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.
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.
Becky is an experienced project manager, predominantly working in the charity sector for organisations such as Oxfam, Bris Arts and Wiltshire Music Centre. Prior to this she also worked for the Arts and Humanities Research Council, specialising in the evaluation of arts activities
She has worked extensively with young people of all ages in engagement projects with the arts, particularly music and dance. Becky has managed collaborative projects with a range of both primary and secondary schools across Wiltshire and Bristol, allowing professional artists and workshop tutors to provide inspiring, unique and accessible musical experiences and learning, as well as developing existing talent.
Becky has also worked regularly with young people and adults with special educational needs or disabilities, in order to provide access and a route of engagement to all forms of creative activity. She is passionate about the accessibility of the arts, and that the beneficial nature and enjoyment it can bring should be available to all.
In her spare time she is an avid percussionist and occasional singer, performing or teaching with several Brazilian music groups.
Beth is committed to making a difference to the lives of vulnerable people, and loves being part of an organisation doing just that. Beth is responsible for writing and designing content for the Alive website, publicity materials and social media accounts.
Beth has been working and volunteering in the charity sector for the past 8 years, and previously worked with Bristol Microfinance charity, Deki.
When not at work Beth likes to keep active and spends most of her free time hula hooping.
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.
Ruth has worked in the charity sector since 2004, specialising in Trusts fundraising and Individual Giving. She’s raised vital funds for Jessie May, Action for M.E, At-Bristol and The University of Queensland in Australia.
“Fundraising for charities like Alive gives me an opportunity to contribute to a better world. The impact that Alive has for older people is so moving and the work is so important. I love being a part of it".
Outside of fundraising, Ruth loves to travel and explore new places; she also volunteers at the Bristol Night Shelter, and is helping produce a new book about 1980s UK Hip-Hop culture.
Mary has enjoyed working in the charity sector since 2002, although she has a varied finance background.
“Working for Alive has given me the opportunity of coming back into an organisation whose aims and objectives I can relate to. It is a real privilege to work in the background, allowing the rest of the team provide the activities that Alive does so unbelievably well".
When she’s not working Mary is studying for a Theology Diploma, where she admits “her studies push her out of her comfort zone, and encourage her to visit places and interview people that she would not usually associate with”. As a result of her studies she volunteers at the Swindon Night Shelter, trying to connect with the homeless.
Hayley works on two exciting Alive community engagement projects, which help older people in care homes across Bristol connect with their local communities, and aim to break down some of the misconceptions that exist in our society around care homes.
Hayley's administrative background has seen her work across many different sectors - civil service, sports regulation, banking - but her belief that everyone should have opportunities in life to reach their full potential has recently inspired a move to the charity sector. She is thrilled to be supporting Alive in their mission to ensure that older people are valued by, and integrated with, their local communities.
Outside of work she enjoys her yoga practice, and walks in the countryside. She also likes cake decorating and enjoys making special cakes for her friends and family.