Trustee Capacity Building Project

Sunderland’s 600-year-old ship building heritage is celebrated by the enthusiastic volunteers of Sunderland Maritime Heritage (SMH).

They are a voluntary community group managed by a board of six trustees and supported by 14 volunteers.

SMH realised they needed to improve their business skills to plan activities and manage their organisation more effectively.  They worked with a professional to set up a training programme in business planning, marketing and collections management.

“Our community designed and built some of the best ships in the world.  We have been building ships for over 650 years.”

They also worked with Voluntary Community Action Sunderland to help with project planning, funding applications, engaging with their community and finding new ways of monitoring and evaluation. This 18-month project took the group on a journey of discovery and involved a great deal of hard work but has resulted in more resilient organisation ready to face future challenges.

The success of this project has been felt with more activities undertaken and a significant increase in visitors.  A learning programme has been developed for use with schools, colleges and the wider community.  The Trust now also runs supported work experience and evening joinery classes.

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