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Ladles of Love

Chartered Client Claire Claasens firmly believes that if you have been blessed in life, you must support those less fortunate, and it’s a motto she has always lived by. For three and a half years (before Covid), she volunteered at one of the local schools in Vredehoek. Four mornings a week, she would assist in making breakfast for four hundred pupils, ensuring they got one balanced meal a day.

When Covid hit, and schools closed, Claire began assisting an organisation called Ladles of Love, something she still does today at the age of seventy-seven. Twice a week, she makes sandwiches that she delivers to a central depot and are then distributed in the community.

In six years, Ladles of Love has grown from serving seventy meals at their soup kitchen to one of the most prolific food charity organisations in South Africa. Today, they support numerous other community kitchens, schools, social enterprises, and NPOs with much-needed groceries and other goods, allowing them to reach out further and touch the lives of the vulnerable who need it now more than ever. They recently expanded and currently serve the communities in Cape Town and Gauteng.

Ladles of Love provides numerous opportunities for people to get involved. One way is through their Feed The Soil programme. Feed The Soil is a programme in which compost is made from household organic waste. Feed The Soil addresses the need for “zero-landfill” food waste and the need for Community Farmers to enrich their soil. This helps them grow better and more nutritious produce. You actively form part of their new urban farming ecosystem by purchasing and using their Food Waste Kit for R200.

People can also support the organisation through their sandwich campaign, by donating groceries or by actively volunteering. There is something for everyone.

If you would like more information about Ladles of Love, please visit their website.

Do you have something that you are doing to give back to society, or are you passionate about an organisation or cause you would like to share with us? We always love sharing your stories, so please email us if there is something you would like us to feature.

Building a new career of relevance and meaning in retirement

After a career spanning 53 years in engineering, Chartered client Kenneth Charles found himself wondering what he would do for the rest of his life. As it happened, at the same time, his son Elliot had decided to expand his knowledge in IT and start his own company building websites. While watching his son navigate his way through the ins and outs of building a startup, Kenneth decided to use his time helping his son grow his business and so began his journey into the world of IT.

Kenneth started by learning WordPress, a platform used for building websites. Once he had mastered the art of building websites, he wanted to understand the back end in more detail and decided to delve deeper into the world of IT. Courses in numerous Google certifications followed. Kenneth learnt how to use coding programmes such as HTML5 and CSS. More recently, he has been studying Confluence, Jira, and Trello, programmes that help in collaborative working amongst team members and clients.

As Elliot’s company, called 1.3Creative, grew, they decided to give back to those less fortunate by offering free assistance to charities who need a website or an upgrade to an existing website. To date, they have helped numerous charities, including many in Africa. As part of their offering, they mentor volunteers who need assistance obtaining practical experience by working with them in the building or upgrading websites. Kenneth derives a lot of satisfaction by helping upskill others so that they may enjoy a better life.

He firmly believes that you must never be afraid to learn something new, no matter your age. At the age of 77, he fully embraces his second career, which has become a full-time one.

His passion for giving back to those less fortunate is also evident. Kenneth ended off our interview by sharing this quote. “It’s nice when someone smiles, but even nicer when someone smiles because of you.”

Chartered give back initiatives – 2022

“When you’re in a position to have gotten so much, the gift at this point is giving back”– Paul Stanley

We believe that balance is the key to a fulfilled life. One of the key areas of balance is give back. Giving lifts our spirits and makes us happy. It is through giving that we make our own lives richer. At Chartered, we believe in encompassing the wheel of balance, so each staff member is required to volunteer two hours of their time to help those in need. Covid hindered our give back opportunities during the past two years, but thankfully we are on track again, with our focus for 2022 being meaningful impact.

Our first partner organisation is Fight with Insight. Fight with Insight was established in the city with the vision of creating a safe place for the children of Johannesburg, using boxing to teach them life skills that assist them in taking responsibility for claiming their rights. Their offerings extend beyond boxing, and they also focus on the following: fitness, friends, food, feelings, future, and fun. We have partnered with them in their life skills programme and are working with a group of young adults around financial literacy. Once a month, a team from Chartered will spend time covering a wide variety of topics relating to financial literacy. By working with the same group of youngsters throughout the year and tailoring our topics to meet their needs, we aim to equip them with the financial skills required later on in life.

Fight with Insight has a strong focus on physical activity. They believe it’s a vital pillar of mental health, so each week, inner-city youth and children with autism and members of the public are invited to attend a morning of physical activity. The morning kicks off with an inner-city run followed by two hours of boxing and conditioning. A lunch, prepared by the youth in the programme, is then served, and everyone enjoys a meal together. The philosophy behind this is “doing with and not for”. Because these children often struggle with relationship building, the aim is simply to be together, learning from each other and exposing the youngsters to individuals they might not otherwise get to meet. Many of our fitter staff members have signed up to participate in this programme.

