Simon Bernstein joined Alive as Chief Executive in January 2016.
He has worked in the not-for-profit sector throughout his 25-year career because he is passionate about tackling disadvantage. He has held senior fundraising and communications roles at a number of well-known charities, including Friends of the Earth, as well as providing consultancy support to national and local organisations working across a range of fields including hospice care, learning and physical disabilities, the environment, refugees, children and young people.
Simon was inspired to join Alive because of the creative and imaginative ways the charity engages older people in care homes and supports care home staff to improve the quality of life of older people. He believes Alive makes a vital difference to older people in care, many of whom would otherwise have little stimulation, varied activities or enjoyment in their lives.
He says "These are challenging times for social care as the number of older people increases and funding to support them becomes ever tighter. Government, care providers and charities need to find solutions so that some of our most vulnerable members of society can enjoy their later lives. I believe older people deserve to lead meaningful lives and that this will only happen through creative interventions and changes to policy, which transform the quality of their care.”
Simon is a secondary school governor and a Board member of Friends of the Earth. He lives in Gloucestershire with his partner and their two children, aged 16 and 11 years
Malcolm is passionate about people, their lives, their experiences. He loves being able to facilitate a reconnection to what is important in people lives. He began working with older people in September 2007. Since joining the charity he has been instrumental in setting up the Activity Network Working Group in Dorset and now co-facilitates the Bournemouth Dorset and Poole Activity Coordinators Forum with Partners in Care, a project he will be replicating in Hampshire and Wiltshire over the coming months. Malcolm is now managing the Russell Cotes 'Museums to You' project in Bournemouth - a collection-based outreach learning programme for vulnerable older people.
In March 2013 Malcolm qualified as a teacher of Biodanza, a movement based system of human development and integration, something he is beginning to incorporate into his sessions with Alive.
Malcolm also leads the Alive Activity and Reminiscence training sessions for those working with older people and is keen to inspire others by leading stimulating, meaningful activities.
Craig is a hugely popular entertainer who has been working with older people in West Sussex since 2007.
His passions are person-centred entertainment, singing, comedy and having fun. Since joining the charity, he has started working with new presenters and has taken on the role of leading Alive Activity and Reminiscence training sessions.
Craig plays a key role in extending the presenting materials available to the charity, helping in a sales and marketing capacity and promoting Alive’s vision along the South Coast.
He is trained in NLP and as a Laughter Yoga teacher.
His passions are meditation, yoga, singing and dance, bushcraft and walking in nature.
Gill is an experienced facilitator, workshop leader and trainer, and in the past year alone has led 250 activity sessions with older people. Gill is strongly committed to changing the culture of care for older people in our society, in order to ensure that people are supported to make choices, follow their interests and get as much out of life as they can. Her work and approach is informed by a background in theatre and dance, experience in the voluntary sector, particularly in a number of leading healthcare charities, and by close family experience of what it means to live with dementia.
Gill's earlier experiences include researching life stories of older people for an oral history and photographic archive in Manchester, and spending a year as a bus driver for the Bristol Omnibus Company. She loves Javanese and Balinese dance and gamelan music, is a practitioner of Wu style Tai Chi and also enjoys walking and outdoor swimming.
Jennie graduated from UWE with a degree in Illustration in 2008. She then worked as a freelance artist producing work for children's books and businesses. She began working in the charity sector in 2010 and became a board member and trustee of Bristol community arts charity art + power.
Isobel is the Business Development Manager for Alive and has been working with the organisation for over 3 years. She has a strong background in marketing, working in various agencies in Manchester and Bristol.
Isobel has been instrumental in growing Alive’s work across 9 counties. She has also developed and expanded Alive’s intergenerational work, including Paint Pals and the launch of iPals. She is passionate about working with older people and ensuring their individual stories are told.
She has great personal experience in community engagement and managing volunteers through running various community groups in the areas where she has lived. She has been a school governor for 6 years. Isobel also has 3 children and a dog, and when not working is often found out walking with them.
Emma has worked in the public or charity sectors since graduating from Falmouth University with a Sustainable Product Design degree. Emma’s initial work as a Service Designer saw her working on teams that used design thinking to tackle social issues such as unemployment, ageing populations, sustainable travel and deprived communities.
More recently while working as a project manager Emma has worked on improving Bristol’s Bearpit roundabout, reducing food waste at UK Festivals and overhauling Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s digital platforms.
The ‘Pals’ project Emma is currently running aims to work with the community to encourage them to spend more time within care homes and change the public’s perceptions of them. With years of change projects under her belt Emma will be well equipped to take this on.
In her spare time, you will generally find Emma on a long walk in the country or camping in Cornwall, unless it’s raining of course, then she’ll be in the pub.
