Heart & Soul Story is a social enterprise with a a social enterprise with a clear vision – an Australia where youth and older people’s wellbeing and mental health are improved as a result of increased intergenerational connection; facilitating growing empathy and resilience through the sharing of stories, with the aim to ultimately contribute to increased emotional intelligence, resilience and overall well being within society.
Heart & Soul Story was founded by experienced psychosocial facilitator & social impact strategist Samantha Heron. With an honours degree in Psychology ( USYD) and Post Graduate degree in Social Impact ( UNSW) , her passion and area of expertise lies specifically in the following areas
– Intergenerational programs and initiatives (Design, facilitation & implementation strategy)
–Intergenerational Education & Strategy Increase awareness of and advocate for the importance of Intergenerational Connection to support community mental health, for example through education & training with Schools, Government, Aged Care and School conferences.
– Third Sector Social Impact strategy & research ( Strategy & Consultation for Social Impact Initiatives, in particular but not limited to, the area of intergenerational connection, better aging and community mental health and wellbeing )
For experience and testimonials please see below or head to
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“I Acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live & work. I pay my respects to Elders of the Past, Present and Future and to their stories.”
Heart and Soul Story has been supported by:
Awesome Foundation, Layne Beachley Foundation,
SEFA/ MACQUARIE Kickstarter
Current & Past Partners / Clients
“One of the rising stars of the social entrepreneur movement”
Samantha Heron is one of the rising stars of the social entrepreneur movement. Her social enterprise Heart & Soul Story has already broken new ground with the highly original STEP (Seniors and Teens Empathy Program), weaving together new strands of the social fabric by putting older and younger members of the community in touch with each other. That program will grow because, like all Sam Heron’s initiatives, it responds to the urgent need to reduce the risk of social isolation – in this case by establishing new connections between people (teenagers and nursing-home residents) whose voices are often not heard. Unlike many people with good intentions, Sam is tackling the challenge of social fragmentation on the ground, with practical strategies for rebuilding local neighbourhoods and communities.
Hugh Mackay AO, Social Researcher, Psychologist, Author, Founder IPSOS Mackay Report, delivered the Australia Day Address on 23 January 2019.
“You wholesomely incorporated the true definition of what meaningful engagement should look like.“
Your tremendous work in curating and delivering this specialised intergenerational program for our amazing residents in Annandale is truly remarkable. Watching residents’ gleeful expressions at the sound of the program’s name is something that I will always cherish. You wholesomely incorporated the true definition of what meaningful engagement should look like.
I truly hope you understand the impact you bring to our residents’ lives and I’m sure, the students as well.
Justin David 2020Lifestyle Manager, Opal Annandale 2020/2021
“You never gave up”
Thanks for the amazing program you run… there were a number of tech complications due to taking the face-to-face program online during COVID, but you never gave up and the way you handled yourself and your interaction with the residents was magical-you really have a special gift in that area. The students from our school, treasured the interactions and the friendships they made. It really had a huge impact on them.
Sarah Travis Head International Grammar School Year 10 2020
“She showed an excellent understanding of our mission and challenges”
When with Media Access Australia ( Australia’s only independent not-for-profit charitable organisation dedicated to increasing web and digital accessibility for people with disability), we contracted Samantha to review our brand image with a very wide and diverse range of stakeholders. She showed a great capacity to understand them, to adapt the usual focus group format for people with various disabilities, and the brand strategy and feedback we received, as a result, was spot-on and actionable. She achieved this within a limited budget, and with an excellent understanding of our mission and challenges.
Belinda Kerslake, Marketing Manager, the Butterly Foundation
“Provided smart and insightful advice”
Samantha provided the Australian Conservation Foundation’s climate change campaign with smart and insightful pro-bono advice during 2011. In addition to helping us prepare the brief for a major evaluation of one of our biggest alliance-based campaigns (‘Say Yes to a price on pollution’), Samantha helped us identify and select the right external consultant to engage. Interestingly, this consultant was already known to us but we weren’t aware of their full skill set. Samantha joined the dots and paved the way for a very successful evaluation of our work.
Philip Freeman, Strategist, Word Wildlife Fund Australia
“People open up and tell her things that they wouldn’t dream of otherwise and she manages to get to the heart of human motivations.”
Creative, positive, empathetic, determined and above all Open. That’s Sam. She is a great strategist because she starts at the problem and has the rare capacity to hold it up in her mind and examine it from all angles without bringing in prejudices and preconceptions. Her solutions are elegant and her rationale is always well thought through. What makes Sam brilliant though is that she is “simpatico”..people open up and tell her things that they wouldn’t dream of otherwise and she manages to get to the heart of human motivations. She is straight as an arrow, highly loyal and has a great sense of humour. I would highly recommend Sam to anyone who is looking for a superstar to work with
Sangeeta Leach, Director, The Leach Partnership
“Approaches everything she does with unwavering enthusiasm”
We worked with Sam on a number of projects and we were impressed by her absolute professionalism and her ability to deliver research and recommendations that make an impact. She understands the fundamentals of good qualitative research, always looks at things with a strategic eye and invariably thinks creatively about the implications for a client. Sam has that important ability to not only engage people from all walks of life, but to genuinely understand their perspective and translate it into something that makes a real difference to clients. Overlaid on her considerable research skills and her passion for strategic planning, Sam is also highly personable and approaches everything she does with unwavering enthusiasm.
Marc L’Huillier – Partner Advisory EY/ Managing Partner, EY Sweeney
“Personable, intelligent and compassionate person who has the ability to lead and inspire people… destined to do great things”
Samantha is a motivated, honest and very hard working person who leads by example in both her professional and her private life. She regularly demonstrates her resilience and willingness to tackle challenges with a resolve and energy that is inspiring to those around her.
As a key part of our leadership team Samantha contributed greatly to the strategic repositioning of the company as we realised our own social responsibility and further our work in the third sector. This is where Sam’s passion lies: in doing real work that enables her to contribute to the development of a more civil society. In recent years Sam has led projects for the Red Cross, Australian Diabetes Council, and Media Access Australia.
Samantha is a very personable, intelligent and compassionate person who has the ability to lead and inspire people. She has a calm and very considered approach which belies the determined and passionate characteristics that underlie her personality. Sam’s great interpersonal skills, and her easy but very professional manner inspires the confidence of our clients which assists greatly in the success of the projects that she worked on.
Sam is the kind of person whom I feel, is destined to do great things. Her professional background and training, combined with her wide range of personal attributes, equip her to contribute to the improvement of a range of social and environmental issues which challenge our society today.
Melissa Reader, Founder Purpose Agency & CEO Life Circle