• crop5
    no-one should be lonely in our friendly town
  • crop4
    no-one should be lonely in our friendly town
  • crop2
    no-one should be lonely in our friendly town
  • crop1
    no-one should be lonely in our friendly town
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    no-one should be lonely in our friendly town
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    no-one should be lonely in our friendly town

Being alone is very difficult

Being alone is very difficult – Yoko Ono

What do you think the difference is between being alone and being lonely?  One writer describes the difference like this ‘Language has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone and it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.’  Many people are quite happy in their own company, they love to close the door, curl up on the settee with a good book or watch their choice of TV, their innermost being content and possibly even replenishing itself in the peace and quiet.  For us here at Hope Trust we witness many situations when the joy of being alone, silently, inexorably tips into the pain of being lonely.

In recent days we have become increasingly aware of people who, normally content to be alone and haven’t grown new friendships or relationships, suddenly face the reality of there not being anyone around who they can rely on to help them especially in the area of hospital visits.  When hearing news we were dreading, or not expecting at all, it is always useful to have someone alongside you whose job it is to ‘hear’ what is being said – all of it!  That way, when something is remembered inaccurately someone else can offer reassurance and remind you of exactly what was said.  The challenge we are witnessing is, who goes with people who have literally no-one to support them?  It is really important, whatever age we are and no matter how comfortable we are to be alone, to make sure we maintain relationships, continue to create new friendships, that way when we need someone, or our friends and family need us, we are there for them and they are there for us – after all, what’s the alternative?

Hope Trust continues to create and deliver its own events and signposts people to activities that others run, enabling people to stay connected to other people.  Our weekly Technology Café is going well, the last of our Summer Afternoon Teas takes place on Sunday 24th September and the next 6-week Bereavement Support Group starts Monday 30th October with a chance to find out more on Saturday 21st October @ 10.30am.

Mmmm, points to ponder

Mmmm, points to ponder

Recently we were asked to contribute to an organisation's evaluation of itself.  In doing that, we were reminded that it’s always tough to ask probing questions, whatever they are to be used for.  Here at Hope Trust we are also routinely asking people questions as we try to evaluate just how well we are doing at the different activities we are organising and delivering.  So much time and effort goes into each and every one, both from our volunteers and ourselves, that it would be a shame if we were missing the mark. It is only when you ask direct questions that you seem to get direct answers!  When the feedback is positive, it’s easy to be encouraged, the challenge is how we deal with those comments that point out our flaws. Yet it seems to us that it is only when we know exactly where we are, that we can move closer to where we want to be.

We really do want to identify what’s good, what needs changing and what (if anything) should be let go of so that we make the best of the time and effort put in by so many to make what we do of maximum benefit for all those we serve.  So, if you want to comment on anything Hope Trust does, or should do, feel free to get in touch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Do you worry about tomorrow?

Do you worry about tomorrow?

Do you plan or not, prepare or not, sit back and only care about today, or not?  This question came to our minds after we received over 20 replies to a recent questionnaire we asked people to complete.  One purpose of the questionnaire was to try and gauge what a ‘typical’ person in their 60’s, 70’s or 80’s would identify as challenges they face now, challenges they think they will face in 5 years and what they would do to prepare for those identified challenges between now and then.  Sounds good, doesn’t it? The idea of asking these questions was to help Hope Trust identify activities, events or services we would need to develop to meet the needs of people as they mature.

Our challenge?  In reading the responses of all those people, virtually all of them wrote that they will ‘wait and see.’  No-one identified a plan to prepare for the challenges they themselves had identified.  No-one said ‘I’ll learn to cook’ no-one said ‘I will attend an exercise class so I stay fitter for longer’ no-one said ‘I know I will need to downsize my home in time so I am starting to plan that now.’  No-one said, my garden is too big so I’ll get a gardener.’ No-one said ‘I will assess my driving’ no-one said ‘I need to learn how to use a computer.’ Not to say that those respondents won’t do everything we’ve mentioned, and more, but it clearly isn’t front and central to their thinking right now.

So, for now, Hope Trust remains ready and willing to help any older person in the town - recognising that we might have to be flexible to meet emerging need as and when it occurs.