Reviewing Hoathly Hill Trust

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Hoathly Hill Trust website

The context

Hoathly Hill Trust Ltd was founded in 1994 and is a charity with the objects the advancement of education and the relief of persons in need, sickness, hardship and distress. The Trust owns the lease of two buildings and 17 acres of land at Hoathly Hill. This design focused on reviewing Trust activities and creating a Strategic Plan.

The Design Process

Below is a summary of the design process, see the menu on the right for links to detailed documentation of the design process.

HHT review SADI


The design

HHT review design



HHT review timeline


What went well?

  • it was a collaborative, participatory process
  • there was great commitment to the process from the board of trustees
  • willingness of trustees to invest a great deal of time and energy into improving the management of the Trust and renewing the organisation
  • a diverse board of seven committed trustees
  • trustees had a shared vision for the future of the Trust
  • a separation of the internal review process and the external review process allowed for a focus on important issues for the running of the Trust
  • three meetings followed by a strategic planning document meant we had an overview of the process and a strategic plan
  • consistent updates for the community contributed to a greater understanding of the issues facing HHT

What was challenging?

  • deeply ingrained negative perceptions of HHT in the community
  • focus in community meetings on certain problematic situations rather than attempting to gather information and build a holistic picture of Trust activities
  • a time of transition carried fearfully an emotionally rather than consciously
  • certain inflammatory situations within the community

What would I do differently?

  • clarify the review process at the beginning: aims, process and ending
  • be more creative in review meetings with different activities for different groups and themes, perhaps with drawing, vision boards

Did we achieve our aims?

  • the Trust is renewed as an organisation with a new board prepared to work collaboratively and as a learning organisation
  • review and implementation of key aspects of the effective management of a charitable company is underway
  • there are action plans to review existing and facilitate new initiatives
  • we worked with the principles as a board of trustees which I hope will filter out to the community and beyond

Next steps

  • to work on the actions plans in my role as a trustee that contribute to the effective management of the Trust as an organisation
  • to explore collaborative and supportive frameworks for the Trust and the initiatives associated with the Trust