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Annual Report 2012-2013

Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013


The pioneering spirit of The Dartington Hall Trust dates from 1925 when Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst purchased this neglected estate and its medieval buildings in rural Devon. Inspired in part by Rabrindranath Tagore, the great Bengali thinker and writer, the Elmhirsts embarked on what they described as ‘The Dartington Experiment’ to tackle rural poverty. They set up a host of farming, forestry, artistic and educational projects. Initiatives included the progressive Dartington Hall School, Dartington Tweed Mill and later, Dartington Glass. The Elmhirsts’ commitment to creativity, developing individual potential, ‘learning by doing’ and social enterprise has continued to be central to life and work at Dartington.

A place of inspiration

Open year round and welcoming around a million visitors, The Dartington Hall estate in the tranquil setting of rural Devon continues to inspire and link everything we do.

Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013



A Place of Inspiration 2 Our Vision 6 Introduction from the Chairman 8 Introduction from the Chief Executive 10 Arts 12 Social Justice 26 Sustainability 38 Enterprise 50 Our People and Community 52 The Future 54

Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013


Dartington is a place of learning and experiment addressing some of the significant issues of our time. We work in three areas: the arts, social justice and sustainability Our commercial enterprises; The Shops at Dartington, Dartington Accommodation and Catering, and property management support our work.

Our Vision

We have a wide portfolio of activities at Dartington. We support 16 charitable programmes with more than 20 new initiatives in development. Our work reaches out across 72 countries and we welcome a million people here every year.

Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013


The world is facing significant challenges. We have seen systemic economic threats dominating the thinking of governments across the globe; this raises questions about the sustainability of the current economic approach and the wisdom of trying to restart economic growth at the expense of all else. Inequality is increasing and, sadly, the UK is now ranked as the fourth most unequal society in the developed world. Alongside this we continue to see an inexorable rise in carbon emissions, which have recently reached record levels. And we have begun to see an erosion in our society of the value of the arts and culture, for its own sake. At the same time, these challenges are stimulating new opportunities and thinking. As people begin to grow despondent over the effectiveness of top-down state interventions and become more cynical about whether continued economic growth is really the solution, many are looking for new ways to solve some of our problems.

Introduction from the Chairman

Communities are looking to their own actions as a force for change and progress believing that they themselves can address many of these issues and demonstrate a better way of leading our lives. At Dartington we want to add our own voice, resources and partnerships so over the coming year we will be developing a new strategy looking at how we can play our part in supporting communities to be more resilient. We will continue to encourage new thinking, new approaches and a more joined-up way of living. We believe by doing this can make a real difference to communities of all kinds. Sir David Green

Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013


This report reflects the progress we have made in the past year in our charitable programmes - arts, social justice and sustainability, and in the commercial enterprises which help us fund these areas. I hope you will enjoy reading about them. This year we have concentrated on making progress towards our goal of financial sustainability and independence. To increase the impact of what do, we must be financially sound and more self-reliant. One in six charities is facing closure because of lack of funds: we have to make sure we are in a position to withstand the current economic crisis.

Introduction from the Chief Executive

We now earn more than 90% of our own income - a significant achievement - but there is still more to do. We remain reliant on some fundraising to support our activities, but we are more confident of our future than we have been for many years. We have a strong management team and a dedicated group of trustees committed to securing an ambitious future for Dartington. In the future, we will increasingly focus on playing our part in building more creative and resilient communities. This will require a shift from our previous approach towards activities that address broader themes: food and farming, jobs and homes, and enriching lives. Key to all three are encouraging inclusion, learning and evaluating and the role of the place - the inspiring setting of the Dartington estate. We expand on this new focus more on page 54. We will work collaboratively with other groups and organisations that share our interests - locally, regionally nationally and internationally. We hope to show how an organisation such as Dartington can use its resources of land and people to support and encourage communities to achieve positive social change. We aim to do all we can to make this world a better and more fulfilling place to live. Vaughan Lindsay

Arts Engaging



Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

Dartington engages people of all ages and experience in a range of arts activities. From live events and festivals to film, dance, craft and music education, we provide opportunities for audiences to enjoy and learn and for artists to develop and perform work.

