Case studies

Mark Warwick of Selbourne Chambers became a trustee of Age Concern Islington and was introduced to them by Bar in the Community

Mark says:

Through the Bar in the Community scheme I became a trustee/director of Age Concern Islington (ACI). I joined about 5 years ago. I attend board meetings, where we discuss management/financial issues. Although Islington may be known for its "professional" population, it embraces several large housing estates and has many poor and disadvantaged people. ACI operates 2 large day centres (which offer activities and meals) and also various programmes. Such programmes include "home from hospital", which offers care to those discharged from hospital, who do not have a network of relatives/friends to care for them (...) Working with ACI has made me realise how "every penny counts". In our supposedly affluent society there are substantial numbers of people who live a lonely meagre life. The work of ACI helps to alleviate the lives of some of these.

Martin Young of 9 Stone Buildings became a trustee of the Attlee Foundation

Martin says:

I was introduced to the Attlee Foundation by "Bar in the Community" and served two terms as member of its Board of Trustees between 2002 and 2008. As its name suggests Attlee Foundation was set up to commemorate the life and work of Clement Attlee. (...) The charity promotes new ways of thinking and working to tackle disadvantage and inequality at home and abroad. Attlee Foundation has recently completed the state of the art Attlee Youth and Community Centre in Spitalfields, where young people from the immediate community can experience sport, leisure and educational activities alongside workers from the other side of the City fringe. It is providing a vital bridge across social, economic, ethnic and religious lines, helping to break down boundaries, improve aspiration and opportunity and build social cohesion.

By happy coincidence Attlee Foundation is based in the East End of London close to my home and in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, where I served as a Councillor from 1994 to 2002. I enjoyed my time as an Attlee trustee and continue to support its work.

Christopher Smith of Essex Court became a trustee and later treasurer of the Citizens Advice Bureau Tendring

Christopher says:

I joined "Bar in the Community" when it was first established by the Bar Pro Bono Unit. Soon after I received a list of organisations who were hoping to recruit members of the bar. I noticed that my local Citizens Advice Bureau in Tendring had expressed an interest in the scheme. I made contact with the Bureau manager and was invited to the next meeting of the board of trustees. At first I attended on an ad hoc basis without standing for election to the board, but in time I was persuaded to stand for election. Having become one of the trustees my involvement in the bureau increased and I subsequently became treasurer. I found the work I did with the Bureau both rewarding and enjoyable. I particularly enjoyed working with the other trustees, the volunteers and the full time staff. During the period of my involvement the Bureau moved from trading as an unincorporated association to become incorporated. It secured a substantial lottery grant and was able to purchase and convert its own building for use as its main office. It also found new premises for its other main office and secured grants for necessary upgrading. I would not want to take any credit for these achievements, but I hope that they illustrate the type of developments which Bar in the Community has allowed me to be involved in.

Richard Parkes QC of 5 Raymond Buildings became a trustee of the Apex Trust

Richard says:

One of the most important factors in preventing recidivism is to help offenders, and particularly ex-prisoners, to find work. That is the primary function of Apex Trust. Working with prisons and probation officers on projects around the country, Apex gives offenders the guidance, skills and support that they need to seek work with confidence. At the same time, it seeks to educate and reassure potential employers about the risks and benefits of taking on ex-offenders. My work as a Recorder led me to appreciate the importance of employment in preventing or at least reducing the likelihood of re-offending, and that was what prompted me to join Apex as a trustee in 2004. I attend board and sub-committee meetings and I give advice informally by telephone or email whenever it is needed. My contribution is minuscule, but it gives me great satisfaction to play even a small part in the work of such a profoundly worthwhile operation.

Age Concern Islington

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