The second in our series of Trustee blogs from Hannah Bronwin, a previous volunteer for Restless Development and Senior Associate at multinational law firm Linklaters, who joined our International Board of Trustees for a four year term in July 2015.
Before joining Linklaters as a trainee lawyer eight years ago, I worked for 6 months in Uganda with SPW, now Restless Development [since 2010]. Then, as now, Restless Development was a dynamic organisation of passionate young volunteers who provided support for thousands of young people in the developing world to improve their livelihoods, health and civic participation. The zest and energy of the young Ugandans I met was inspiring. Their ability to triumph in the face of adversity will stay with me forever.
Grace Basimbe, our community volunteer, lived in one room with his mum and six siblings. He had left school because they couldn’t pay the fees. But each evening, after a busy day walking miles of dirt tracks between farmers’ groups and schools delivering health and livelihoods training, he would come to our house to sit and read his old text books by candlelight, because his family could not afford the candles. His example has been an inspiration to me ever since.
Over the years, I have watched Restless Development go from strength to strength. When the opportunity came up to apply for the role of trustee, I was delighted by the chance to re-engage with the fantastic work done at Restless and contribute my professional skills.
Being a trustee can be an enriching experience, personally and professionally, if you care about the work the charity is doing. Restless Development manages to combine professionalism with passion in the perfect balance – and I recommend anyone looking to be a trustee should look for these qualities in a charity. I also found it useful looking at the balance of expertise across the board generally, to ensure that you have a complementary skill set
I am tremendously excited to be joining the board at a time when Restless Development is devising its strategy for the next five years. The organisation has grown significantly in the last few years, and is leading the way in establishing what it means to be a 21st century NGO. Being part of shaping their future as a growing agency is a great privilege, and one I am excited to contribute to as a trustee.