“Dartington is an exceptional resource for making work and, in my view, is unrivalled nationally in terms of the facilities, location and ability of the team to support the creative process. I am committed to making work at Dartington and am looking forward to our next major residency.� Wayne McGregor, Random Dance

Arts Developing Artists


Developing talent

Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

Artists’ residencies Our artists’ residencies programme provides world-class studio space, facilities and production expertise in a peaceful and inspirational setting. We find this stimulates creative work among the diverse and talented international, national and local artists who come to Dartington. This year The Belarus Free Theatre, whose members are political refugees, completed a month-long residency resulting in a new piece of work entitled Merry Christmas Ms Meadows, which they are now touring worldwide; the critically acclaimed Rambert Dance Company, Richard Alston, Mark Morris and Ethan Iverson, explored the relationship between music and dance; and Soumik Datta, “British sarod maestro”, created his new work Lanka which premiered at the Tagore Festival.

Honing their Craft Bookbinding and printmaking classes are held year round at Dartington. Our expert tutors welcome all levels of experience from beginners to experienced artists. In printmaking, there is a huge variety of different approaches and media which students can experiment with, Bookbinding students can choose to work on their own projects in restoration, artist books, boxes, portfolios or related subjects.

Image: Soumik Datta

Arts All about audiences


Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

All about audiences Dartington welcomes audiences to a range of arts events throughout the year, from classical concerts to world cinema, from exhibitions to live theatre. We also produce a range of festivals linking to our work in the arts, social justice and sustainability. Festival highlights this year included: Tagore Festival inspired by the man whose passions for the arts, education and ecology shaped Dartington, the festival featured some of today’s most important artists and thinkers focussing on nature, art and spirit.

Festivals and events

Home Festival showcased some of the best local and international world music talent.

Charlotte Church performed in the medieval courtyard, whilst acoustic music remained at the heart of the festival, with ‘unplugged’ performances in the Great Hall.

Outdoor Film Festival used the largest outdoor screen in the South West to showcase a wide spectrum of films to new audiences.

Interrogate! explored the theme of happiness and wellbeing - a deeply important area often overshadowed by the pursuit of economic growth.

Tagore Festival

Outdoor Film Festival

Home Festival




Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

Unique in the world of musical education, once a year the Summer School brings together a mix of professional musicians, music students and amateur musicians to learn, play and perform together. In an unrivalled setting, talented amateurs can find themselves playing or singing next to professionals, and advanced students can hone their skills with some of the world’s leading performers, conductors and composers. In the past, Daniel Barenboim, Igor Stravinsky and Ravi Shankar have taken part; more recently, the late Sir Charles Mackerras, Dame Emma Kirkby and Sir Harrison Birtwistle, and in 2012 we welcomed Ray Davies, Midori and Detlev Glanert.

Dartington International Summer School

This year: • 175 professional musicians taught 109 courses to over 1000 people • 100 volunteers were involved • 214 bursaries were awarded to talented young musicians thanks to the generous donations of many supporters • Concerts were given to audiences of almost 11,000

Arts Projects


Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

Cultural Olympiad During 2012 Dartington produced two Cultural Olympiad projects RedBall UK and Welcome Songs.

RedBall UK The creation of US artist Kurt Perschke, RedBall is a huge red inflatable object which encourages people to look with new eyes at their surroundings. The ball arrived in the UK in 2012 for a UK tour presented by Dartington and Torbay Council as part of the Cultural Olympiad. Taking in locations in Plymouth, Torbay, Exeter, Weymouth and London, the ball was enjoyed by more than 400,000 people.

Cultural Olympiad

Welcome Songs Top UK folk artist Eliza Carthy and Robert Hollingworth, Director of I Fagiolini, united communities across the country in performances of songs collected and arranged especially for this national project. Produced by Dartington, Welcome Songs culminated in live performances in areas with connections to the Olympic Games including Stoke Mandeville and Weymouth.

