A warm welcome to Caroline Mace and Kelly Wilkins

We are pleased to announce the recent appointment of two new members of our team: Caroline Mace, who joins us as a fundraising officer, and Kelly Wilkins, our new finance and office administrator.

Caroline was previously assistant general manager at a local leisure centre for 20 years until she was unfortunately made redundant when the pandemic led to the business being sold. She brings to HOLG invaluable experience, including arranging charity fundraisers such as ‘spinathons’ and ‘danceathons’, as well as events from corporate meetings, to large scale, black-tie events.

Luckily for us, she has a personal passion for fundraising; during redundancy, she organised a residents’ table-top garden sale, including a raffle, which sold 6,000 tickets and raised over £2,000 for Unicef Ukraine, plus helping to raise over £9,000 for Evelina Children’s Charity and MacMillan Cancer Support.

The role also has personal relevance for Caroline, too; after her husband suffered a spontaneous stroke last year, she began to visualise the possibility of life without him and how she and her children would cope. Thankfully, he has recovered to almost full health.

Since joining HOLG on 1st September, Caroline has been re-employed as part-time operations manager by the new owners of the leisure centre, which, she explains, will be an advantage to the charity,

“I’m very excited about my new role. I’m getting familiar with procedures and have already organised a few meetings with potential volunteers and supporters.

“My other employers at the leisure centre are aware and supportive of my commitment to HOLG. It means I have the perfect set-up to use for future HOLG events and I will be able to use my ability to prepare, organise and host from both perspectives.”

When she’s not working, Caroline loves spending time at home in Medway with her husband, two children, Misty, 7, and Ryder, 5, as well as their pet rats. She also runs a vintage clothing and accessories stall and is interested in interior design and upcycling.

Kelly joined us in August this year from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and has a background in finance and administration within local authorities. She first became involved with HOLG two years ago, when she responded to an advert looking for volunteers. Having found out more about the charity, she felt moved by our work, particularly having been bereaved as a child when her dad died suddenly when she was just 12 years old. She began volunteering in the office in January 2020. It was during this time, Kelly says, that she “fell in love” with the charity,

“I chose to work with HOLG because I truly appreciate the work the team does for the children and young people.

“As someone who went through bereavement at a young age myself, I wish there was a charity like them to support me through that time; I think the methods they encourage would have really helped me. I also chose to work here because of the wonderful team – they are all such lovely, welcoming people and are always so selfless and accommodating.”

Kelly will play an important role within the charity, taking care of office and financial administration in order to free up the clinical team’s time to work with the children and families that HOLG supports.

When at home in Rochester, Kelly loves spending time with her house rabbits, and country walks with Tilly, her Sprocker Spaniel. She’s also an avid football fan and season-ticket holder for Queen’s Park Rangers.