To support this year’s Trustees’ Week, a handful of Stone King’s people who are charity trustees in their own time talk about the charities they work with and reflect on what they have learnt.

Get involved in our upcoming Trustee events:

Are you a new trustee or thinking of becoming one?

  • Stone King’s leading Charity & Social Enterprise team runs regular Essential Charity Training for trustees and senior management.

Please see our Charity Training Programme.

 Oliver Daw profile picture

Julie Moktadir


Julie is an experienced immigration expert and has worked with various types of organisations and individuals on a broad range of immigration issues. She supports clients across Stone King’s sectors with often sensitive immigration-related matters.

Immigration Law Practitioner’s Association

Trustee for:

Immigration Law Practitioner’s Association

Lindsey House, 40-42 Charterhouse Street, London EC1M 6JN

How did you become involved with ILPA and how long have you been a trustee?

I wanted to become a solicitor in order to practice immigration law. I therefore found a training contract that offered immigration as one of its seats. Most immigration lawyers are members of ILPA, it is a fantastic charity. I have therefore been a member ever since I started practicing law and a trustee for two years.

What are the main skills you need? 

In order to support the charity effectively, you need to understand the purpose as well as how a charity works, and how to offer strategic support to the excellent team employed by the charity.

What do you enjoy most about being a charity trustee? 

I love being a trustee of ILPA as I am able to shape its work and support the staff. Whilst the charity has a big impact, there aren’t many employees, so it is rewarding for the trustees to offer support.

What have you learnt from the experience? 

Working with so many other immigration lawyers of various backgrounds and areas of specialism, we learn from one another and how different individuals handle different situations. 

Briefly, what would you say to someone considering becoming a charity trustee? 

Being a charity trustee is very rewarding. Having previously been the Chief Executive of a charity, I understand how important good trustees are, and how valuable it is to the organisation when individuals will invest their time and expertise. It is mutually rewarding. 

  Nicole Reed profile picture

Nicole Reed


Nicole is an Associate Solicitor in our Charity & Social Enterprise team. She advises on a variety of matters including the structuring and registration of new charities and social enterprises; transfers, mergers and restructures; regulatory compliance and governance and public benefit delivery

The Children at Risk Foundation

Trustee for:

The Children at Risk Foundation (UK) (CARF UK)

How did you become involved?

I was introduced to Jonathan Hannay, the Founder of ACER Brasil (Associação de Apoio à Criança em Risco or Association to Support Children at Risk) by Frederico Singarajah, Founder of Lex Anglo-Brasil, a network connecting Brazilian and British lawyers. As part of a three week tour of Brazil in 2017, where I visited a number of charities and social enterprises, I went to Diadema in São Paulo to see the work ACER is doing in the local community. I was impressed with the varied and sustainable support which the organisation is providing to local children in an area which has a high level of social difficulties.

On my return to the UK, I was invited to participate in the meetings of Children at Risk Foundation (CARF), a UK charity which fundraises for and raises awareness of the work which ACER does in Brazil. After a few months as an ‘observer’ I became a trustee of the UK charity.

What do you find most rewarding?

Being a sounding board for ideas, providing guidance where I can and knowing that what we do supports the work in Brazil.

What have you learnt from your experience?

Being a trustee is a great way to meet new people, put your skills (whatever they might be) to good use outside of work and gain another perspective on life.

What advice would you give someone considering becoming a trustee?

Everyone has something to give. Charities need trustees with a wide variety of skills and everyone brings something to the table. Our trustees all have very different jobs and different specialties so no matter who you are, you can be a good trustee. Choose a charity which means something to you, something local, something you are passionate about or something you have a link with. The time commitment varies depending on the charity so consider what you can do in practice and go for it!

 Andrew Banks profile picture

Andrew Banks


Andrew is Partner and Head of the Court and Regulatory Team at Stone King. He is an experienced Criminal practitioner who practices in the Crown Court and Magistrates Court. Andrew is a Solicitor Advocate having attained his Higher Court qualification.

Mentoring Plus

Trustee for:

Mentoring Plus

Riverside Youth Hub, York Place, London Road, Bath BA1 6AE

01225 429694

What does Mentoring Plus do and how did you become a trustee?