Arts; our success in numbers

Social Justice Abundant Life


Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

Social Justice We believe Social Justice matters. In a fair society everyone should have the opportunity to live fulfilling lives. There are three main strands to our Social Justice programme. They overlap but help to describe how we make a difference: • Improving the knowledge and skills of others to tackle disadvantage and improve people’s lives • Flagship community projects on the Dartington Hall estate

Social Justice

• Promoting new ideas and debate to encourage solutions to social problems

Social Justice Abundant Life

Abundant Life For the first time in history there are more people over the age of 65 in the UK than there are under 16s. This changing demographic challenges us to think differently about our older age. We are doing just that at Dartington. Abundant Life is our plan for a mutual-supportive local community on the estate, with apartments for people over 55. More than a “retirement” option, it’s a pioneering community-living concept that will offer the things we want in older life: choice; independence; dignity and conviviality; the best quality care if and when we need it; being supported to live active, purposeful lives; and affordability. This year we’ve continued our discussions with potential partners to get this large-scale and ambitious project the skill and financial investment needed.

Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

Social Justice LandWorks

Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

Dartington LandWorks

“We have designed LandWorks to provide vocational training and real work experience but also to develop a sense of belonging, to encourage creativity and develop new approaches to doing things. For most of the trainees involved, this sort of opportunity will never have happened before.�

LandWorks is a new project that provides training and work experience for offenders, working with men on day-release from our local prison, HMP Channings Wood, and other ex-offenders based in the community. Reoffending is a major problem: almost half of all adults with a custodial conviction reoffend within a year so action to reduce it is in everyone’s interest. A major factor in reoffending is the difficulty in getting work on release. LandWorks looks to address this. The project provides a supported route from prison release back into community and employment. Training in practical skills goes hand in hand with developing social and life skills, encouraging responsibilities and building self-worth.

Chris Parsons, Dartington LandWorks Manager

Social Justice Dartington School for Social Entrepreneurs (DSSE)


Dartington School for Social Entrepreneurs (DSSE) DSSE supports pioneering, entrepreneurial individuals who wish to create new organisations or community projects for social benefit and positive change rather than for personal profit. The international SSE Network was founded in London in 1997 by Michael Young, Lord Young of Dartington. The Dartington School for Social Entrepreneurs – launched by us in 2009 - has resulted in the creation of new projects and new jobs in the South West.

Re-Branch Paul Savill graduated from DSSE in 2012. Based in Torbay, he has set up a community interest company, Re-Branch, which supports young vulnerable adults between the ages of 16 and 25. From its retail outlet in Paignton, the company provides tailor-made training packages of life skills ranging from support with interviews to building self-esteem. Additional income comes from the sale of up-cycled and refurbished furniture. Unwanted furniture is diverted away from landfill sites and given a new lease of life by the young adults in the programme and then sold in the shop.

Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

“It got to the stage where I was feeling very depressed. I had nothing to do with my life. It was really good attending the Re-Branch training skills course. It gave me something to do and a chance to meet new people to start to build my confidence.” Pilot project participant

Social Justice Research in Practice and Research in Practice for Adults

Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013


Research in Practice and Research in Practice for Adults Since 1996, Research in Practice has supported the children’s sector to bring together formal research evidence with practitioner expertise enabling better decision-making, increased professional confidence and improved outcomes for children, young people and their families. By sharing knowledge and expertise we spread best practice and create new knowledge and skills. Working with a large network of Partners - local authorities and national children’s organisations - Research in Practice provides support across all levels of an organisation from developing frontline expertise to supporting strategic decision-making through providing tailored support, publications and learning events. We also support the adult social care sector through Research in Practice for Adults - championing the use of evidence by exploring what works, enabling professionals to access the best available evidence and supporting agencies to apply this evidence to ensure social care practice is safe and effective.

