Our team Staff Lynne Misner CEO/Founder Email Cassie Harris Project Manager Ambassadors and Info Packs Email Frances Kaufman Administrator Email Sitting at home feeling cold and miserable when my heating broke down in January 2015, I read about the almost unimaginable choice between heating and eating that many older people are faced with during the cold weather. Whilst I couldn’t help everyone, I made a personal promise to help those who I could and Small Acts of Kindness was born. I never dreamed that my career in industry and the third sector would lead to something like this. I am thankful every day for the difference that I and the wonderful Small Acts of Kindness family can make. I have always worked in the charity sector, mainly in marketing, and so I know only too well the challenges that we face, as well as the rewards. It feels very satisfying to be able to help make a difference to the lives of others, at the same time setting an example to my children. Respecting others and showing kindness are values that we should all uphold and that is what I love about what we do at Small Acts of Kindness. It is so simple and yet so powerful. I feel extremely lucky to be a part of such a dedicated, dynamic and skilful team. In addition to working at Small Acts of Kindness, I also look after my young family and write children's stories. One of the skills I enjoyed in my past working life as a PA, also as a Practice Manager in the NHS, is organisation of events and evolving new and more efficient systems to ensure the smooth running of a team. Having retired twice(!) I wanted to use my skills and Small Acts of Kindness seemed such a worthwhile cause I felt I had to become involved, so here I am as the Administrator organising and multi-tasking. Knowing we are making a difference to so many older people makes working for our charity a privilege and a pleasure. Trustees Chris Hamill, Chair Email Alison Mann Hema Pandya I was inspired to work with Small Acts of Kindness by what our founder and CEO Lynne Misner had achieved in just three years – starting with nothing but an idea and the will to improve things for older people. I thought – if I can achieve only half what Lynne has by using my 10 years’ experience in the charity sector and 35 years as a lawyer to help build Small Acts of Kindness – then I’ll have made a real difference to the older generation across Hertfordshire who need our help. Together we’ve built a great team doing great work. Small Acts of Kindness is the essence of community volunteering. When I first heard about Lynne’s plans to start Small Acts of Kindness, I offered my help in any way that I could because I was genuinely shocked that in the 21st century problems like this exist and on such a large scale. It is a great privilege to be a trustee of such a dynamic organisation that is supported by the most incredible and dedicated team. We all share the same passion and motivation. Like everyone, I have a busy life juggling work and a family but I always have and always will make sure that I have time to give to helping make the lives of others that little bit better. I came across Small Acts of Kindness whilst I was secondment to the charity sector. I have parents and older relatives who are pensioners and they regularly face a range of issues on a day to day basis which can often leave them feeling isolated. So it was so easy for me to understand why I had to get involved with this wonderful charity that works so hard to help older people feel a less lonely. The saying is true, no act of kindness - however small - is ever wasted. Volunteer Management Team Benji Misner Janice Fairfield Kirsten Hutton I have just graduated from Goldsmiths University studying Business Computing and Entrepreneurship. The work Small Acts of Kindness does inspired me to focus my dissertation on a project aiming to place ambient sensors in the homes of elderly people so that their health and wellbeing is monitored and relevant parties notified if any danger or change is presented. I wanted to apply these skills learnt at university to help Small Acts of Kindness. I joined SOAK to assist with technical requirements, helping set up the website, alongside other tasks. Knowing that we are helping and touching the lives of elderly people in need makes me even more motivated to help the team. I retired after selling my Company Fairfield Displays & Lighting, where my main role was marketing. I have extensive experience working with people at all levels and excellent organisation skills, which I believe will benefit Small Acts of Kindness. It is really important for me to use my time to help others and I have spent a fair amount of time with isolated old people. I now realise how many people are on their own and especially how important it is for everyone to have contact with the outside word. My contribution involves helping on multiple levels, from hands on delivering to building awareness with local organisations and businesses. My background is in arts education and evaluation. Lynne and I had been colleagues for over five years when her boiler broke down and she came up with her 'far fetched' idea. I thought it was brilliant and wanted to support her from the beginning. Small Acts of Kindness shows that you don't have to make grand gestures to make people's lives better. A simple act can make a big difference. Paul Hurford Pauline Hurford Richard Bayliss Now retired from a career as a Chartered Surveyor and project manager, I’m eager to volunteer with organisations which benefit our local communities in Hertfordshire. Having attended a presentation by Lynne Misner, I was impressed by her enthusiasm and the way SAOK has been set up, with a clear purpose, a simple structure, minimal overheads and the ability to make a real difference to the lives of thousands of older people. I hope my skill set can complement SAOK’s needs and help to further their tremendous work. I joined SAOK as a volunteer with my husband following retirement from the NHS and am enjoying taking on practical tasks. My main focus is assisting in coordinating the packing and distribution of “Warm in Winter” gift bags. There’s a great team spirit with everyone pulling together to achieve ambitious targets. I didn’t expect to spend part of my retirement time humping boxes around a warehouse at the back of a council depot in Watford, but here I am - it’s hard work but fun! After a career in corporate PR, then marketing, with major manufacturing companies, I am trying to use any skills I have acquired to benefit Small Acts of Kindness. It is a cause which is even closer to my heart, now that I have crossed the ‘great divide’ and become a pensioner, making me even more aware that the challenges facing the elderly are becoming more acute. I am keen, therefore, not only to pitch in and contribute directly, with bag packing, but also to help in raising awareness of the impact of loneliness and isolation, both here in Hertfordshire and nationally. There is a generational divide to be bridged. Sejal Sachdev I have been volunteering locally in my community In Amersham for a number of years including helping to organise Silver Sunday since its start in 2014 and also coordinating a Contact the Elderly Afternoon Tea group since 2016. I helped to set up Rotate, a satellite club of Amersham Rotary, which is one of several projects involving the elderly. I have found through this work that interacting with this section of the community is definitely a two way street, with both parties benefitting.