Update about Titus Trust Culture Review – May 2021

Thirtyone:eight has been commissioned by the Titus Trust to undertake an independent review of the current culture of the Titus Trust. The review will explore any good practice and failings in the different cultures of each of the Trust’s holiday groups (including the work of Iwerne and Forres in recent years), and the culture of the Trust as a whole. The review will focus on what these cultures have been like over recent years in order to help the Titus Trust, ensure they are creating a healthy culture for the future. While the review will focus particularly on the last five years, the reviewers will consider relevant evidence from beyond this timeframe where necessary in order to understand how the current culture has been shaped by what went before, and also to understand how the culture has changed over time and how the trustees have acted as part of this process.

Thank you to all who have come forwards to date to participate in the Titus Trust Culture Review. We value the contributions which will aid the insights and learning.

A critical part of Titus Trust activity is the camps they hold for hundreds of young people each year. It is therefore imperative that the Review team visit these camps to not only hear about the culture at Titus Trust, but to see the culture during live activity.

Due to Covid 19, the Easter camps have not been able to proceed in their usual manner. The Review Team will therefore now be going on site to visit the Summer camps taking place in July and August. This sadly means that there will be a delay and it is now planned that the final report will be published in October 2021.

Thirtyone:eight would still value hearing from anyone who feels they have information that speaks to the scope which can be found here .

The process thirtyone:eight is adopting can be found here .

If you feel you would like to participate in the review, please do make contact with thirtyone:eight through titustrustsafeguarding@thirtyoneeight.org. Invitation to participate remains open till the 11th June 2021.

Please note thirtyone:eight continue to offer an independent helpline to offer support to anyone who feels they have been harmed or who has concerns relating to the Titus Trust. If you have been affected in this way and you would like to speak to someone independent about this, you can contact the thirtyone:eight helpline, on 0303 003 1111. Please quote ‘Titus 2020’.

Statement about Titus Trust Culture Review

The Titus Trust has commissioned thirtyone:eight to undertake an independent review of the current culture of the Titus Trust.  This review will begin in September 2020 and it is planned that the final report will be published in Summer 2021.

The Trustees are committed to doing everything possible to ensure the well-being of everyone involved in the activities of the Titus Trust, including through preventing, challenging and properly reporting any behaviour that might lead to anyone being harmed in any way.  Our aim is to foster a vigilant, humble, gentle, and gracious culture in all that we do.

While the experiences of many of those who have been involved in the Trust’s work have been very positive, we know that, sadly, this has not been the case for everyone.  Over recent years, two volunteer leaders on Iwerne camps have faced separate allegations of harmful behaviour (in John Smyth’s case before the Titus Trust took over running the Iwerne camps; in Jonathan Fletcher’s case after this date).

There have also been other criticisms of some aspects of the cultures of different camp groups.  We recognise that sometimes these criticisms have been justified, and are deeply sorry about times the Trust has got things wrong.  We want to ensure that there is no complacency and that we make any further changes that may be required.

In the light of this, the Trustees have asked thirtyone:eight to undertake a robust and comprehensive exploration of both good practice and failings in the different cultures of each of the Trust’s holiday groups (including the work of Iwerne and Forres in recent years), and the culture of the Trust as a whole.  The review will focus particularly on what these cultures have been like in the last five years, in order to help us ensure that they are as healthy as they can be into the future.

We will listen carefully to thirtyone:eight’s findings, learn where we may have got things wrong, and respond carefully to any recommendations, in order to provide as safe and positive an environment as possible in everything we do.

More details about thirtyone:eight’s review can be found at https://thirtyoneeight.org/Titus-Trust-Review .

The review process will be independent, led by two reviewers who have a significant level of experience of undertaking safeguarding reviews.  They will consider all known and relevant sources of information within the agreed scope and terms of the review.  Additionally, the reviewers will seek to visit a range of camps in order to observe and gain a sense of ‘live culture’ in practice.  This will be subject to government guidance in the current COVID-19 circumstances.

It is recognised that the review process may raise some difficult memories, emotions, or experiences for some.  Thirtyone:eight employ experienced listeners who will be able to provide a listening service to anyone who requires further support.  This will operate separately to the review (ie. the reviewers will not be the listeners), and can be accessed by contacting listeningservice@thirtyoneeight.org or there are more details at https://thirtyoneeight.org/titus-trust-review/listening-service.  This listening service is also open to those who choose not to participate in the review, and will be available beyond the completion of the review.

The Titus Trust have also commissioned thirtyone:eight to provide a confidential Helpline service. This remains separate to the Review, should anyone wish to speak to someone independently about their experience in relation to the Trust. This safeguarding helpline can be contacted on 0303 003 1111 quoting ‘Titus 2020′ to the helpline team member. Information you share with the helpline will not be shared with others, including the independent review team, unless you request it, or action needs to be taken to protect you or others (in adherence to standard safeguarding practice and protocol).

Contacting the review

If anyone who has experience of the Titus Trust in the last five years, or that is relevant to the last five years, including any victims/survivors of any abusive behaviour, wishes to participate in the review, or to pass relevant information to thirtyone:eight, they can do so confidentially, by emailing  TitusTrustsafeguarding@thirtyoneeight.org.

We recognise that it may be hard for many to participate in this way.  Please be assured that thirtyone:eight will handle all responses sensitively and follow up support will be available for any who request it.

Both thirtyone:eight, and the Titus Trust take data privacy and confidentiality very seriously.  Identities of confirmed participants will be known only by the reviewers.  No identifiable details of any victim or survivor will be passed between the Titus Trust and thirtyone:eight without prior consent.

September 2020