"I think that because I have been there myself, I understand that targeted support can be a huge turning point in people’s lives..."

As we work to recruit more people to our Board, we asked our incoming Treasurer, Chris Bull to tell us why he wanted to become one of our Trustees.

You can find out more about our Trustee recruitment here.

Why did you choose to apply to join the Cardboard Citizens Board?

Issues which affect people facing homelessness or inequality are close to my heart. I think that because I have been there myself, I understand that targeted support can be a huge turning point in people’s lives, driving positive and lasting changes. I was lucky that an estranged family member provided me with the initial support I needed to get on my feet after a period of homelessness.  I also found education and training programmes to develop my skills and career. Now that I am in a position to give back, I am extremely keen to try to use these skills to help Cardboard Citizens and the people who it supports. Being a Trustee and Treasurer is a new area for me and I’m excited to work with the Board and colleagues to understanding and face challenges and opportunities together.

What does ‘art for social change’ mean to you?

Great question! This is something which I feel like I am only beginning to understand, and where my association with Cardboard Citizens is pushing me to think and learn. Art can be powerful and emotional and so when it is used to promote a wider understanding of difficult and complex issues it can be very effective. Theatre (such as the Bangers production) can shine a light on areas which people may not otherwise have considered, and can encourage empathy and compassion.

What advice would you give someone considering becoming a charity trustee for the first time.

I would encourage them to make the leap. I know that it can be a little daunting, especially if they are like me and coming to this for the first time. It is important to remember that everyone can bring a different set of skills and experiences to the table, they are all valid and it is through having a varied and broad membership that a board will be most effective. I would also say that the Board and employees at Cardboard Citizens have been exceptionally welcoming and supportive. I hope that other charities are striving to offer the same environment of trust and learning. I would say that they need to be prepared to put in the effort, but that this effort is well placed and very rewarding.