I had the privilege of being appointed to the new Charity Manager position for Hope Trust and started work in January. Taking over from Paul and Sheila, who had done such great work, over many years, will not be an easy thing to do. They have made a positive difference in so many people's lives and we wish them a very happy and healthy retirement.

One of my first challenges is getting to know everyone's name! I am not sure it ever came easy to me, even in my nursing days when patients would come and go on a daily basis. Thank goodness to our wonderful volunteers for helping me with this, they have been brilliant. I am not sure if face and name matching has become more difficult due to face masks or my glasses steaming up, but it is definitely a challenge!

So how important is your name to you? Do you like it, have you changed it or shortened it in some way? Do you prefer a nickname instead? Remembering and using someone's name, or chosen name, can make them feel ‘seen’ rather than invisible or just part of the crowd. Using our names can give us a feeling of dignity, respect, and value and that we matter to others. This is so important right now, where winter and Covid have pushed us away from each other, away from connection which has increased that feeling of being alone and ‘unseen’.

At Hope Trust we will continue to follow government guidelines and offer friendly, welcoming events for anyone aged 50+ who wants to come along. Somewhere to connect with people, who will want to know ‘your name’ and get to know you. If you have not come to any of our events in the past, why not come and meet us or if you have been away for a while, why not come back and see us.

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.

On behalf of the trustees I would like to wish you a very Happy Christmas and bring you some very exciting news.

Firstly although our recruitment process was a bit longer than expected it was very successful and I am delighted to tell you that we have appointed Tracy Haskins as our Charity Manager.  Tracy has worked for many years in senior roles for Sue Ryder Chantry and more recently as the administrator of The Fields Church in Kesgrave. We are very excited about Tracy’s appointment and are confident that she is the ideal person to continue to develop the work of Hope Trust.  She will be visiting us a couple of times in December and starting work in early January.  She hopes that you will drop in to say hello.

Secondly I want to share some astonishing financial news.  At Hope Trust we are very fortunate to have a regular grant from the Golden Sunset Trust which more or less covers our staff costs.  On top of this we greatly appreciate our regular donors and our church supporters whose contributions cover our events and our day to day running expenses.  We were surprised at the beginning of the first lock down to receive a letter informing us that we were beneficiaries of a legacy which would be dependent on a house sale.  About two weeks later the Golden Sunset Trust approached us and asked how long we could manage without their grant!  The GST needed to protect their investments which had been badly affected on the stock market.  The usual answer to the GST’s question would be just a few months but this amazing legacy enabled us to go for nearly a year without their input during which time their investments recovered well.  The legacy, shared between several charities came from the estate of Mrs Ellen Wood from Kent.  We have no idea how she heard of us and have been unable to trace any connection to Hope Trust although we are assured that we are the correct beneficiary.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your role within the trust whether this is visiting our events, giving your time as a volunteer or supporting us financially we greatly appreciate the part you play.  Hope Trust couldn’t do all it does without you and as trustees we especially appreciate your commitment to us through the last two difficult years when we have all been so constrained by the Corona Virus.

I am so thankful for the ways God has blessed Hope Trust and especially through the people he has sent us.  I am sad that it is time to say goodbye to Paul and Sheila but so grateful for all that they have brought us over the years.  I am sure you will join me in wishing them well in their retirement.

And finally after 16 years it is time for me to stand down as Chair of Trustees.  Julia Hancock who has very ably led our recruitment process will take over the reins in January.

May God bless you all this Christmas

Anne

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere we go…. The John Lewis and M&S adverts have been on our TVs for a few weeks telling us exactly how much better Christmas will be if we either eat their products or meet an alien! 

Already the pressure is mounting for Christmas to be ‘perfect’ but something I read recently explained that Christmas can be a magnifier – if things are good in your life, Christmas tends to magnify all that goodness: what’s good seems better, good family seems great, good parties seem fantastic, good memories become even better.  But sadly, Christmas can also magnify what’s difficult: if you are struggling, Christmas can make that struggle seem overwhelming, financial stress can become unbearable, challenged relationships within a family can seem more intense especially if they are sharing Christmas with you and if you are feeling lonely, then images of the ‘perfect’ Christmas can intensify that sense of loneliness.

The solution?  Well Hope Trust can help, but so can Felixstowe Christians Against Poverty & Debt, Basic Life Charity, Compass, Walton Parish Nursing, The Hub run by St Mary’s church on a Thursday morning - to name but a few.  The solution is to seek out those organisations that serve this local community day in and day out and see which one offers the support and help you need.  In other words - you are not alone, there are many people who can offer practical and social help, but we all recognise that the first step is the hardest, but for those brave enough to take that step, well, things can only get better.

As we pen these words, we have been reflecting on just how many such articles we have had included in this publication by the team at The Flyer.  By our reckoning we’ve contributed 126 articles over 11 years.  We also know how many people have read our words, responded to what’s been offered and have found their way from where they are, closer to where they want to be.  We know that this won’t stop as 2022 dawns, but what will change is that we (Paul & Sheila) will be spectators to the ongoing work of Hope Trust.  As the New Year dawns, so the time has come for new leadership, new opportunities, and new energy in the life of the charity.  So, as we bid you all ‘adieu’ we want with all our hearts to reassure you that Hope Trust will continue to serve older people in the town of Felixstowe, and surrounding villages, helping every person that reaches out to find new connections, new activities, next steps that will lead them to a brighter and better tomorrow.

So, here’s wishing you all a Happy Christmas and for the last time, we are - Paul & Sheila Taylor, Pastoral Workers for Hope Trust – you can reach 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 you can visit our website www.hopetrust.org.uk however you choose to do it, it will be good to speak with you, Hope Trust is here to help, as always.