Bar in the Community has launched a new website at www.BarintheCommunity.org.uk making it even easier for charities to find trustees with a legal background. Following a successful Trustees Week and National Pro Bono Week highlighting the ongoing and unmet demand for trustees, as well as the continued commitment of the legal sector to undertake pro bono work, this free service is a central way for barristers and solicitors to support their communities by volunteering to charities that urgently need them.
HOW DOES IT WORK FOR LAWYERS?
Open to barristers and other legally qualified individuals the website features a regularly updated list of current volunteer opportunities across the UK. Launching with over 55 opportunities currently live, the vacancies can also be filtered by location and cause. Whether lawyers wish to work with charities in the music, drama and arts sector, or mental health charities or homelessness and housing charities, there are vacancies for all kinds and sizes of organisations.
Volunteers can also join the Bar in the Community mailing list if they wish to receive regular updates of new trustee positions as they are added to the website.
HOW DOES IT WORK FOR CHARITIES LOOKING FOR TRUSTEES?
Charities can easily showcase new opportunities by adding all the details to the website using the ‘Advertise an opportunity’ page. Charities can also state what kind of lawyer they are looking for from a list including barrister, solicitor, clerk or practice manager, pupil, postgraduate or undergraduate. Vacancies will then be uploaded to the site.
WHY IS THE SITE NEEDED?
There are currently around 194,000 charities in the UK with just over 1 million trustees; just under half are women, and the average age of a trustee is 59 in England and Wales, although 86,000 are aged 16-34.* There are a number of organisations advertising trustee vacancies but this is the first portal to focus solely on charities that are looking for trustees to bring legal skills to the board.
*Source: Trustees Week 2016. ‘About’ webpage.
WHY VOLUNTEER AS A TRUSTEE?
Richard Parkes QC of 5 Raymond Buildings became a trustee of the Apex Trust through the Bar in the Community service. Since 1965 Apex has promoted employment as a route out of offending for people with a criminal record. Richard said “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.”
Head of Fundraising and Communications Bar Pro Bono Unit
Tel: 020 7092 3961
- Bar in the Community encourages and facilitates voluntary work by lawyers and others working in the legal sector in their local communities. In doing so, they use their legal skills but do not give legal
- In 2015 Bar in the Community made 48 introductions to interested barristers. Applicant organisations ranged from a project supporting young parents in Bristol, to community transport in Tower Hamlets, to music therapy in
- Paul Schwartfeger was the strategic and development lead for the Bar in the Community digital services
- Bar in the Community is the sister charity of the Bar’s national charity, The Bar Pro Bono Unit. The Bar Pro Bono Unit matches members of the public who are ineligible for legal aid and cannot afford legal help with a barrister. With over 3,600 volunteer barristers on their panel which includes a third of all QCs and after 20 years, the Unit remains one of the few free legal advice charities that covers every area of law, across all courts and tribunals in England and Wales for members of the public who would otherwise have no avenue to access