“Without Research in Practice I would find my job so much harder. RIP helps to make research real and that is key to my role to make it real for the practitioners on the front line.” Bilkis Hirani, staff development officer at Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Social Justice; our success in numbers

Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

Sustainability Schumacher College


Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

Sustainability is core to Dartington, guiding the way we live, work, and use our land. We are home to Schumacher College, an international centre of learning in this field and we are developing an exciting partnership with Bicton College to bring a new generation of students to the estate and to explore fossil fuel free dairy farming.

Learning at Schumacher College


Pioneering and independent learning thrives at Schumacher College. Based on the Dartington estate but with alumni in 72 countries worldwide and an international reputation to match, Schumacher College gives people the opportunity to learn about environmental, economic and social sustainability and remains at the forefront of new thinking and action in the global transition to a more resilient, low-carbon and equitable world. The college offers a programme of short courses, postgraduate programmes (in Holistic Science, Sustainable Horticulture and Economics for Transition) and hands-on vocational training in Horticulture, Natural Building and Outdoor Education. Its bursary programme has helped more than 90 people to benefit from support for their study.

Sustainability Schumacher College

Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

“Locally, we have worked to extend our influence and activities and to deepen partnerships. At the same time we have begun to deepen our relationships with alumni and others across the globe, through open learning, joint programmes and soon an online platform for the network to connect, collaborate and learn.”

“By funding my place on the Natural Building course the Schumacher bursary scheme gave me a unique foundation to take me further into this field. I can’t thank you enough.”

Jon Rae, Head of Schumacher College

Heather Scott, Natural Building Certificate 2012

Sustainability Schumacher College

Schumacher College success in numbers

Sustainability Bicton College at Dartington


Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

With 1,200 acres of land (880 acres on the core estate and the rest in and around Totnes), we saw an opportunity to better align the way we use our land with our vision and values. The resulting ‘Land Use Review’ identified the projects and partners to take this vision forwards. Some of the recommendations like community supported agriculture, allotments, and agroforestry are already in progress, while others like the development of biomass fuel will come in the next few years.

Bicton College at Dartington

The Future of our Land

One of the projects resulting from the ‘Land Use Review’ is our developing partnership with Bicton College. Building on our international reputation for learning and research in sustainability, horticulture and land use, we aim to explore together new ways to produce food. Alongside offering courses in agriculture, horticulture and countryside management, Bicton also intend to take over the land currently occupied by the retiring dairy farmer to explore F3 (fossil fuel free dairy farming). “We are delighted to be working with Dartington in this exciting partnership and believe that it has the potential to make a significant impact on how UK farming responds to the issues of climate change, and energy and food security.” Bicton College Principal and Chief Executive, David Henley

Sustainability Bicton College at Dartington

Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

Walking the talk We know how important it is to walk the talk on sustainability. Whilst there is still more to do, we have made encouraging progress this year towards our aim of zero waste to landfill by 2015. We’ve introduced recycling facilities across the estate for all activities including the collection of food waste and a contract is now in place to ensure zero waste to landfill. We’ve installed roof mounted PV which is saving approximately 4.5 tonnes of carbon per annum. We’ve also invested in large user water meters on our commercial buildings, installed LED lighting in the Great Hall and White Hart, and solar powered parking meters and lighting. Natural materials from the estate are being used where possible by many of our activities. Finally, we have set up a staff group called the ‘Green Team’ to help raise staff awareness and promote sustainability both at work and at home.

“We have made encouraging progress this year towards our aim of nearly zero waste by 2015.’

Sustainability; our success in numbers

Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

Enterprise Shops & Property


Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

Maintaining the estate so that we can keep it open to the public year round costs more than £1 million a year and running our activities costs more than £7 million. To pay our own way we operate commercial enterprises: The Shops at Dartington, Dartington Accommodation and Catering Services and property lettings. Our enterprises are run ethically with their profits going directly to support our charitable causes. Our aim is to be completely self-funding by 2015.



