on Thursday. Historic Houses Association The HHA represents a group of over ...
  • New Year catch-up (Weekly blog, 16 January 2017) New Year catch-up (Weekly blog, 16 January 2017)A blog by Catherine Leonard, INTO Secretary-General I’ve got out of the habit of writing my blog over the Christmas/New Year break so this is just a quick summary of what’s been going on.   In the run up to Christmas we were all very involved in the final stages of the INTO Africa GlobalGiving campaign to raise funds ...
  • Places I remember, all my life (3 December 2016) Places I remember, all my life (3 December 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General On this day in 1965, the Beatles released their sixth studio album, Rubber Soul.  The track list boasts many memorable hits, among them: Drive My Car, Norwegian Wood, Nowhere Man, Michelle … In my life But it’s track 11 that particuarly interests me. John Lennon was only 24 when he wrote ‘In My Life’ ...
  • Heritage education on Universal Children’s Day Heritage education on Universal Children's DayA blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General 20th November is the UN’s Universal Children’s Day.   It was established in 1954 to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare.   So today we celebrate how INTO is helping deliver this mission through its heritage education work. Heritage education When I first graduated, I worked in education for several years and ...
  • The end of cultural pessimism: People power in Slovakia (Weekly blog, 13 November 2016) The end of cultural pessimism: People power in Slovakia (Weekly blog, 13 November 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General This week, I was in Bratislava at the excellent ‘Who owns the Monuments’ Conference.  Organised as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the National Trust of Slovakia, I was thrilled to be invited having first got to know the organization through Martin Kovac and Peter Táborský back in 1999. A ...
  • Comings and goings (Weekly blog, 6 November 2016) Comings and goings (Weekly blog, 6 November 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, INTO Secretary-General I’ve just been listening to Oliver’s pod-cast from COP 22 and thinking to myself how lucky we are to have him and the team representing the National Trusts of the world in Marrakech for the fortnight of UN Climate Change talks.  Do check out his updates when you can ...
  • Reflections (Weekly blog, 30 October 2016) Reflections (Weekly blog, 30 October 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General It was half-term this week so I’ve been on leave.  Well on and off leave, as are most of us these days.   Last Sunday we took the children to Oxford for the day.   Much of our time was spent in the Ashmolean.  Wow and double wow.  What an utterly amazing place!   ...
  • Variety is the spice of life (Weekly blog, 23 October 2016) Variety is the spice of life (Weekly blog, 23 October 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Another busy week with more training from Global Giving which is helping us to tell the story of our Sierra Leone/Uganda/Zimbabwe heritage education exchange project – the pressure is on as details need to be finalised by the end of next week.  (Gulp!)  Noémie and I went to a session at their ...
  • Two very different highlights this week: Crowdfunding and traditional architecture (Weekly blog, 16 October 2016) Two very different highlights this week: Crowdfunding and traditional architecture (Weekly blog, 16 October 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Last Sunday we heard that INTO had been accepted onto the Global Giving Winter 2016 Gateway to Crowdfunding Challenge.   Exciting stuff.   We had applied in a bit of a hurry as Dan spotted the opportunity just days before the deadline and Noémie had just been on a Giving to Heritage ...
  • Reminiscing (Weekly blog, 9 October 2016) Reminiscing (Weekly blog, 9 October 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary General The week began with the sad news of the death of William Zuill, former Executive Director of the Bermuda National Trust and one of the founding fathers of the international National Trust movement.  I searched through the files on my computer and wrote a posting for the INTO website ...
  • How does heritage evolve? (Weekly blog, 2 October 2016) How does heritage evolve? (Weekly blog, 2 October 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General How does heritage evolve?  That’s the question behind the ‘Shifting Identities’ session at the 2016 INTBAU World Congress, which INTO is going to help explore following some good discussions with Harriet Wennberg this week. INTBAU, or the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism, is dedicated to the creation of ...
  • A National Trust for Thailand? (Weekly blog, 25 September 2016) A National Trust for Thailand? (Weekly blog, 25 September 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Last week, together with Oliver Maurice and Noémie Caillat, I met a group of researchers from Thailand exploring the possibility of a Thai National Trust.   They were directed to INTO via the British Council in Bangkok, which in itself is rather pleasing as it reinforces INTO’s goal of becoming the go-to place ...
  • La dolce vita (Weekly blog, 18 September 2016) La dolce vita (Weekly blog, 18 September 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General I came back from the INTO EC/Board meeting in Milan first thing this morning.  A wonderful few days with the global team – and a fantastic chance to find out more about our Italian INTO members FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano – the Italian National Trust). I know board meetings can sometimes ...
  • Taking inspiration from our Secretariat volunteers, NT staff and experts in Jacobean architecture (Weekly blog, 11 September 2016) Taking inspiration from our Secretariat volunteers, NT staff and experts in Jacobean architecture (Weekly blog, 11 September 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General On Wednesday, many of our wonderful Secretariat volunteers were in the office. First a discussion about INTO’s finances with our Accountant Bob, prior to the EC/Board meeting next week (what a way to start the day – and before 8.30am too!).  Thankfully our figures all add up and are looking fairly healthy. Next ...
