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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.


I cannot speak too highly of Robert’s strategic skills, his thorough research of his subject (including assessment of needs) and his enormous attention to detail and to producing the best possible result for his clients.

Robert has led on developing our Business Plan and Fundraising Strategy and then led on a series of successful strategic bids for our organisation. We again engaged his services to help us realise our forward plan, including building our organisational, fundraising, evaluation system and personnel capacity and managing our change from a volunteer-led, small-scale organisation, to a medium-sized, staffed organisation. He has also helped us on financial systems such as Full Cost Recovery and he continues to mentor our current staff members and trustees.

Robert is one of the most able, conscientious, experienced and knowledgeable men that I know, and I am delighted to recommend him most highly...

Lucy Fairley, Chair, Crossings

See also Case Study [Crossings 2012 to 2015]


Rob demonstrates a unique ability to understand our organisation and appreciate it’s complexity yet provide clear, intuitive, practical and relevant guidance. He delivers a method of working which is clear yet thoughtful, and enables the process of applying for funding to be an achievable and visionary process.

Rob’s experiences as a practicing artist alongside former chief executive of a successful arts company means that his insight, wisdom and creativity enables an informed practice for evaluation and producing exciting and innovative documentary reports and findings.

We look forward to further collaborations with Rob, which will continue to impact positively on our organisation, and would definitely recommend him to any organisations or individuals wishing to flourish and thrive.

Claire Webster-Saaremets, Artistic Director, Skimstone Arts


Robert was an integral part of the development of our strategic plan. He took a methodical, diligent and pragmatic approach, informed by vast amounts of experience and with a robust theoretical framework behind it. This helped us develop that strategy into workable plans and change we could actually implement. His ordered approach, delivered in a coaching style, resulted in an accessible and very useable Business Plan and associated action plans designed to catalyse and embed change across the organisation. He helped us in the thinking that delivered a full change programme for the organisation Our mission, vision, values, structure, priorities and culture have all been changed as a result of our work with Robert.

Robert’s style, by turns collaborative and coaching, offered me as chief exec exactly the right type and level of support. Our senior team found his approach invaluable in helping set and maintain a clear vision through a challenging re-organisation. His experience and understanding allowed us to progress at a fast enough pace to meet our targets but also allowed enough time for consideration and consolidation. This approach was extended to a workshop for our whole team which proved tremendously valuable.

Marie Nixon, Chief Executive, University of Sunderland Students’ Union

See also Case Study [USSU 2013 to 2014]


Robert was a huge help to us in terms of supporting us in the completion of a Big Lottery Fund application for a new and challenging project. He brought a sense of perspective and challenge to the task as well as a very well structured and organised plan that meant we submitted a clear and robust bid on time and we have now been awarded the funds. Robert is so personable and professional and I would not hesitate to recommend him.

Pauline Wonder, Strategic Director, Tyne Gateway Trust

See also Case Study [Tyne Gateway Trust 2014]