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

April Fool's Day

This is not an April’s Fool Joke, honest!

So, April 1st, did you fall victim to a joke?   Whether you have had a trick played on you, or not, April 1st is one of those days in the calendar it’s good to try and avoid!  The origins of today are very obscure.  Google tells us that some have argued that a story told by early English poet Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century - where a fox plays a prank on a rooster (who is almost eaten because of it) - is the first reference to pranks taking place on the first of April.  But Google also says that In Roman times there were celebrations at the start of a new season, when things went a bit topsy-turvy and servants could control masters or children could control their parents.  However it came about, we hope you survive unscathed!

Here at Hope Trust life is more busy than topsy-turvy.  We know that to do better, we have to be adaptable.  Whether it’s the seasons changing, the weather, we (or even our guests) entering a new season of life, we have to be willing to change, change and then change again.  That’s why we had to update our promotional DVD; our website is to be re-launched in a few weeks time; perhaps most importantly of all – we must review the events that we offer.  It seems that to stand still is actually to undergo a slow slide backwards.  So, as we enter April, the start of the 2nd quarter of the year, the beginning of a new financial year and much more besides, we are looking forward, not back - how about you?  Can we help?

Minister for the Lonely

Minister for the Lonely

Tracey Crouch - appointed to head up a government-wide group with responsibility for policies connected to loneliness; an issue highlighted by the murdered MP Jo Cox.  The current sport and civil society minister is reported ‘to be proud to take on this generational challenge’ to tackle an issue that affects 9 million UK people, young and old.  The Prime Minister said ‘For too many people loneliness is the sad reality of modern life.  I want to confront this challenge for our society.’  We at Hope Trust say ‘Hurray!’  Having focused on the relief of loneliness for some years now, we are happy the Government is finally following our lead!

At Hope Trust we know that by offering a variety of relaxed, informal, engaging and appropriate events - people will come along.  Some might need to be encouraged to pop in, whilst others are eager to walk through the doors; some may have no idea who Hope Trust is or what we do until they suddenly find themselves in need of something more than they have.  Bereavement, family moving away, friends going to live nearer their children, ill health, loss of mobility - the reasons for becoming isolated and more alone than we are comfortable with are many and varied and yet the solution is simple – find and connect with other, like-minded people. 

With 2018 underway we are quickly filling up the diary with opportunities that we hope will meet people where they are and help them move closer to where they want to be.  Our weekly Tuesday Technology Café is going well with older people beginning to enjoy (or at least see) the benefits of some aspects of modern technology!  Chatting with grandchildren via Skype or Facetime is better than never chatting to them at all.  Seeing pictures and comments posted on Facebook allows the everyday story of other people’s lives to intertwine with ours.  Or on a dull Thursday morning, the opportunity to mix with other people at our Tea ‘n’ Chat, possibly over a board game, can make a huge difference – you just have to be willing to join in.  Question is, are you?

Missing someone?

Missing Someone?

If you, like us, are busy writing Christmas cards, have you also come across that name in your address book that no longer requires a card as they have passed away? In preparing for this year’s Christmas Tree Festival at the Salvation Army we found some decorations which we used a few years ago.  On each star was the face of someone who either attended our events or volunteered with us. As we looked at all those smiling faces we realised just how many of them are no longer with us.

Here at Hope Trust we are going through, what we call, a ‘Season of Loss.’  Great, amazing people we have had the privilege of knowing, and working with, are no longer with us.  4 funerals in 3 weeks is a salutary reminder of the brevity of life.  The loss we feel, which is nothing compared to the loss the families must be experiencing, has to be acknowledged and dealt with – something we learn over and over again at our twice yearly Bereavement Support Group.  As we come to terms with those losses we are also reminded of the amazing fact that each one of those people lived and had a story to tell.  Stories of travel, love, sacrifice, hard work and joy were common to each person.  So, as we deal with their loss we choose to remember them as they lived, not as they died.  We choose to remember stories of the great and many things they did, not dwell on the fact that they are no longer here.  We choose to keep on doing what Hope Trust is here to do ‘helping older people’ and not give in to our sorrow but enjoy each person now as we find them.