Fiona is Fundraising Manager for Alive, responsible for managing the Fundraising Team and focused on developing voluntary income sources that seek to build and diversify Alive's fundraising portfolio. She has over 15 years experience helping small businesses grow and delivering results in the not for profit sector. Her career spans both the commercial and charity sectors in London, Northern Ireland and Bristol. Her experience and passions have led her to grow several SMEs, develop charity services, and increase income generation for not-for-profits.
“Working with charities, like Alive to develop their income really excites me, because this is what gives them the freedom and possibility to develop and deliver their much needed services! And the work of Alive is so unique and inspiring, knowing I’m part of a team dedicated to bringing joy to older people living in care gives me such pleasure.”
Fiona loves nothing more than a muddy walk in the great outdoors, or along windswept beaches with her 2 young children! Before a recent return to living in Bristol, in her quest for a little more peace, health and vitality she qualified as yoga teacher running classes for beginners, children and older people. Her love of movement and dance has led her to spend 4 years as a Trustee for Maiden Voyage, a Northern Irish contemporary dance company. She has been known to win ‘yummiest chocolate cake in show’ at the school summer fete too!
Nicola believes passionately in the importance of activities and positive engagement for older people in care settings, and has been promoting this for over 20 years. She is particularly experienced in providing activities for people living with dementia.
Nicola has a special interest in multi-sensory activities, singing, music, sharing memories and giving people in care opportunities to let loose, have fun and really enjoy life. Her mission with Alive is to bring happiness, energy and a sense of belonging to her workshops - with lots of laughter along the way. Nicola is also an experienced Trainer in Activities and is looking forward to sharing her experiences and giving Activity Providers from across the region the opportunity to share theirs too.
Nicola lives with her family in the Cotswolds where she enjoys walking the hills with her dog, dancing (street and street tap!), and pottering about in her tiny cottage.
Beth joined the Alive team in 2014 and loves being part of an organisation that celebrates older people in care and enables them to reconnect with their community. With a keen ear for a story Beth is responsible for bringing to life the charity’s work through social media, publicity materials and the Alive website.
Beth has been working in the third sector for the past ten years in Marketing, Comms, Fundraising and Partnership Coordination roles. Previously to Alive Beth worked for Bristol Microfinance charity, Deki.
In her free time Beth is usually keeping active and practising hula hoop, going on long bike rides or doing embarrassing dancing somewhere.
Following a Psychology degree from UWE, Sarah has worked in fundraising for over five years and has worked alongside a wide range of charities. Sarah will be looking after Alive’s community fundraising involving schools, individuals, community groups, company employees and events.
Sarah is extremely passionate about improving the lives of vulnerable people, especially those living with dementia. She was drawn to and inspired by the work of Alive and values its compassionate and creative approach.
Outside of work, Sarah likes going to gigs and taking advantage of Bristol’s live music scene.
Hattie joined Alive in 2017 and works across two projects: Making Pals and “Communities of interest”. Both projects encourage increased collaboration between care homes and their local community. What she loves most about this work is creating links between care home residents and volunteers. By creating a diverse range of engagement opportunities both projects actively improve the public’s perception of care homes and give everyone a chance to get involved in meaningful activities regardless of background or age.
Hattie began working in the charity sector in 2011 for Sustrans the charity behind the National cycle network. Supporting people to walk and cycle enabled her to combine her love of the great outdoors with community engagement and social empowerment. Following this she moved to Friends of the Earth to focus on community organising and campaigning, and has supported various social justice and environmental campaigns ever since.
Sara has worked in primary education and community development roles for the last five years in Bristol, most recently working for The National Trust and The Avon Wildlife Trust. Particularly passionate about gardening, wildlife, nature and the outdoors, Sara became a Forest School Leader in 2014 to support children to build self-confidence, learn new skills and to roam freely in nature!
Sara has recently joined the Alive team as Projects Officer and is enjoying working for an organisation that cares about people and supports them to live life to the fullest, regardless of health or age.
Sara is a keen gardener and has run gardening and cooking sessions with both children and adults. Her love of gardening with community groups led her to volunteer with Growing Support, an organisation who run horticultural therapy sessions in care homes in and around Bristol, which was brilliant to share stories and skills with older people in care.
Outside of work Sara loves to explore the countryside around Bristol, finding swimming and camping spots, dancing at festivals, cooking with friends, yoga and pottering on her allotment.
Sarah worked in the education sector for nearly ten years. After having a family, she decided it was time for a change. Her career with Growing Support began as a volunteer helping to support gardening groups. She now recruits, trains and develops our volunteer team and helps match volunteers to gardening groups.
In her free time Sarah loves spending time outdoors: running, cycling and growing things.
Abi is the Growing Support Project Officer for the Alive Communities of Interest Project. She has worked in care and activities with older people for the past 5 years, and has always been an avid gardener, forager and wildlife enthusiast.
Abi has run nature-based activities in care homes and volunteered with Growing Support , and loves connecting people of all backgrounds, ages and experiences with nature.