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Article published on: Monday, 31 October 2022

Trustees' Week, 7-11 November

Trustees' Week takes place 7-11 November. It’s a chance to recognise the fantastic contribution Trustees make to our charity and to say thank you.

For Decorative Purposes Only
This year we’re celebrating by highlighting just a few of our incredible Trustees. In their own words, they tell us about their roles and why they have given up their valuable time to support Bucks Mind. They also share their own tips for managing mental health and wellbeing as well as a few interesting facts about themselves. We hope you enjoy getting to know them.

Brian Henry, Trustee and Finance Committee Member

I’m really enjoying working with Andrea McCubbin (Chief Executive) and the team to help Bucks Mind go from strength to strength.

My current role away from Bucks Mind is as Chief Information Officer for St. Johns Ambulance, which focuses on technology and change. I’m keen to share lessons and potential opportunities from elsewhere in the charity sector, especially from a national charity.

To help my own mental health wellbeing I enjoy walking my dog, exercising and find the occasional mindfulness meditation helps. I also try to remind myself of the many things that I have to be grateful for, which I tend to forget when I’m really busy.

My current favourite book is The Future We Choose: The Stubborn Optimists Guide to the Climate Crisis. It’s a great read, with reasons to be optimistic about our ability to tackle climate change and ideas about what we as individuals can do!”

Brian Henry at mountain peak

Carl Charlesworth, Trustee

I originally came on board at Bucks Mind as a Digital Advisor to the Board of Trustees, helping the charity push forward to the digital side. I then became a Trustee in March this year. Since taking on the role, I’ve supported the Board with digital marketing, digital fundraising and the wider digital transformation of Bucks Mind.

One of the main reasons I’m a Trustee with Bucks Mind is to ensure that people with mental health problems have access to information, care and support services they deserve. Through my volunteering I hope to spread my knowledge and skills while also being able to learn and collaborate with the charity.

To help support my own mental health I think it’s important to try and take time for yourself, even if it’s 30 minutes a day where you can recharge yourself through exercise, reading, watching TV or seeing family and friends.  One thing I’ve become very mindful of is that everyone recharges in different ways, depending on their personality. For example, an introvert may recharge by being on their own, while an extrovert by being around people. Finally, I would say to always be kind to yourself and others.

Fact about me; I’m a sci-fi fanatic! Anything space related, Star Wars, Star Trek, Alien films.

Lesley Michaelis, Vice Chair

My role, with the other Trustees, is all about ensuring that Bucks Mind has the strategy, governance, resources and policies it needs to comply with legal requirements as well as deliver the very best support to our service users.

I come from a business background and volunteer because I passionately believe that individuals from the private sector should contribute to the voluntary sector by giving their skills and experience. It’s also brilliant to be able to make a contribution to a charity that makes transformational differences to people’s lives.

With mental health, I think it’s so important not to be afraid to ask for help when you need it. This can be so difficult, but I think that you will never regret taking that brave first step forward.

I’m a bit of a foodie, so in my spare time I’ve been lucky enough to eat in many of the UK’s top restaurants.

If anyone out there from the business world is thinking about volunteering, I know that you will be able to bring enormous value whilst also broadening your own skills and experience.

Richard Long, Volunteer and Trustee

I have volunteered for Bucks Mind services, including Mind the Gap and as a Befriender. It is because of this that I am able to offer significant experience from a volunteers’ perspective as a Trustee. I have worked one-to-one with individuals who endeavour to manage their own unique form of mental illness and have my own experience of how the mind distorts thought processes when we are mentally unwell.

I was looking for a focus in retirement, and was pleased to follow up on an ad for Befriending with Bucks Mind. Twelve years on, I still get the same buzz at the start of a new face-to-face partnership; no preconceptions, build trust and go with the flow.  I have always viewed Befriending as a starting point, aiming to open up wider social contact whenever possible. If this can be achieved, there will be a foundation for continuing recovery after the Befriending partnership has ended.

I believe that getting outside the home is so important to mental wellbeing. Wider social contact is a key building block to recovery.

My favourite book, Cliffy – The Cliff Young Story, follows a modest, shuffling, 61-year-old potato farmer who takes on the elite runners in the toughest ultra-marathon road race ever in Australia, and wins.

“It’s brilliant to be able to make a contribution to a charity that makes transformational differences to people’s lives.”

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