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History and Structure

We believe in equality and human rights. Everyone has the right to a home.

We are Trinity, we are home.

Our History

Graham Duncan, fresh from University, where he studied psychology, spent his days working with groups of men sweeping leaves and weeding flower beds as part of the work programme at the drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Berkshire called Yeldall Manor.

Shaftesbury Housing Association had been bequeathed a house in Hounslow, and as West London was not their patch, they offered it to Yeldall. When the proposition was presented to the staff, Graham was the only person to volunteer to go and start a new project in London.

Graham and his new wife moved into the house in 1988 and for three months they walked the streets and met local people suffering homelessness.

They met with the local agencies who were there to help, and soon had the house full of people. Shaftesbury offered another two houses in Hayes and Yeldall Homeless Projects was born.

The work in West London inherited the missional approach practised by Yeldall which was accompanied with Graham’s psychological interest and therapeutic experience.

The projects grew slowly, and in five years the charity had just five houses and 21 residents. In another five years the charity had grown to nine houses and 30 residents and had started an employment project called Streetworks. In 1999 the charity opened a social enterprise; a shop and café. This was to provide work placements and profit to subsidise the charity’s overheads.

A new start

In 2005 it was decided that the vision, mission and values of ‘the homeless projects’, no longer fitted with the parent charity and the decision was taken to create a new charity to take on this work and in 2007 Trinity was born.

Despite the over-use of this name throughout the world, it’s meaning and application is not only symbolic, it is also a blueprint for our work and more. It represents a community model of equality, relationship and purpose.

When we embrace and implement the understanding of the community model of the trinity, a model of submission to one another’s will in love, all hierarchical structures and authoritarian attitudes that have caused many to become alienated will be overcome.

It will then be possible to surmount the authoritarian notions of power and control and to recover a vision of community as a loving activity in whose life and work we participate in, and this vision can help reorder the world in more just and loving ways.

This in turn will enable us to reflect on the forms and quality of the relationships to which we participate. Far from reinforcing hierarchy, which promotes subordination, a proper understanding of the relationships of the trinity radically reinterprets relations within, families, organisations, neighbourhoods, communities and society at large.

The trinity understood as a communion of persons, lays the foundation for a society of equals, in which dialogue and consensus are the basic constituents of living together in the world.

structure

In the landscape of a constantly changing environment, successful organisations learn and implement the lessons gained, and this informs our practice, growth and diversity and behaviour consistent with our culture.

How does our structure support change in our environment and working practice?

What organising structure exists that reflects who we are…?

The term “hierarchy” comes from the Greek hieros, meaning “powerful, supernatural, or sacred,” and arche, which means “beginning” or “rule.” The implication is that the levels of a hierarchy get closer and closer to the source or beginning of that which is most sacred or powerful. This implication has also led to the use of the term hierarchy to refer to any graded or ranked series, such as a person’s “hierarchy of values,” or a machine’s “hierarchy of responses.” The connotation of this being that those elements at the top of the hierarchy “come first,” or are “more important” than those at the lower levels.

There is a paradox of hierarchy in human society. While hierarchies can indeed be powerful systems for organising various aspects of life, where would we be without, lists, instructions, directions, steps, first things first? Yet this falls short in reflecting the inherent equality and worth of every individual.

In our world, the recognition of each person’s intrinsic value and the belief in equality are fundamental principles that underpin many social, ethical, and philosophical frameworks. Regardless of social status, wealth, or power, every individual deserves respect, dignity, and equal opportunities. Embracing the notion that no one is inherently more important than another fosters a sense of inclusivity, empathy, and solidarity among people. It encourages collaboration, mutual support, and collective action toward shared goals.

By acknowledging and upholding the equality of all individuals, we can strive to create a more just, compassionate, and harmonious society where everyone’s voice is heard, everyone’s rights are protected, and everyone has the opportunity to thrive and contribute to the greater good.

Whilst hierarchies can be powerful systems for structuring life, they are not for those that live it. In our world no one is more important, everyone is equal.

Flat organisational structures without any fixed leadership, surmounts authoritarian notions of power and control and allow us to recover a vision of community as a loving activity in whose life and work we participate in, and this vision can help reorder the world in more just and loving ways. We are Trinity – a community of equals.
Submission to one another’s will in love includes necessary conflict, so what works in practice is; we disagree, we question, challenge and commit and we hold one-another accountable for behaviours that achieve our purpose. How we do this is; we trust. Not predictive trust where we know ‘what we’re gonna get’, more like the trust that comes from taking a risk, ‘going out on a limb’, not knowing the response. 

The choice to be vulnerable is to trust, that what you have to say will be received and contributes to the dialogue and consensus. That’s why vulnerability is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it takes great strength – the belief in your convictions, and confidence in your own value. In short, it takes courage. And that courage is incredibly important to our success –believing in our convictions and having confidence to be ourselves and speak up is what pushes us to achieving our purpose.

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