Who we are

Like-minded people with a shared vision who want to make a difference by helping people and giving those who need it most an opportunity and support to improve their own lives.

lou webLou Gardiner

Managing Director of ACE and Education Champion of the Year 2019 in the EDP Stars Of Norfolk Awards

As Founder and Managing Director of Action Community Enterprises CIC (ACE),  Lou’s commercial background, together with her drive, passion and experience has enabled ACE to develop and grow, providing opportunities for people to change their lives through education. You will often hear Lou say “It only takes one person to believe you can do it, to change your world”. At school all those years ago she too struggled in school, due to undiagnosed dyslexia, but she was inspired by two teachers who believed in her which got her through her education. Lou has been lucky enough to have the support of her parents and after having children of her own she realised that as a teenager she had not been ready to listen to their advice, but at the age of 23 years old with lots of nagging from her Mum she finally returned to education and the journey towards ACE began – culminating in achieving her Masters Degree in 2017.

Lou is passionate about making sure education is accessible to all, no matter what your background or ability. She is passionate about teaching, learning and generally helping people and is now in a position where she can make a difference, which is a wonderful place to be. After working in both public sector and the private sector in senior management roles. she was then able to transfer these skills in building her own business in the hospitality sector which after 5 year was successfully sold, which gave Lou the opportunity to return to Norfolk and begin to develop ACE: an enterprise which is now in it’s ninth year of helping people achieve their potential. After a variety of jobs Lou has qualified as a teacher, gained experience in SEND, built on her common sense approach and “can do attitude”, all of which make ACE a very unique place.

Bandit – Top Dog!

Bandit has been a member of the ACE team since 2012. He first joined the team when he was 8 weeks old and has spent most days here since.

After his morning walk on Rackheath park he spends most of the morning sleeping whilst ACE is a hive of activity. During his lunch break he likes to patrol the grounds and say hello to anyone willing to give him some attention. He often barks at anyone entering ‘his’ office, but its all just hot air – he’s a real softy!

Lauren Gardiner, General Manager

Lauren Gardiner

General Manager

Lauren joined ACE back in 2011, just after it was set up. Over the years Lauren has been a key player in the growth and development of the company, helping it become the smoothly run organisation it now is and providing an excellent management structure to ensure efficient day to day running.

Prior to joining ACE, Lauren had worked in a number of different establishments with various levels of responsibility. Along the way she has gained qualifications in team leading, equality and diversity and teaching and learning. Most recently ACE has supported her through her Diploma to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector. She now successfully juggles her work at ACE with being a fabulous mother to two small (and adorable) daughters.

Karen k wEBKaren Kerr

Business Manager

Karen joined ACE in October 2014 as Business Manager.  Prior to joining ACE, she worked for mostly larger companies but also had her own pet shops.  Lou and Karen became friends whilst working on the same team at Aviva; Lou headed up the Sport and Leisure facilities and Karen the Fleet and Travel department.   Her 5 years at ACE have been varied and interesting – and she has covered many miles as she doesn’t live in Norfolk. She says “Working at ACE has been very rewarding – watching it grow and develop, as well as being part of a great team.”

dani webDanielle Lindoff

Deputy Centre Manager and Instructor

Danielle joined ACE in 2013 and works as an instructor within the care sectors and personal development programmes.  

Danielle started her career in the childcare sector after completing a BTEC Level 3 Childcare course at Great Yarmouth College. During her time studying she worked on various children’s activity camps and on completing her course started working in a nursery. Danielle progressed her career through a number of different childcare establishments where she worked her way up to assistant manager.

An opportunity became available for Danielle to joint he ACE team where she came on board as learning support assistant. Danielle’s commitment and drive led her to achieving her Award in Education and Training and becoming an instructor within the care sectors taught at ACE.