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Meet the Kisharon team

11 July 2022

Mark Sillito, below, one of the staff members and volunteers in the Meet Our People project, says his life straddles two sides of the Kisharon coin.

Kisharon’s Volunteer Administrator has cerebral palsy and uses a powered wheelchair. He said: “I know what it is to receive support, so in my interactions with people we support and volunteers, I connect to my life experience. I can tell you that the support Kisharon offers from nursery to supported living – and the social life that goes along with it – is significant.”

He is full of praise for Kisharon’s volunteers: “The strength of the community is pretty special. More than once, I’ve asked a volunteer to do something which I know is a bit of a stretch but they always say ‘yes’.”


Hilary Castle and Neha Dhakar

Hilary Castle, herself a volunteer, is always happy to help. Hilary said: “If anyone gives me a job, I’ll just get on with it. I don’t mind what I do, pack or unpack boxes, help with the honey at Rosh Hashanah, count loose change. I’ll get on with anything as long as I am being useful.”

Hilary became a Kisharon volunteer in 2014, in search of something rewarding to do after the sale of her family’s shoe repair business.  But what brings others to Kisharon?

For Ephraim Cohen, coming to Kisharon was pure chance. The supported living support worker who brings Judaism to life for the men at Montpelier Rise heard about a serious shortage of support workers through a relative, and thought: ‘why not?’

The job satisfaction is not insignificant. He adds: “Like any workplace there are good days and challenging days but when something amazing happens it’s all worthwhile. We often don’t realise how important our work is to people we support and to their families and friends.”


Rachel Ucko, Adekunle Adeagbo and Ephraim Cohen

Rachel Ucko landed the job of Community Inclusion Coordinator in June last year through an indirect route.  She initially applied for the job of Kisharon’s volunteer coordinator but her enthusiasm for community engagement led to an alternative job offer! She said: ”My passion for people with learning disabilities to engage in the community shone through.”

These days, the former primary school teacher breaks down barriers, integrating people with disabilities into the community. She says: “It’s not just satisfaction at the end of the day, but the knowledge that I made a difference to someone’s life.”

It was the idea of creating something new that attracted Neha Dhakar, Manager of Kisharon’s Childs Hill Library.  After helping young entrepreneurs from low-income families achieve funding tor their businesses in India, Neha was attracted by the challenge of creating one of the first partnership libraries.

She said: “It’s very fulfilling to work together with management and colleagues who all have the same values, to create something new.”

Adekunle Adeagbo, Interim Supported Living Manager who joined Kisharon in 2016, initially from an agency, too, is creating something new. He is working on a management project to empower staff to take more responsibility at work which should be launched soon.

While those interviewed are committed to their jobs at Kisharon or volunteering, work life balance is still important.

Outside of work Adekunle is a massive Arsenal supporter who loves playing scrabble and basketball and having time with his children, Hilary, who lives for her holidays, walks every day, sometimes as far as 10 miles with Harry, her dog while Ephraim is a technology geek who never buys a computer, because he builds them all himself.

You can read more about Kisharon’s staff and volunteers here.














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Pirkei Avos
“The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of G-d, and deeds of kindness.” Kisharon looks at the person not the disability, teaching Torah, Middos and Mitzvot embracing and cherishing everybody’s special talent and bringing out the best in them.