What they do

The Aldingbourne Trust is an enterprising charity dedicated to engaging with local businesses and the community to support people with learning disabilities.  They work to ensure their beneficiaries have the same opportunities as everyone else to live independently and access real, paid work.  Their approach is highly innovative in that they provide independent living opportunities by offering a range of residential accommodation within the community for individuals with moderate disabilities.  But they also operate several social enterprises which employ their beneficiaries, supporting them to develop necessary life and employment skills.  Furthermore, they work closely with employers on how to work effectively with adults with learning disabilities and have even developed a countryside attraction and open farm at their flagship site near Chichester.

Their needs

  • To market themselves proactively for the first time as a holistic charity and to support their various social enterprises and other services specifically
  • Change employer and public opinions regarding adults with learning disabilities
  • Improve and grow fundraising opportunities
  • Put themselves ‘on the map’ outside of their traditional geography
  • Convince their employees and volunteers of this new approach and engage them in making it really take off

What we did

  • Created a tiered, integrated marketing strategy which supported the charity as a whole and the nine separate entities within it – all leveraging the core brand, philosophy and focus
  • Created internal communications programmes to engage with the staff and volunteers (volunteers weren’t previously included at all) and the charity’s supporter group the  ‘Friends of Aldingbourne’
  • Supported the fundraising manager to create appropriate cases for support, marketing materials and event programmes
  • Coached the in-house team to deliver the plan and engaged as ongoing mentor to support the delivery of the strategy
  • Supported the launch of two new social enterprises
  • Ongoing mentor to Marketing and Enterprise Manager
  • Wrote the new website
  • Wrote and edited several marketing flyers, magazines and promotional items.

Key results

  • Increase in visitor numbers at the farm/country centre year on year for 2 years.
  • Significant increase in local positive media coverage and some national coverage gained around cuts to disability services
  • Staff and volunteers satisfaction and engagement survey results improved year on year
  • Social media presence growing and useful to all the social enterprises as well as the charity – from a zero start (but a work in progress)
  • New social enterprises generating revenues and growing
  • Specific programme to influence employers – Powerful Trainers – growing, generating greater revenues and seeing more employers than in previous years
  • Excellent attendance at VIP and visitor events we helped to create and market.