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Chairperson Appointed for BOB VCSE Health Alliance

Announcing the appointment of William Butler as the first Chairperson to lead the VCSE Health Alliance, which supports health-related not-for-profit organisations across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

William became the Health Alliance Chairperson on Tuesday 1st March 2022 and is responsible for leading at a strategic level, engaging with the local Health and Care leaders and Health Partnerships and representing the interests of the Alliance members in every aspect of its work.

We asked William why he chose to work with the Alliance:

“I’ve spent much of my working life developing partnerships and collaborative organisations and am attuned to both the opportunities and challenges they bring. The capacity and capability of health organisations has been central to my focus for the last 6 years. I’m optimistic that there is potential to create a more equal partnership between the VCSE and statutory health sectors and together to create better health outcomes for all our communities.”

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, William brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from his extensive background with the charity and health sector. He is a former director of the UK’s largest mental health charity, was Chief Executive of a user governed national disability membership organisation and Chief Operating Officer of a major voluntary sector provider of substance misuse treatment services.

Currently William is Chair of trustees of the Directory of Social Change (a national charity which supports an independent voluntary sector through publications, campaigning, training) trustee (and inaugural Chair) of a successful Multi-Academy Educational Trust, a Leisure Centre social business, and the Pavement (a small homelessness charity that produces a bimonthly magazine written by and for people with lived experiences of homelessness). He is also a Public Member of the Council of Governors of Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Trust and Chair of the Thames Valley Cancer Alliance Patient Participation Group.

Katie Higginson who helped originate the Alliance and is the chair of the steering group shares her thoughts on having William on board.

“William has been a very driven change maker and a huge advocate of the not for profit sector for many years. We’re excited to bring his vast experience of spearheading cause-led consortia to Chair this collaborative project, working to bring together local charities, community groups, social enterprises and health services to improve health for our communities.”

William will be chairing the fourth Health Alliance meeting which is on the 27th of April 1pm – 3pm (online).


Notes to editor:

BOB VCSE Health Alliance – Created to support the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector (VCSE) organisations in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and West Berkshire (BOB) to collaborate with the newly developing regional and local health systems. https://healthalliancebob.org.uk



Dawn Newton – Health Partnership Comms Lead

Hosted by Community Impact Bucks – A Better Life Together

Mobile: 07881554682 | Email: Dawn@communityimpactbucks.org.uk


William Butler – Background

William began his working life as a social and community worker in Northern Ireland and moved to Milton Keynes in the late 80’s to work for the Development Corporation, where he led a social development team that collaborated with others to grow MK’s social infrastructure, including health, disability, education and other community services required to meet the needs of a growing population.

He has had regular engagement with government departments and ministers, including as inaugural Chair of the Substance Misuse Skills Consortium (a membership encompassing health trusts, voluntary sector providers and Royal Colleges) where he was part of a collective user-centred sector voice offering challenge and advice on the achievement of the policy ambitions of the then Drugs Strategy.

William has worked hard to deliver real user involvement in charity governance, recognising that going beyond tokenism requires organisational commitment and investment in structured support mechanisms. He believes that monitoring organisational effectiveness is critically dependent on clear feedback and the backbone of structured outcome-focused strategic plans. His strategic ‘antennae’ have also been sharpened through the insight and skills gained by assisting organisations to understand their social impact and as importantly, to consider what strategic actions they need to consider as a result of understanding the social value they create.

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