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