A lonely pensioner had his life changed by a charity which helps the elderly suffering in the cold.

Small Acts of Kindness, a Hertfordshire-based charity, hopes to distribute up to distribute 10,000 gift bags of warm clothes, blankets, information packs and more to help the elderly suffering this winter.

The high goal would be the charities most gifted number of bags since it launched five years ago, with last year around 6,500 were handed out.

Lynne Misner, the chief executive of the charity, started out the thoughtful campaign after her central heating broke in January 2015 and she struggled to keep herself warm. As she shivered indoors, she researched the amount of old people who spent winter cold and wished to prevent this from happening.

Watford Observer: One gift recipient (Picture: Small Acts of Kindness)One gift recipient (Picture: Small Acts of Kindness)

She believes the work she does is imperative, with last year people being just as appreciative as when the campaign first started. She recalls: “A gentleman in his early 90s last year was completely alone and when we found him, he had no surviving family.

“It turns out we were the first person he had a chat with for weeks.”

What startled Ms Misner more was the fact that he came to the door wearing a scarf and a coat, proving just how cold he found the conditions in his house.

She fears that many people like that man may feel forgotten, as she added: “He was very alone in the world, but when we chatted to him, we found out he had an incredible life.”

When the campaign first began in 2015, her and a small team managed to hand out 50 bags, while the distribution demand has grown since starting, the Small Acts of Kindness management team remains relatively small with 12 members and Ms Misner still being hands-on with delivering the bags.

With the helps of partners like Hertfordshire Independent Living, Age UK, councils, Veolia and various other businesses and smaller groups, the team have been able to track down elderly members in need of help.

Watford Observer: Another person who enjoyed their gift bag (Picture: Small Acts of Kindness)Another person who enjoyed their gift bag (Picture: Small Acts of Kindness)

“I think what has shocked me is there is an increasing number of older people being cold. Now with people contacting us being individuals, friends, neighbours, we’re seeing an increase of people.”

Surprisingly, even people in large houses have been grateful for the donations in the gift bags, as they’ve been suffering as much as people in poorer financial situations.

“We’re not talking about one geographic area or people on benefits.

“As an age group, they’re very proud. They grew up in a very different generation of rationing, the active service, I think they were more accepting of circumstances.”

The biggest struggle for the charity is fundraising the money to keep up with the growing demand of the gift bags as the cost of one bag is £25 each.

Smalls Acts of Kindness is asking for donations which can be sent through their website, or even any gifts which could be donated, as Ms Misner says, “it’s a small act of kindness that adds up a solution”.