William Buckley is a partner at London law firm, Linklaters. He has spent the past four years as a trustee, and the past three as chairman of the Lambeth-based Mosaic Clubhouse, a drop-in centre for mentally ill people.
Why and when did you become involved with Mosaic Clubhouse? The clubhouse wrote to me five years ago, asking for someone with a legal background to join its board, so I visited the place, was interviewed by two trustees and the rest is history.I was initially interested in Mosaic because I have experience of mental health problems within my family. I also felt I should be putting something back into the community.
Approximately how much time or money do you give per year? I don't limit my time contribution. Although we have quarterly board meetings, I also communicate regularly with the chief executive because of my role as chairman. I tend to get more involved when a crisis arises - two years ago I used my legal expertise to help renegotiate our three-year statutory funding contract.
What do you feel you bring to charities you help? My legal training and experience and my independent and objective perspective, and - of course - bags of enthusiasm.
Do you consider new approaches from organisations? Not at the moment because it's important not to over-commit oneself. However, Mosaic has a rule that all our trustees should retire from the board after six years, which helps to keep it fresh. I hope this encourages more volunteers as no-one need feel they are taking on an open-ended commitment. I will look for something else when that time comes - sadly that is scheduled for 2005.