Mentoring Plus appoints adult mentors for disadvantaged young people in the South West. When I was doing a lot of legal aid work at youth court I met Michael Tichelar, one of the charity’s founders. I did some training with the trustees and mentors and a few other bits and pieces, and about five years ago they approached me about becoming a trustee.

I would go to court with young people in trouble and often they would be in trouble again and again because they had no role models. It would quickly escalate. But when they worked with Mentoring Plus it seemed to really help them and nip it in the bud. Being able to defend them in court by saying that they were now receiving mentoring from the charity was usually always well received.

What do you enjoy most about being a trustee?

You feel like you’re putting something back and able to contribute in a positive way. It’s lovely to see the effect the charity’s work has on some of these young people who have had no advantages in life at all and how they manage to really make something of themselves.

What have you learnt from your work as charity trustee?

I’ve definitely learnt the importance of putting something back in the community that you live in, of doing something that’s more than just turning up for work every day and really helping.

 Sarah Clune profile picture

Sarah Clune


Sarah is an Associate Solicitor and Professional Support Lawyer in our Charity & Social Enterprise Team. She advises charities on all aspects of safeguarding and on the policies they need to have in place. She advises charities on all aspects of safeguarding vulnerable groups including safer recruitment, DBS checks and barred list checks, safeguarding and other policies, the legal duty to refer, training for trustees and other members of staff and volunteers.

Motcombe CE VA Primary School

Chair of the Local Governing Body for:

Motcombe Primary School part of Sherborne Area Schools Trust

Church Road, Motcombe, Shaftesbury, Dorset, SP7 9NT

01747 852018

How did you become involved with Sherborne Area Schools Trust and how long have you been in the role?

I became a governor at my local primary school, which is part of the Trust, 5 years ago. When I saw the advert for a parent governor vacancy I applied because my children were very happy at the school and I felt that I might be able to contribute to the governance side using my professional skills, particularly in relation to safeguarding. I'm now Chair of the Local Governing Body.

What is the most challenging part of the role?

I think, as we are living through a pandemic, it has been supporting the school staff, in particular the senior leadership team, to provide the best education and mental health support possible for our children whether in school or, during lockdowns, at home.  We have managed to remain connected as a governing body and Trust overall.  I think staff wellbeing will be a key focus over the coming year.

Do you need certain skills, knowledge or expertise to be a school governor?

I think that the first thing you need is a desire to learn and a readiness to commit to becoming a governor. A range of skills is important for any governing body, and any good governing body will carry out a skills audit on a regular basis to ascertain what gaps there are in terms of areas of expertise and knowledge.  I have used and developed my skills in relation to safeguarding and governance, and the Trust has provided excellent training opportunities to develop skills in areas in which I had no prior experience. It can be very rewarding.

What have you learnt from your experience so far?

There is never a dull moment! I think with a good team of governors that are all committed to the ethos and values of the school, as well as to high standards of teaching and learning, you can really make a difference to the experience of children at the school for the better. There are often difficult times and you need to make the best decision you can based on the facts before you. A good relationship and shared vision with the Head or Principal is crucial, but at the same time you need to maintain the role of ‘critical friend’ in the forefront of your role as a governor.

 Julian blake profile picture

Julian Blake


For over 30 years Julian has specialised in Social Enterprise; Charity; Responsible Business; Public Service Reform and Innovation; Co-operatives and Stakeholder Participation; blending business and public benefit legal disciplines.

Media Diversity Institute

Trustee for:

Media Diversity Institute 

Victoria Charity Centre, 11 Belgrave Road, SW1V 1RB, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7255 2473

How did you become involved with Media Diversity Institute?

I advised on its legal establishment in 2003 and, as the founder was new to the UK, provided further support by acting as an original trustee in relation to its operational establishment from 2004.

What are the main skills you need?

Charity Law expertise and an overview of the public benefit environment and organisational operation.

What do you find most rewarding about being a charity trustee?

Providing support where and in a way so that what I specifically have to offer is particularly needed.

What have you learnt from the experience?

It has given me direct practical experience of a range of issues where the external advice is easier to give than implement.

Briefly, what would you say to someone considering becoming a charity trustee?

You need to be interested in and committed to the particular organisation, as time and application are needed.