More information

People Purpose Planning

People Purpose Planning aims to support arts, cultural and third sector organisations to achieve high performance by focusing on their people, their purpose and the effectiveness of their planning processes.

Case Studies


Transforming lives through music and art

Organisation type: Arts charity providing music based development opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers.

Deliverables: Business planning, fundraising strategy, developing and writing strategic funding bids, mentoring.

Founded in 2009, Crossings provides a weekly programme of arts based activity for refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, local people and their children, with a particular focus on music. To date almost 300 people from more than 40 different countries have participated. Choirs, bands and individuals regularly perform live, increasingly at a national level, and have begun to record, distribute and broadcast their work more widely. Members of Crossings also devise and lead school and community based workshops, for all ages, promoting and celebrating the values of multiculturalism.

Having achieved significant success in the first three years of operation as an entirely volunteer run organisation, by 2012 Trustees identified the need to consolidate and strengthen in order to make the most of opportunities ahead and to avoid potential ‘burn-out’ of key individuals due to an increasingly demanding workload.

Full Case Study: Crossings 2012 to 2015

Helix Arts

Organisation type: Regional participatory arts charity.

Deliverables: Fundraising.

Robert joined Helix Arts (then known as Artists Agency) as Development Director in 1999, becoming Co-director in 2002, Director in 2006 and finally Chief Executive. During this time he led the company through numerous change programmes – some through necessity, some pro-active – including: name change, rebranding, office re-location, staffing and leadership re-structures, business remodelling, setting up new accounting systems, transition to Full Cost Recovery, new vision, mission and rolling three-year priorities.

Full Case Study: Leading and Development Helix Arts

Tyne Gateway Trust

Delivering innovative community-led solutions to child poverty

Organisation type: Charity tackling child poverty.

Deliverables: Lead submission of Stage 2 Reaching Communities funding application.

Tyne Gateway Trust works within disadvantaged communities, particularly in North and South Tyneside, innovating community-led approaches to reducing child poverty through training, developing, empowering and supporting local people.

A busy and growing organisation, in spring 2014 the Board and Strategic Director identified the need for funding bid co-ordination and writing support in order to achieve a five-week deadline for submission of an important large-scale multi-year Stage 2 Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities application for a new programme of work supporting young fathers.

Full Case Study: Tyne Gateway Trust 2014

University of Sunderland Students’ Union

Adding substantial value to students’ university experience

Organisation type: Regional charity.

Deliverables: Long term strategic planning, team Away Day, business planning, change management, trustee development, leadership coaching.

University of Sunderland Students’ Union (USSU) exists to enhance the experience of its 18,000 members whilst they are studying at their campuses in Sunderland, London and overseas.

Like many other students’ unions in the UK, USSU recently became an independent charity, appointing Trustees and a new Chief Executive Officer. With the overall ambition to become a thriving 21st century students’ union, a new mission and headline strategic objectives were generated and agreed towards the end of 2012. It was also agreed, around this time, to generate a full and comprehensive business plan with a detailed action plan and clear recommendations for organisational change.

Full Case Study: USSU 2013 to 2014