The recent snowy weather was enjoyed by people of all ages who built snowmen and captured picturesque shots of churches and parks.

However, the freezing temperatures resulted in many older and isolated people living alone struggling to keep their house warm and being able to cook hot meals.

Small Acts of Kindness is a charitable social enterprise which sources and distributes gifts to help people in Hertfordshire feel less alone during the winter months.

The project is partnered with businesses including Warner Bros Studios Leavesden and Morrisons, and is supported by councils including Watford. Hertsmere, and Three Rivers.

Lynne Misner, who lives in Watford, was inspired to set up Small Acts of Kindness after her boiler broke down in January 2015.

Being left without heating during the coldest time of the year was a wakeup call for Ms Misner, who was working as a fundraising manager for various different businesses at the time.

Ms Misner explained: “Being cold can have a detrimental physical effect on people’s physical health due to increased blood pressure which can lead to a risk of stroke or heart attack.

“Movement becomes restricted when you are cold. It is also mentally debilitating as your whole mind-set and wellbeing is focused on how to stay warm.

“As a result, I thought about what I could do to help and wanted to ensure people knew basic information such as wrap themselves up in a blanket and drinking hot drinks to help prevent them being cold in the short term.”

Ms Misner distributed leaflets around Watford with a friend and was shocked to be subsequently inundated with requests from people needing help.

She then distributed 50 gift bags filled with small presents including a scarf, puzzle book, pen and chocolates, along with a Christmas card.

Her enterprise has grown over the years as this winter she took the role on full time in order to be able to hand out 5,000 gift bags to those in need.

Watford Observer:

Lynne Misner now distributes thousands of gift bags to older people in Hertfordshire.

Around 40 organisations and 100 volunteers are now involved in the project, which now helps people in various areas in Hertfordshire such as St Albans and Borehamwood.

Now Ms Misner is searching for more organisations in the area to support Small Acts of Kindness financially so that there is more storage space for the project to expand.

She explained: “We really appreciate all the support from businesses such as Veolia and Big Yellow who have provided storage space in Watford but we would also like our own space and outlet where we can store everything.

“It has all blown up for us over the years and now there are so many other organisations and charities involved.

“People who need our help are initially admitted to us for being cold due to a lack of heating but they are also lonely and isolated. Receiving one of our gift bags can therefore really make a big difference for those who are lacking in social interactions.”

Nominate someone to receive a gift bag or find out more at: