Yet another busy few weeks at Sarratt school!

We had the opportunity to meet and interview Lynne Misner from the charity ‘Small Acts of Kindness’ when she came into talk to us about the work that they do. We think it is a wonderful idea to show a little kindness to those in our community, especially to the older generations (we were surprised to find out that wasn’t everyone over the age of 30!). We were lucky enough to deliver some ‘Warm in Winter’ bags to some residents of Sarratt. One lady was particularly happy to receive a bag and we were delighted to be able to “make her day!” We are going to make it our mission to show a small act of kindness every day. Please see the end of this article to read our full interview with Lynne.

We have enjoyed watching and participating in the Christmas performances, this week. Today was the last showing of our KS2 musical performance. We sang songs such as: The first Noel, Silent Night, Walking in the Air (with the harmony provided by the staff at Sarratt School!) and our finale number, Sparkle and Shine!

From the Junior Journalists and everyone at Sarratt School, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas! We shall see you in 2019.

Lynne Misner Interview:

How did you get the idea to form the charity?

“Three years ago, in January 2015, my central heating broke down and I was without heating or hot water for three days. It was during one of those very cold spells. There was an article in  the paper that really shocked me – it said that when the weather turns cold, many older people are faced with having to make the choice between heating their homes and buying food – they cannot afford to do both. I read online that if an older person is cold, their blood pressure can go up and they are more at risk from strokes, heart attacks and falls. I also read that if an older person is cold, the advice is to wrap up in a blanket wear a hat, gloves and socks and drink hot drinks and this will reduce the risk of the cold. I decided that whilst I could not help every older person keep warm, I could help a few and I put together the first 50 Warm in Winter gift bags which contain the essential items an older person needs to keep warm. Small Acts of Kindness was born and my life hasn’t quite been the same since!”

Is it rewarding to know you are helping others?

“Yes, it is a lovely feeling to know that we are helping some of the most vulnerable older people in our communities. But it also makes me sad when I hear about how cold and lonely some of the people we meet are. It makes me even more determined to make sure that we never have to say that we cannot help someone.”

Who helped you set up the charity?

“When one of my friends heard what I was planning to do, she offered to help and we worked really hard that first year (in fact we still do!). My family have been amazing and incredibly supportive and we now have over 160 Small Acts of Kindness volunteers – my Small Acts of Kindness family. I am hugely thankful for all their help and support – I could not do this on my own.”

What inspired you to help?

“Two things really. One is that I have always volunteered helping older people and they are such a rewarding and lovely group of people to be around – they have incredible stories to tell and have lived through so  much and can teach us so much. But also, I have a very strong belief that it is important not to be a bystander and let other people do things. Finding out what it was like to be really cold all the time was an eye opener for me as I am lucky I had never really been cold before but I couldn’t just sit there and hope that someone else would help older people keep warm – I wanted to do something myself.”

How many people do you think you will help this year?

“The first year that we distributed our Warm in Winter gift bags we gave out 50. This winter we have already packed and distributed 5,000 Warm in Winter bags and 500 Celebrate Christmas bags – these contain wrapped small gifts for people who will be on their own over Christmas. We have people asking for more bags and so we will pack a further 1,000 in January. I would therefore estimate that we will help 6,500 older people this winter.”