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  • Writer's pictureCharity Chat Podcast

E199 - Compassion in action with Laura Hussey and Angus Clark

“…if you think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, that making sure that that bottom level is absolutely covered, so that then these people can go on to start thinking about the next stage without worrying about food or clothing or warmth…”

- Laura Hussey

In this episode we speak with Laura Hussey and Angus Clark about the work of Herts for Refugees. We speak about what led them both to get involve and now lead the organisation, what compassion means to them, and how charities like theirs can get bigger bang for the buck of donors by working alongside other charities and not-for-profit groups.

Compassion and the start of charities

Compassion is a powerful emotion and moved many like Angus and Laura to support refugees following the start of the Syrian civil war. We see it too, in all charities, where a founder or group of founders are moved to help a situation or group, even when there is no personal connection to them.

As Angus said, when the work that Herts for Refugees was also popular among the media there was a boon in support from the public. This is not so much the case any more as time has passed and while refugees continue to suffer around the world, and Herts for Refugees work has continued, it has been the recent invasion of Ukraine and displacement of millions of Ukrainians that has led to a new boost of support.

How can we reflect on our own lives to power our philanthropy

It can sometimes feel like a privilege to be part of a cause that is making a difference in the world. Sometimes it feels like a mere drop in the ocean of need. How do we avoid the doubts that our efforts are making enough of an impact? Perhaps we just need to get on with the doing, and remind ourselves in those moments of doubt that it is not enough to not do harm and that we must do all that we can to help others and make the world better.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Laura made the point that covering the bottom level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is something that drives her in her work with Herts for Refugees. These are the physiological needs that humans have – the things we all need to survive.

For many of us, it might be hard to fathom what is must be like to be without food, water, shelter, or light, despite many of us supporting charities who help people in these situations. It might be so unfathomable for some that it is hard to grasp how they could possibly help those in that situation. This is why it is so important to keep stories of real people, and share these.

Both Laura and Angus were particularly moved by the death of Alan Kurdi, as would have been many who saw those photos of his small body, lying face down on the English beach. Remembering the individuals is a way for us to focus our efforts and doing things we may never have thought possible.

This episode of Charity Chat has been brought to you by our platinum sponsor Work for Good. Work for Good believes everyone should be able to turn the work they do into good. Through their fundraising platform, they offer charities a way to engage and work with small businesses, including founders, owners and sole traders who want to make an impact for charities through their sales. To find out more, please visit

We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.

Related episodes that you may be interested in:

E197 - System Strategy with Seth Reynolds -

E179 - Refugee Crisis and Galvanising a Group Effort with Amber Bauer -

E76 - Jordan Deployment with Usman Mughal, Abdul Hamid and Naveed Akhtar -


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