70 years on the throne, that really is an incredible achievement for Queen Elizabeth II. She has been such a constant unshakable presence over those years and must have witnessed so many changes in the country, in politics and around the world. I hope she can enjoy this milestone and all its celebrations.

So let me ask you, are you good at celebrating, especially those birthdays with zeros at the end! Some of us have had to put off celebrating special birthdays, anniversaries and events over the last couple of years and some may have been secretly relived about that.

Not that all celebrations have to be big lavish affairs with loads of expensive food, drink and gifts, some are much smaller, quieter and more affordable but just as meaningful.

Celebrations can be bittersweet, they can come with difficult memories from the past of things and people that we have lost, they may make us long for a life that no longer exists.  They may also come with so much joy that we hardly dare to sink into it because if we do, something bad is bound to happen. Not allowing ourselves to really enjoy anything has got to be the best way to protect ourselves against disappointment, surely!

Apparently according to research, older people may have an advantage here. Being more aware of the fragility of life, can lead to more gratitude for today and the acknowledgment that you will never have this moment again can help you celebrate each day. Celebrate all the little things, relationships, friendships, and especially birthdays with zeros at the end.

If you want to find others to celebrate with and for you, why not come along to one of our regular sessions at Hope Trust on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and make some new friends, we would love to see you. You can find out more about Hope Trust on T: 01394 272592, M: 07845 202 112 E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.hopetrust.org.uk or on our Facebook page: The Hope Trust

Tracy Haskins, Charity Manager

So where do you find joy? Is it in the faces of your children, grandchildren or a special person in your life? Is it in your loyal and lovable dog or independently minded cat or some other furry critter with or without a tail? Is it in the beauty of a magnificent sunrise or sunset? Is it in the garden with all the new buds and blossom around you? Is it along our splendid seashore, with the waves rhythmically washing the beach, in and out?

In the interconnected world we live in, with all the conflict, sorrow and pain around us, as well as in our own lives, it helps to value joy and gratitude and actively look for it. We need to stay informed, respond to people in need as we are able and come together to stand against injustice and pray for peace. We also need to take care of ourselves and not become overwhelmed.

That saying, ‘You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone’ has really hit home to me recently, seeing people who have left everything behind, homes, jobs, possessions, family, not only because of the utter devastation of it all, but to me, all those things they have lost I just take for granted. I want to be grateful for what I do have and cultivate gratitude and joy in my life.

I am told by those who practice gratitude and joy that this is where they get the strength to live with courage and conviction, to reach out to help others and make the world around them a little brighter, better and kinder. So, I am going to start by stopping each day and being grateful for something: today my big steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee. I am also going to take a picture of something that brings me joy and share it on our Facebook page during April, it might just bring you a bit of joy too.

One thing that always brings me joy is seeing the power of connection, people coming together, chatting and laughing with each other. Laughter really is good medicine. Hope Trust is for anyone 50+ and you can come along to one of our regular events on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday to find some new friends and some joy.

In difficult seasons we may need to look harder to find joy, but if we look, I believe we will find it in the small things. Why not check out our Facebook page and see if my pictures bring you a little joy too.

You can find out more about Hope Trust on T: 01394 272592, M: 07845 202 112

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.hopetrust.org.uk or on our Facebook page: The Hope Trust

Tracy Haskins, Charity Manager

This is such a big question with so many possible answers depending on the exact change we are talking about. The change out of the depths of Winter towards Spring is just so wonderful. Seeing those daffodils change from green buds to beautiful sunny yellow flowers is a real soul lifter and is the promise of all the other flowers and blossom to come.

The change in temperature from those freezing frosts to something a little warmer, makes getting out in the garden, the beach, or the town less of a challenge or with less layers of clothing needed to wrap up in before we go!

What about self-imposed change, have you done a healthier eating plan, an exercise challenge, a ‘Dry January’ or given up something for Lent in the past? Was it any easier because it was your decision and something you wanted to do? Did your self-control stay in charge, or did you fall ‘off the wagon’? I have found it hard to do this in the past but have found it helpful and a little easier by getting rid of all the biscuits in the house when I am eating better or putting my trainers out ready when I am exercising more.

Changes to our routines have been imposed on us over the last couple of years, some of these have been positive or just a little inconvenient while others have been devastatingly difficult to live with. One change that is so encouraging is that people are starting to believe ’Its ok to not be ok’ and even better to start to talk about this and ask for help. The change, pain, loss we have all gone through has taken its toll but there are people who can help us if we are brave and ask.

Hope Trust is for anyone 50+ and you can come along to one of our regular events on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, to connect and make friends. You will receive a very warm welcome. Why not be brave, make a positive change and come and see us, like lots of the people who come every week it might just become a new routine that brings connection, conversation, laughter and like the Spring flowers happiness and a smile.

You can find out more about Hope Trust on T: 01394 272592, M: 07845 202 112

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.hopetrust.org.uk however you choose to do it, we are here to help.

Tracy Haskins, Charity Manager