Young selves and the sharing of meaning
Young selves and the sharing of meaning
Lauriston Hall, 28 Lauriston Street, Edinburgh EH3 9DJ
Annual Report 2008
Overview of the year
This year, the Sutherland Trust has thrived and successfully sustained its core business by running two well attended public lectures, supporting applications for awards, welcoming new trustees and maintaining our reciprocal relationship with other likeminded organisations such as the Scottish Institute of Human Relations and the Howard League. We are also pursuing a project in prisons which has been stimulated by the possibility of further funding from the Small Trust.
The first event in the Spring was given by the well known analyst and writer Adam Phillips in dialogue with Judith Fewell. This seemed to attract a younger audience who were drawn to the evening by well published books and articles and from those who had attended our course on the work of Jock Sutherland (Beyond the Couch, 2007). The second event, focussed more on schools and exploration of emotion and creativity. This was co-presented by Jonathan Woods and Stephen Fischbacher and involved a more experiential participation from the audience. Both public events this year have departed from the more traditional scholarly delivery of material and this has attracted both acclaim and challenge. As we seek to attract new practitioners in health, education and social work and make psychodynamic thinking accessible and relevant we also need to retain the continuing support of colleagues already well versed in this field. Plans are well developed for the programme for the remainder of 2008 and 2009 and small working parties of trustees work tirelessly to conceive and organise stimulating contributions to appeal to both new and existing audiences. This is all done within the Trustees’ own time, using personal and professional contacts to attract inspiring speakers who share the values and vision of the Sutherland Trust.
In addition, we have worked hard to strengthen our governance activities and have clarified our vision, constructed an action plan and will follow this by designing a strategic plan for the next three years in the autumn meeting. The vision statement explains that we support human relations work in education, health and social care through psychodynamic thinking and practice. This now prefaces all public communication and is the preamble for lectures along with a “strap line” offering the statement “human relations for human services”. Interestingly, our audience for public lectures is broadening to include more people from primary and tertiary education who seem to share and endorse those ideas.
The Trust has sought to heighten its profile with the Scottish Government. Through the proactive intervention of one of the trustees, a letter was written to the First Minister early in the year which explained the aims and objectives of the Trust and the express wish to meet with him to discuss how the ethos of the Trust resonated with the new vision for Scotland. In addition, in May of this year an invitation was received via the SIHR to attend an event at the Scottish Parliament with other associations representing psychotherapeutic approaches. Two trustees attended this useful event and a report was circulated to the other members of the Sutherland Trust.
Thirteen trustees have been involved this year and another appointment has been approved and will commence in September. One of the co-convenors took some time out of the trust activities this year from April to September. However, the Trust is entering a period of transition with the imminent departure of Brian Atwell (Treasurer) and June Nelson (Honorary Secretary). Their support has been invaluable to this charitable organisation. Also, our development worker, Jo Hilton wishes to reduce her hours with the Trust. These changes in key contributors have necessitated some rethinking about duties and we have been fortunate to engage the services of an administrator – Marshall Schwenn who will take up office in September.
Thanks to the organisation and careful management of our finances by our treasurer, the Sutherland Trust is in a healthy financial position. We continue to rely on the generous support of the Gordon Small Trust to support our development work. Our honorary secretary has also continually sought funding from other likely sources to augment the income from public lectures
Over the last two years, our events have become well known and well publicised by the imagination and flair of our development worker – Jo Hilton. The marketing involved in the lectures has resulted in excellent attendances from a wider range of participants. Ideas for future events are always copious, interesting and creative. The only restraint is the limited time available in otherwise busy professional lives to ensure the follow through of the ideas.
This is a vital contribution of the Sutherland Trust and the small group under the joint convenorship of Jill Ford and Dr Anne Claveirole must be congratulated for careful and sound decisions. Testimonials are now being received from people who have received awards to explain the contribution that this small amount of money has made to their studies and subsequent work.
Governance of the Trust
As mentioned previously, this has been a key activity of the Sutherland Trust in 2007/8 to ensure that we comply with the duties outlined by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.
Profile of the Trust
Design of the website is progressing and this will give public access to the proposed activities of the Trust a year in advance. It would appear that the Sutherland Trust is becoming well known by a variety of groups and this is evidenced by the audiences that attend events and the number of people applying for financial aid. Trustees have been keen to contribute to wider political thinking and efforts continue in this area. The reciprocal relationship with the SIHR is most helpful and there is an event organised by them in Glasgow in November at which one of the convenors (Dr Sheena Blair) of the Sutherland Trust will be the chair. It has been a pleasure to have been involved with the planning for this day.
The trustees are proactive and keen at all times to maximise any opportunity which arises to publicise the ideas of the Trust and there are plans for events well into 2009. The oral history project steadily progresses and promises to be a most useful resource. There are also times when possibilities arise which are more suited for the SIHR to take forward and the reciprocal arrangements there are working well. The Sutherland Trust does thrive on being ideas led and free from the restriction of premises however this brings challenges in terms of where to place gifts of books or other artefacts.
The enthusiasm, zest and hard work of the trustees is gratefully acknowledged and this is what makes the Sutherland Trust an organisation that attracts and sustains interest and commitment. The contributions of the Co-Convenor, Vice Convenor, Treasurer, Honorary Secretary and Development Worker have all ensured that we are a charitable trust which can be proud of its contribution to learning and continuous professional development.
Sheena E. E. Blair
|© The Sutherland Trust 2010|