Di Bligh is the current chair of the board of trustees. After a career in social housing and public service, Di retrained to teach and facilitate Action Learning, a long-established technique for working collectively to resolve dilemmas and develop new ideas without telling one another what to do – work which she describes as a compassionate challenge. She combines work for paying clients with pro bono work with and for activists, particularly focused on the climate emergency. These days, when she’s not doing that, she’s probably down the allotment, or gardening.
Di first offered to help with the Mandala Trust after she met its founder, Matt York, working with a local Zulu community in KwaZulu-Natal to create vegetable gardens for families badly affected by HIV/AIDS. Her heart responded to the Trust’s motto of “Simple Acts of Kindness”. Her head responded to the Trust’s thoughtful approach to using its funds as well as possible in the face of overwhelming need. The Trust’s entirely voluntary administration leads to almost zero running costs, unlike so many big-name charities. In light of the many challenges currently facing this world, Di is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the Trust’s work at a time when the need to live in love and generosity is stronger than ever.