Devon Communities Together (DCT) is the operating name of The Community Council of Devon, an independent charitable company founded in 1961, and part of a national network of Rural Community Councils. DCT is a community development organisation that helps communities help themselves by providing advice and information, and supporting projects throughout Devon.

Why Pilotlight?

DCT originally came to Pilotlight to further develop its strategic plan, improve impact measurement and review its plan for diversifying incomes streams.

What we did

In the first few meetings the team focused on understanding the context and unpicking the diverse range of services that DCT delivers. The project therefore revolved around analysing and developing a refined strategy by creating ‘buckets’ for all of DCT’s services, identifying social and business objectives and bringing it all together in a strategic plan. During the project DCT was successful in securing multiple grants and projects.  As a result, the Pilotlighters guided DCT on how to implement staff changes and become more business minded.


We now have the tools to create real growth which is so exciting.

Elaine Cook,
CEO, Devon Communities Together

The project gave DCT a safe space to explore issues and challenges, in particular around strategy, service provision and human resources. Working with Pilotlight gave CEO Elaine Cook the confidence she needed to make and implement changes, so that the organisation looks and feels very different now. Elaine described the tools the Pilotlight team shared as ‘immensely valuable’. These are enabling DCT to track progress against the new strategy, and to define social objectives and articulate what they do. DCT now has an impact framework for projects, which is used to present information to the board and helps them to secure funding that is essential to their future growth.

At the progress meeting, a few months after the project’s end, Pilotlighter Fiona Clark said “I’ve been very impressed with the way DCT has moved on with the recommendations we made and the work we did during the project. Working with this charity has been interesting for me; and has developed my understanding of the need for the services DCT delivers, to support the rural community.”

Reflecting on the project, CEO Elaine Cook said:

“I loved the opportunity to bare my soul at each meeting to the Pilotlighters and their guidance has given me the confidence to act on issues that I always felt needed addressing. Our strategic planning is much better now and we have the tools to create real growth which is so exciting.”