"According to the Charity Commission trustees have overall control of a charity and are responsible for making sure it’s doing what it was set up to do. Being a trustee means making decisions that will impact on people’s lives. Your aim is to make a positive difference to your local community or to society as a whole.

As a trustee you are quite rightly expected to be legal, decent and honest. I would also say you need to be generous of your time and in your contribution. You would hope to enhance the effectiveness of the Board and indeed the organisation by bringing experience, expertise and advice in your particular field.

All sounds a bit dry doesn’t it? In reality though being a trustee is endlessly rewarding and indeed a significantly important part of life. Trustees really care about their responsibilities and the charities they represent. That’s especially true when, as is often the case, there is an emotional connection to the charity based on personal or family experiences.

My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer over 20 years ago. She received wonderful medical care and her treatment was arduous but successful. But I also remember the times both during the treatment and then after it had finished when she had regular visits to a specialist nurse. This amazing lady became a friend, a confidante and a therapist. Her physical and emotional support was crucial to my wife’s complete recovery. The nurse was in reality a pre-cursor to the vital work Breast Cancer Haven does today. Our services are obviously broader and involve more specialists and I need no convincing that we really do make a difference to our visitors when they are going through their toughest times. So when, in July 2014 I was offered a chance to become a trustee and be a small part of that difference, I couldn’t wait to join.

The experience I have enjoyed over the last four years has been a rich one. I’ve learnt enormously from my fellow Board members and met brilliant people working in all parts of the charity. We have already made important strides and our recent staff strategy day outlined an exciting future ahead.  We have both significant challenges and tremendous opportunities facing us and I am really looking forward to being involved alongside this great BCH family."

- Peter Bell