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Equality, diversity and inclusion

Read our statement on equality, diversity and inclusion at the National Trust for Scotland.

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion statement

Since its foundation in 1931, the National Trust for Scotland has been promoting access, a principle of the legislation which established our charity. In our 90-year history, we have cared for and offered greater physical – and increasingly digital – public access to buildings, places, objects and art, much of which was once in private ownership and accessible to few. We have championed countryside access rights many decades before the statutory Right to Roam (Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003), have taken responsibility for and opened to the public grand houses, and represent through some of our properties the lives and work of wider past communities.

Issues of access and inclusivity are accelerating around the world. Not everyone has equal access to the heritage that is in our care. We too want to increase our commitment to recognising the diversity of Scotland’s past and present across our work, in support of a more equal and just future for all.

The National Trust for Scotland is committed to doing more to reach and represent Scotland’s diverse society. We want to change this by creating as much opportunity as possible for everyone to have a deep and meaningful engagement with our shared heritage and with the Trust’s wider work.

Over the past few decades, we’ve done some interesting and important work to address equality, diversity and inclusion, through highlighting the connections between our properties and slavery, giving more prominence to the stories of women and girls, and involving and representing a wider range of society in our activities, research and stories. We recognise that that there is more we can do to make sure that our founding principle of conservation and access is relevant to all communities in Scotland and beyond.

To help us in our work, we have established an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce (EDIT) made up of people from across our organisation and external experts. The taskforce’s purpose is to inform, support, monitor and report on the work of the Trust in combating inequality, lack of diversity, and exclusion in all we do.

Find out more about our Facing Our Past project

An aerial view of Glenfinnan Monument in its surrounding landscape. Lush green fields and trees run towards the loch edge. Tall mountains line the loch shores. The sun gleams through the clouds.

Taskforce members

Shirley Ballingall, Participation Manager
Shirley works as the Trust’s Participation lead. She has worked across the public and charity sectors for over 25 years in areas such as equality and human rights, public participation, volunteering, mental health and well-being, and she is a chartered change agent for managing changes to programmes.

Wendy Corrigan, Trustee
Wendy Corrigan is a conservation accredited architect and a partner with Wylie Shanks Architects in Glasgow, as well as a Trustee with the National Trust for Scotland. She hopes that her knowledge as an architectural practitioner and her direct experience of working with public buildings of historical significance will be a useful contribution to the task force.

Sarah Cuthbert Kerr, Communications Manager
Sarah is the Trust’s Communications Manager and as founder of Women in Scottish Heritage, she has been championing the equality, diversity and inclusion in the charity. Her hope is that the taskforce will provide real focus and momentum, as the Trust works to become ever more welcoming and engaging to more people.

Craig Ferguson, Head of People Policy, Operations & Advice
Craig is Head of People Operations Policy & Advice at the Trust and leads the Workforce ED&I stream. Along with Cat Telford, he works to help our volunteers and employees be appreciative of each other from a diversity and inclusion standpoint, and sensitive to each others’ needs, as well as helping us appeal to as broad a range of potential new colleagues as possible when we are recruiting volunteer and job vacancies. We want to be an employer that attracts colleagues from all of Scotland’s diverse communities, and demonstrates our inclusion through our people policies, procedures, and team and individual actions.

Jenny Howard-Coombes, Corporate Partnerships Manager

Jenny has worked extensively across the arts & events industry for over 25 years, specialising in cultural strategy, place making, project management and excelling in the cultivation of strategic, cross-sector partnerships. Prior to joining the Trust, Jenny was joint CEO of the Freedom International Festival where she helped establish and build an arts organisation rooted in place, commissioning and presenting work exploring themes of freedom, democracy and human rights, and specialising in socially engaged practice.

Catriona McIntosh, Visitor Services Manager Estate, Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre

Catriona has been working for the National Trust for Scotland since 2014 at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and Culloden. At both sites, she worked in the learning teams with the primary goal of bringing history to life and making it relevant to the lives and background of the audience. As the estate manager at Culloden, Catriona still works hard to make the history and the physical landscape accessible for all; and to provide opportunities for all to work, volunteer, and experience the landscape.

Ana Sanchez-De la Vega, Visitor Services Supervisor, Tenement House

As the Tenement House property lead in Glasgow, Ana works with a fantastic group of volunteers and community stakeholders to contribute to make Garnethill more inclusive and vibrant. She looks forward to the taskforce connecting those many different groups that are already working towards these goals within the Trust, and to supporting the Trust in creating an environment that celebrates equality, diversity and inclusion for all of our visitors, volunteers and staff.

Richard Sandell, Director, Research Centre for Museums and Galleries, University of Leicester
Heritage can play a powerful role in fostering understanding, inclusion and a sense of shared history and belonging. Richard welcomes the ambition of the taskforce and hopes to play a small part in supporting the Trust to foster an inclusive and welcoming heritage for all.

Stephen Small, Solicitor & Trust Secretary
Stephen is the Trust’s solicitor and also acts as Secretary to the Board of Trustees. He wants to help the Trust to deliver its fundamental purpose of promoting the access and enjoyment of Scotland’s beautiful and historic places by and for everyone.

Lisa Williams, Founder & Director, Edinburgh Caribbean Association
Lisa is the founder of the Edinburgh Caribbean Association and curates education programmes, arts events and walking tours to promote the shared heritage between Scotland and the Caribbean. Lisa has a BA in Psychology/African and Asian Studies and an MA in Arts, Festival and Cultural Management. She is a Research Associate at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and an Honorary Fellow in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh.

It is my greatest wish that the taskforce can assist the National Trust for Scotland to benefit from the exciting opportunities that come with a fresh approach to embedding EDI at every level of an organisation. Creating enriched stories, widening and deepening audience engagement and utilising a wider range of perspectives in decision-making will support the Trust in its role of protecting the nation’s heritage for years to come.

Accessibility

Find out more about our pledge for our services to be accessible, inclusive and easy to use.

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