Championing our cause

Published : Thu 14th Jun

Hilary McGrady became the National Trust’s new Director-General in March. Here she outlines her mission and the importance of having the right people in the right place to support our strategy.

For me, the National Trust exists to deliver benefit to the nation through amazing conservation. At a personal level, that means when I stand in the middle of a moorland or gaze on a beautiful painting, I feel better for it because it provides escape, stimulates my mind and makes me want to enable others to have the same experience. But I understand different people will draw different benefits from the places and spaces we look after – and that’s what the National Trust is all about.

Our strategy here hasn’t changed. We will continue to focus on restoring a healthy and beautiful environment and delivering experiences that move teach and inspire, while looking after the nation’s special places, including those where people live. While we’ve been working on our ‘places where people live’ programme internally, it’s now time to bring it to the fore. For example, I want us to start to think about what public value we can bring to the protection of places in urban settings, just as we have done with land, country houses and coast. Our model may be different, our approach may be flexible, but this is a slow build, not a radical new direction.

New opportunities

At an organisational level this means always looking at what we do through the lens of the benefit we are bringing to the communities we serve. That’s why we want to create new senior roles in the Trust. The Director of Communications and Audience Insight,  will enable our core conservation work to deliver maximum benefit by reaching a wider audience  with clear and relevant messaging that engages people in our cause. The Director of Support and Revenue will help us raise the funds that we need to care for our places and ensure generations of people will continue to enjoy them.