As is often the case with charities, the focus to remain financially afloat means there are often no resources for personal development and soft skills. All our staff members are taken through Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead programme at Chartered. This was implemented after Kim Potgieter trained under Brene Brown to become a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator. The essence behind Dare to Lead is equipping leaders with the necessary skills to have the courage to lean into vulnerability and connect on an authentic level. We will be inviting representatives from various NGOs and taking them through the Dare to Lead programme. We aim to help equip them to bravely lead their organisations and help them have courageous conversations.

For the staff who prefer to give back by getting their hands dirty, we are partnering with Hearts of Hope and helping them paint their new home, which will house 18 orphaned and vulnerable children.

New Give back opportunities will become available throughout the year, and various in-house drives such as a collection of books, old work clothes and sanitary pads will take place. If you would like to get involved with any of the drives mentioned, or if you want to share ways that you give back, please email Lyndsay, we love hearing from you.

Paying it forward

Growing older is not about getting old. It’s more about growing. And growing never gets old. You grow and learn for all of your life – it’s not something you get to pause. It happens all by itself as you live, work, play and love. There’s a lesson to be learnt every day and many lessons each year.

Now imagine yourself as a curator – the custodian of a wealth of knowledge and wisdom accumulated over many years. What are you doing with your collection of expertise?

A while back, I read a blog by Chip Conley where he says that “our wisdom is not our possession.” It’s meant to be shared. Wisdom is what nourishes our society and makes it stronger. What better way to add value and give back to others than to cultivate all the sage lessons you’ve accumulated in your life and then pay it forward.

You can pay your wisdom forward in many ways. By sharing your knowledge: teaching your skills, mentoring someone younger, developing someone’s talent or simply using your experience and standing to facilitate opportunities for other people.

Last year, I was invited to speak at the FPI Convention. Instead of taking the stage and presenting the talk, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to cultivate wisdom by sharing the learning experience across generations.

I invited four young women who represented the WiFN (Women in Finance Network) to share their stories and talk about their personal journeys in the financial planning industry. I loved the opportunity to facilitate the session, and I felt so privileged to be nurturing the experience-base and learning of these ladies. I’m also pretty sure that the conference delegates walked out of that session having learnt far more than they thought they would. We learn from each other, and as much as the younger generation learns from us, they also teach us something.

I did a lot of talks last year! Especially after the launch of my book, but this was by far the most rewarding and joyous experience!

Learning and sharing what I know has always been one of the first items I add to my vision board each year. I’m constantly in awe about how much I learn from every Chartered client I meet. It’s the wisdom that’s shared with me that gives me the content for writing my books and the lessons I teach.

Sharing your wisdom rewards both you and your intern, and each nugget of wisdom you share makes the world a better place. But these types of experiences don’t just happen. Sometimes you have to look for opportunities to uplift others and help them get where they want to go.

Pairing your wisdom with someone else’s expertise may just lead to unimaginable growth for both of you. And that’s the real value of paying it forward.

Letting go of goods that no longer serve us

Covid has given us all time to reflect on what no longer serves us. Many clients have shared stories with us about cleaning out their homes and getting rid of stuff they no longer need. The challenge, however, often lies in knowing where to donate or sell goods you no longer need.

Charity shops

Many charities sustain their organisations through charity shops. The concept of charity shops is brilliant as it is an effective way to donate goods and rid your home of unused items. The items are then sold to the public, and the proceeds are used to sustain the charity for which they operate. Charity shops accept most items, so it’s a perfect place to offload books, appliances, bric-a-brac and clothes. Thrift shopping has become extremely popular, so your pre-loved items will likely go to a good home. See a complete list of charity shops in the various provinces. Please remember to check whether or not the charity shop can collect items from your house or whether or not you need to deliver, as this may impact your choice of charity shop depending on the items you are donating.

Online platforms

With technology at our fingertips, selling goods online has become popular, be it a boat, record collection or old wedding dress. If you have goods that you would like to sell, there are various platforms one can use; however, when determining which platform to utilise, keep in mind minor details such as fees, suitability, and convenience. Figure out which site is best for what you want to sell. Selling an old PC or laptop necessitates a different platform than selling a couch or refrigerator. A trial run on a free marketplace, like Gumtree, is always a good idea to learn the ins and outs. Remember that some sites might have strict terms and conditions, branding limitations or “hidden” (or less obvious) costs that you need to look out for, so read the pricing policy and their Terms & Conditions very carefully.

