How building a new website has refreshed our social mission

Creating a new website is one of those things that can too often slip down the ‘to do’ list. There are always more pressing priorities: client needs, operational issues, being there for the team; and being home for family too. So, making time to reflect on what we wanted our new site to look like, the messaging, why it was even needed, seemed like a lot of extra work.

Was it worth it? Categorically yes… and not just for the obvious reasons. Having the chance to reflect afresh on why we do what we do and the way we do it has been deeply energising. We are thrilled to share the results.

From little acorns…

As you’ll see, there’s a bit of a theme. Yes, we do like our trees! And if you’ve ever visited our offices, you’ll know why. We are fortunate to live and work in the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside, surrounded by farms and woodland. When clients visit, especially from London, they unfailingly remark on its beauty.

That sense of place is very important to us. It uplifts us as we begin our day and serves to ground us, both literally and metaphorically, in what we do. It’s also reflected in our team of more than 30 staff and associates who live in the surrounding areas and who each bring their unique life experiences and qualities into the core of the work we do. We are very proud of the values-based business we’ve created, which started life as an intuition, not even sketched out on the proverbial back of an envelope!

Why trees?

Well, we’re surrounded by them. There’s something about their innate beauty and presence that can’t fail to inspire us: how they can be so sturdy and ethereal at the same time – branches reaching skyward, swaying in the wind, whilst the trunk remains rooted in the ground. That sense of adaptability, whilst being anchored, is something that appeals directly to our values of service, stability and trustworthiness. It’s why Benjamin Janes chose the oak tree as our logo when he set up the business in 2005.

We’re also close to Westonbirt, home to the National Arboretum, and we are very mindful of the community that we serve and how important it is to put down sustainable roots. That’s why we worked so hard to become the first Certified B Corporation in Gloucestershire, which is to business what Fairtrade is to coffee. We really care about what we do, the way that we do it, and the role we have to play as part of a global movement of people using business as a force for good.

As we enter our teenage years, it seems fitting to redefine our online presence. We’re also experiencing something of a growth spurt (!) as we’re about to take on a fourth unit at our HQ – the glorious Trull Farm where, from time to time, the Prince of Wales’s cattle can be seen grazing in the fields around us. But, as befits our logo, our work remains grounded in what first put us on the map: a social enterprise that specialises in managing charitable trusts, foundations and almshouses to enable these wonderful organisations to have greater impact in their social missions.

Working on content for the new website has given me pause for thought and made me reflect afresh on the values that make and define us. We’d welcome your thoughts too. Please like, comment, even share. We look forward to hearing from you.