As Adopt a Grandparent approaches the 100,000 volunteers milestone, a communications and strategy industry specialist is set to join the ranks of the senior leadership team – using her breadth of experience to help achieve the charity’s aim of abolishing loneliness amongst the UK’s elderly population

The independent charity, dedicated to fostering intergenerational connections, is welcoming Niharika Noakes – a fresh addition to its team in the role of Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer. Transitioning from her role as the Director of Championing Social Care, Niharika brings over a decade of experience to her new post, alongside a long track record in strategic communications and digital media.

Niharika, who will be joining the charity full-time in October 2023, has a background spanning over 15 years in communications, active citizenship projects, advocacy, and community development. She is set to play a key role in driving Adopt a Grandparent’s growth and impact, bringing more attention to its mission with a plan to take the charity’s subscription app into care homes and specialist services across the UK.

Niharika’s vision revolves around enhancing the intergenerational connections nurtured by Adopt a Grandparent, recognising that companionship is a powerful antidote to loneliness and depression.

Commenting on her upcoming role, Niharika said: “I am truly excited to embark on this new journey with Adopt a Grandparent. The organisation’s commitment to fostering intergenerational connections and improving the lives of the elderly population resonates deeply with me. My vision for Adopt a Grandparent is to reiterate our sense of purpose – find the best avenues and opportunities to purposefully bring together different generations, document the journey, and work towards improving the mental health of society.”

Niharika continued: “I hope to bring with me the wealth of experience, connections, and learnings I have assimilated over the last 10 years of working on over 100 community-building charitable initiatives, and utilise them for better establishing our mission of abolishing loneliness and building stronger communities.”

The new Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer intends to create a compelling evidence trail, showcasing the lasting impact of the organisation’s work. She plans to formulate events and initiatives that inspire society to invest in the well-being of elderly people across care services worldwide.

Founder of Adopt a Grandparent, Shaleeza Hasham, shared her enthusiasm for the charity’s new hire: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Niharika joining our team at Adopt a Grandparent. Her remarkable background is a perfect match for our mission. Niharika’s commitment to driving positive change and fostering community empowerment is truly inspiring, and we can’t wait to witness the meaningful impact she’ll make within our organisation and in the lives of the people we serve. Her expertise and dedication are a truly valuable addition to our team.”

In her most recent role, serving as the Director of Championing Social Care at the CareTech Charitable Foundation, Niharika led communications, fundraising, programme management, strategy, and governance for the initiative. Championing Social Care is an organisation committed to sharing uplifting narratives and impactful projects related to the social care sector.

Niharika has also founded two social impact initiatives, having founded Changing Perceptions, a social enterprise that championed active citizenship and community development.

Additionally, she co-founded and led the city-wide 16 Days of Action campaign in Edinburgh – a worldwide organisation strategy that calls for the prevention and eradication of violence against women and girls (VAWG). Collaborating with 150 local and national organisations, such as the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Trans Alliance, SACRO, and Edinburgh Police, it became one of the most expansive initiatives ever orchestrated to amplify awareness against gender-based violence.

Her commitment extended to the boards of groups like the Edinburgh Interfaith Association and UTSAAH, an organisation aiming to sustain and assist Himalayan communities, where she played a pivotal role in empowering women in a rehab camp in Kashmir to establish sustainable initiatives.

As a VAWG advocate, Niharika orchestrated multiple projects targeting human trafficking and violence against women in partnership with the Government of Karnataka, in the South of India. She worked closely with human rights organisations, law enforcement agencies, and the Ministries of Home Affairs as well as Women and Childcare. As an integral part of the Gender Training Institute at the Centre for Social Research in India, Niharika managed four Rape Crisis Intervention Centres for several years.

Niharika’s multifaceted expertise, coupled with her passion for social impact, makes her an exciting addition to Adopt a Grandparent’s leadership team. Her appointment as Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer is expected to drive innovation, collaboration, and transformation within the organisation as it continues to make a difference in the lives of the UK’s elderly population.

For more information about Adopt a Grandparent, visit https://www.adoptagrandparent.org.uk/