Gumtree, OLX and Facebook Marketplace are examples of free classifieds sites. You can advertise your products for free, but selling, shipping and payment processing becomes the seller’s responsibility. Visit Rateweb to read more about selling your goods online. Remember that there are so many scammers out there, so we encourage you to read these safety tips before buying or selling anything online.

Community organisations

When cleaning out, don’t forget organisations in your areas. Places like churches and community halls often host teas, so they welcome extra cups, saucers, and side plates. Local schools and libraries always welcome books.

If you are struggling to begin the process of decluttering, try the KonMari Method™, which encourages tidying by category – not by location – starting with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, miscellaneous items, and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.

There’s a hero inside all of us

I have a new hero in my life! I have known Samson for quite a while now, but little did I know that he would be the one to give me hope and a renewed sense of how we humans, collectively, can be stronger and braver than we ever thought.

Samson is my running coach and during our early morning run this past Saturday, we shared stories of our past. He told me that he used to be a child of the streets and, he relied on the kindness and open hearts of passersby and restaurant owners for food. Samson would often scrounge for food and clothes in rubbish bins and slept wherever he could find a safe space for the night. At eight years old, his parents could not afford to look after him, and I imagine how he put on his super-hero cape and made the streets his home.

Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s very often ordinary human beings who achieve great things. Heroes do need sidekicks though, and in my mind, this translates to the superpower we have as people when we pull together, support each other and give with our hearts and minds with love.

When I am struggling the most, I often get busy helping where I can. It makes me feel better. Gabi and I spent many happy hours together this month baking chocolate-chip biscuits and wrapping extra-stock Chartered gifts as donations to the health care workers and nurses. The theme of July is ‘Health and Wellness’ at Chartered – as a company, we are pulling together, helping each other and as many people as we can through this difficult period. Helping others makes you feel good. It feels good to give back and know that even your smallest gesture can make a big difference.

Samson’s story is not unique. It’s one of many, if not thousands of stories out there. But Samson is unique. Against all odds, he managed not only to survive – but thrive! Today, he is a successful business person, a great running coach and an extraordinary human being. I was really touched by how grateful he was and still is for having the strength, the tenacity, and the help of many people to get him to where he is today. He has been the inspiration behind our outreach efforts to help the many homeless people in Rosebank find shelter and food.

Trying to get through this third wave of the pandemic as well as the current chaos in our country has been hard. And it’s because we’re tired; we are worn-out and depleted. I want to remind you that you too have a hero inside you – and if many heroes join together, they become unstoppable! Don’t journey alone, join forces with your friends, your family or colleagues. We are stronger together, and together we will get through this and make a difference while we’re at it.

There is no better tonic than giving back. Think of the many ways you can make someone else’s life better. I’ve started adding extra toiletries to my shopping trolley for donation to the homeless. Perhaps you can support your local restaurant or corner shop, even if you don’t feel like takeaways. Or call a friend, someone who may need a listening ear. Nelson Mandela reminded us that no matter how small your actions, you can change the world for the better. Why not dedicate your 67 minutes this July giving back to the world around you?

I would love to hear how you celebrated giving back this month.

Until then, stay safe and ‘may the force be with you’,

July Winter Warmers

We are in the grips of winter. The cold weather, coupled with the lockdown and the chaos in our country means that staying at home is the only option at the moment.

It’s hard to focus right now, so why not keep busy cooking a delicious meal or losing yourself in a good book. These are our two suggestions, but you know we love hearing from you, so please email us here if you have a recipe worth sharing, or if you have read a book that you absolutely loved and would like to share.


Taste Magazine’s Delicious Oxtail


  • 5 T olive oil
  • 2.5 kg oxtail, cut into 4 cm chunks
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 400 g carrots, sliced julienne
  • 400 g celery, sliced julienne
  • 1 T fresh rosemary finely chopped, plus an additional sprig for remembrance
  • 1 T fresh thyme finely chopped, plus an additional sprig for courage
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 T flour
  • 2 x 400 g whole tomatoes cans
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 litre beef stock


Preheat the oven 220°C. Place 3 T oil in a roasting tray and heat in the oven. Once the oil is hot, add the oxtail and toss until all the meat is coated. Season to taste.

Return the meat to the oven and cook for a further 20 minutes, or until it’s nicely browned and the fat is golden.

Meanwhile, place the carrots, celery and herbs in a large saucepan with the remaining olive oil and gently simmer for 20 minutes. (You many need to add a few tablespoons of water at some point.)