Today, The Shops at Dartington is a thriving hub of 15 boutique shops located in a collection of renovated farm buildings on the edge of the core estate. The complex runs as a social enterprise with profits used to fund the activities of the Dartington Hall Trust. The shops champion local produce and, in addition to the annual Food Fair, a monthly food market has been launched to provide an outlet for small local food producers.

Property Management Our estate is a thriving hub for local and regional businesses with over 120 businesses hosted on site and adding £5 million to the local economy. We also have residential lets and a number of other leisure and educational users of the estate, making the estate a real community of people living and working.


Dartington Accommodation and Catering Services provides a warm welcome for our many visitors – whether they are leisure guests, conference delegates or simply dropping in for food and drink. At the same time it generates funds for our charitable work through weddings, events, conferences and accommodation.

People -


Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

Our People We couldn’t achieve any of the things we do without our people. Our 350 staff and 400 regular volunteers are key to our success so ensuring they have the right support and opportunities is vital. We are committed to developing all our staff, and we recently achieved the Investors in People award.

Our Volunteers

Our people and community

Dartington’s 400 regular volunteers gave more than 21,500 hours of their time this year with commitment and dedication. Without this generosity many of our projects would not be the success they are today. We involve people locally, nationally and internationally. Volunteers support conservation and woodlands, events, festivals, films, gardening and community projects as well as promoting Dartington to visitors. In return, we help volunteers gain new skills, use existing ones or perhaps sample a career.

Our Local Community Our local community is important to us. During the past year we have held a series of community conversations to engage local people with our work and our plans. Notes from all these events are shared on www.dartington. org/community. Working more closely with our local community is a key priority as we embark on our new strategy.

The Future People

Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013


How we can play our part in supporting communities to be resilient

The Future

Since the Elmhirsts first came here in the 1920s, Dartington has been about stimulating social change - learning and doing to make the world a better place. Whilst this remains fundamental to us, the way we can have impact has changed. Rather than looking to government or economic growth to lead the way, communities are taking it upon themselves to deliver the change they want. The term ‘resilient’ is increasingly used to describe such communities. Whilst there is no one definition of a resilient community, we are particularly drawn to The Carnegie Trust’s interpretation ‘where people build effective communities on the basis of agreed values and action’ (Wilding, 2011). We will focus our efforts in the years to come on communities as agents for change and this will include listening and learning from our local community and working closely with them. When we speak of communities, however, we mean communities of interest as well as communities of place. The Schumacher College community, for example, includes 72 countries; the Summer School community spans 24; Research in Practice and Research in Practice for Adults ( part of our Social Justice programme) touch nearly all local authorities in England and Wales. Dartington is uniquely placed to bring together national and international communities of interest and in doing so to enrich our local community of place.

The Future People

This is an important new direction for us, requiring different ways of working, with a big emphasis on partnerships and enabling others. We have started discussing the areas within community resilience that we should focus on and have developed these inter-related themes: • Food and farming • Jobs and homes • Enriching lives Central to all these themes will be encouraging inclusion, learning and evaluating and the role of the place - the inspiring setting of the Dartington estate. We have also started to map out the activities that could populate each theme. This has not only shown a good fit with what we currently have, but also encouraging opportunities for new activities, partnerships and funding. From April 2014 we plan to begin working in this new way and we are excited by the potential it offers. We hope you will share our enthusiasm and get involved as without partners to help us, we will not be able to make the impact we want to make.

Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012-2013

Our Reach; In 2012-13 we have

The Dartington Hall Trust, Totnes, South Devon, TQ9 6EL, United Kingdom Telephone: 01803 847 147 Email: Photography: Dan Chamberlain, Kate Mount, Kim Aldis, Malin Sjoberg, Alice Carfrae, Luke Ball, Remy Mitchelson, Lou Rainbow, Delia Spatareanu Design: Boldover 07525 464 498

The Dartington Hall Trust is a company limited by guarantee, company number 1485560, and a charity, registered in England Charity number 279756. Registered office: The Elmhirst Centre, Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon. TQ9 6EL

The Dartington Hall Trust Annual Report 2012 - 2013  
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