  • Growing your own National Trust (Weekly Blog, 4 September 2016) Growing your own National Trust (Weekly Blog, 4 September 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General This week, I have been talking to a group thinking of establishing a National Trust in Thailand. They are visiting the UK later this month and we have been putting together a programme to show them how the NT works in this country – and to draw on the wide ...
  • La rentrée arrive (Weekly blog, 28 August 2016) La rentrée arrive (Weekly blog, 28 August 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General Here in the UK we are nearly at the end of the summer holidays and it’s been wonderful.   We definitely can’t complain about the lack of sunshine and it’s been fabulous seeing the children spending so much time outdoors. They, like me, have mixed feelings about the return to school.   Mostly ...
  • National Trust of Lebanon? (Weekly blog, 21 August 2016) National Trust of Lebanon? (Weekly blog, 21 August 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, INTO Secretary-General This week, I have been helping our INTO Strategic Advisor for Lebanon, Jennie Hartley, with an exciting new project proposal. To be fair, she has done all the work (for which we’re hugely grateful) and I’ve just been chipping in here and there! Jennie writes: “Lebanon is country scarred by ...
  • What a week! (Weekly blog, 7 August 2016) What a week! (Weekly blog, 7 August 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, INTO Secretary-General Strange to be sitting back at the computer after nearly four days … Can it really be four days?  Well, yes. I spent Thursday at NTEWNI’s Dyrham Park, Friday and Saturday at Blenheim Palace and Sunday at one of our local Forestry Commission woods.  A veritable feast of outdoor ...
  • A picture paints a thousand words (Weekly blog, 31 July 2016) A picture paints a thousand words (Weekly blog, 31 July 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General This week, I’ve been thinking about photography.  Photos have always been an important way of capturing the essence of life-events and recording them for posterity.  Often helping memory.  (Photos are very important for my Mum whose comprehension of the day-to-day world is diminishing but whose long-term recollections remain spot-on.) Today you’d ...
  • Best view of the Mary Rose in 471 years (Weekly blog, 25 July 2016) Best view of the Mary Rose in 471 years (Weekly blog, 25 July 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, INTO Secretary-General The children broke up from school this week which happily coincided with the reopening of the Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth home of Henry VIII’s warship which sank in 1545. After over 400 years under water, I remember the excitement when the Mary Rose was lifted from the Solent in the ...
  • Summer holiday countdown (Weekly blog, 17 July 2016) Summer holiday countdown (Weekly blog, 17 July 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard (Secretary-General) Engaging young people with the work of National Trusts around the world In our house, it’s nearly time to sing the ubiquitous end of term song “one more day to go, one more day of sorrow … ” and thoughts have turned to how to entertain the little people for six weeks ...
  • Celebrating 50 years of REMPART working holidays (Weekly blog, 10 July 2016) Celebrating 50 years of REMPART working holidays (Weekly blog, 10 July 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General I first came across REMPART at the Oslo Conference for Voluntary Organisations in the Field of Cultural Heritage in September 2000.   Sabine Guilbert, who was International Relations Manager at the time, presented an organisation which brought together some 150 ngos to discuss issues and exchange experiences, and which promoted cultural ...
  • Making peace with nature (Weekly blog, 3 July 2016) Making peace with nature (Weekly blog, 3 July 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General This week, I have been focussing on our forthcoming Executive Committee/Board teleconference.  We have some interesting papers to discuss including one on the outcomes of the recent INTO Membership Survey. 100% of those who responded said they would recommend INTO membership to another Trust or organisation not currently part of the ...
  • Checking out the opposition (Weekly blog, 27 June 2016) Checking out the opposition (Weekly blog, 27 June 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General I am behind again this week and writing my blog on a Tuesday instead of a Sunday, but I’m sure you’ll forgive me as I’ve had other things on my mind … As a European and internationalist, you won’t be surprised to learn that I was somewhat disappointed with the ...
  • Museum on the move (Weekly blog, 19 June 2016) Museum on the move (Weekly blog, 19 June 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General I’ve been thinking about membership again this week.   National Trust membership, EU membership (don’t get me started!), INTO membership.  On Wednesday, I had the very great pleasure of attending the Falkland Islands Government Annual Reception in Lincoln’s Inn, London, with one of our wonderful Amicus supporters, Trevor Johnson.   Trevor has ...
  • The opening of the tomb … (Weekly blog, 12 June 2016) The opening of the tomb ... (Weekly blog, 12 June 2016)A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General This weekend I had the pleasure of representing INTO at the official opening of the first property of the Czech National Trust. INTO has been involved with the CNT for the past five years – from early discussions about whether a National Trust might work, through Oliver’s attendance at meetings in ...

Reviewing our first Crowd Funding Campaign

Just before Christmas in 2016 we launched our first crowd funding campaign through Global Giving UK. In this podcast Catherine Leonard, INTO Secretary General talks to Bill Turner about the many lessons learned. Useful information for anyone thinking of crowd funding.

Email Catherine: cleonard@intoorg.org

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