Remove the oxtail from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven’s temperature to 170°C. Add the bay leaves, cloves, flour, tomatoes, wine and beef stock to the vegetables. Lastly add the oxtail, all the roasting juices and bring to a boil.

Return to the roasting tray, cover with a lid and cook in the oven for a further 5 hours. If you make this a day or two in advance, no harm comes to it if you put it into the oven at 170°C for another hour or so to heat it up.


The book we highly recommend this month is The Heart Is The Size Of A Fist by PP Fourie. If you would like to win a copy of this book, please email, and we will put you in the draw.

The Heart is the Size of a Fist by PP Fourie
Review by Kate Sidley

The semi-autobiographical novel centres on Paul and his relationship with his politically liberal but cruel and violent alcoholic father, and his loving but damaged mother. The book shifts between recollection of his childhood, devastated by addiction and domestic violence, and his adult life in which he does the work of understanding and healing, and reconnects with his much younger half-brother in a poignantly tentative and tender way. It’s a coming-of-age and coming out novel, a book about survival and healing and memory.

It’s beautifully written, thoughtful and strangely gripping. It had me glued to the book and the sofa all day. One of my best books of the year so far.

Lending a helping hand this Mandela month

Nelson Mandela said, “There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return.” Traditionally individuals and companies would honour Mandela on his birthday by spending 67 minutes serving those less fortunate than themselves.

Covid and the violence currently gripping our country has meant that traditional Mandela Day activities, such as visiting NGOs, is no longer possible; however, the need for assistance is greater than ever.

At Chartered, we launched a give back challenge (#CharteredGiveBack) for July. Staff are encouraged to get involved and make a difference, no matter how big or small.

We identified a few causes that we felt passionate about, and one of them was the homeless. Did you know that it only costs R10 to sponsor a bed for a person at a homeless shelter per night?

Covid has directly impacted many of our staff and clients, and it is during these times that we realise just what heroes our frontline workers are. To say thank you to them, we have been collecting items such as tea, coffee, biscuits, rusks, Energade and energy bars. These items, along with all our leftover client gifts, are being donated to the doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff working in the Covid wards.

Some staff members have decided to donate dry goods which they have delivered to our office using the Checkers sixty60 app. We have partnered with various organisations that will then distribute the food collected to those in need.

Lockdown is the perfect opportunity to clean out cupboards, and One Small Act of Kindness gladly accepts these donations as they help people in need across the board. One Small Act of Kindness also welcomes donations of fresh sandwiches and muffins, which they distribute to the hungry.

The upheaval in our country this past week has brought communities together, and the call to volunteer has been widespread. Hundreds of thousands of South Africans have heeded the call to lend a helping hand. Social media is flooded with opportunities to help rebuild our country, ranging from financial assistance to helping clean up, providing resources to skills sharing. It’s easy to do, all you need to do is fill out a form here stating how you would like to help, and you will be notified of ways in which you can help.

Below are a few more suggestions of how you can safely give back.

If you would like more information on any Chartered Give Back initiatives, please get in touch with Lyndsay. If you have your own give back story that you would like to share with us, please do; we love hearing from you.

Giving back through skills sharing

There is a beautiful quote that says, “If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it,” and this is precisely what Chartered clients’ Dr Errol Allcock and Veronique Hoog have been doing.

Give back has always been important to them, and independently they have contributed to various causes, be it supporting mobile libraries for township schools to fund raising for children orphaned by HIV. They acknowledge, though, that give back is not just about building houses or giving of one’s time and money. At a time where people are struggling as a result of, amongst other things, Covid and our strained economy, Errol and Veronique consciously decided that they would give back to people through the transfer of their vast knowledge and skills gained through many years of work experience. Drawing from their collective backgrounds in science, IT and business, and having worked in various industries, they are ideally suited to assist those in need.

Through word of mouth, companies ranging from micro-enterprises to medium-enterprises call on them for expertise and advice on next steps to take in order to survive or grow their businesses. Many of these companies have come from an informal structure where compliance, particularly adherence to tax laws, labour laws and reporting, and governance, amongst other areas, have been all but neglected.

Errol and Veronique acknowledge what a lonely place owning a small business can be, so they aim to be a quality soundboard for small enterprises. They could be described as a resource centre, offering guidance and advice, or as micro-management consultants. They don’t work in isolation, though, and rely on their extensive networks. Often times they link business owners up with other relevant service providers who can guide the small enterprises in their areas of expertise.

Both Errol and Veronique are still active in their careers, so they give back in their spare time. It is an area they feel incredibly passionate about and one in which they find huge fulfilment. Spending half an hour in their time challenges one to think out the box about how you can personally give back. Their passion is contagious, and one can’t help but be left feeling hugely inspired.