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