• crop2
    no-one should be lonely in our friendly town
  • crop1
    no-one should be lonely in our friendly town
  • 4
    no-one should be lonely in our friendly town
  • crop4
    no-one should be lonely in our friendly town
  • crop5
    no-one should be lonely in our friendly town
  • crop3
    no-one should be lonely in our friendly town

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.

Just how loud are you singing?

Just how loud are you singing?

In the shower, in front of a mirror, standing at a Karaoke machine most of us enjoy a good sing.  Some are confident chorus line singers – happy to belt it out, whilst others quietly let their contribution mingle with that of others.  However we like to sing, if you are anything like us, what, when and how we sing is affected by how we feel.  If all is well in our world we might be happy to sing a few lines and skip along the prom to the rhythm created by an imaginary band, if things are less good we might sing soft, sad lines that reflect exactly how we feel at that moment.

This thought of how and where we sing came to us as we read some words which created a mental image of a scared, huddled character standing far back from the edge of the stage, singing, but only just.  In reading those words our thought was, how do we get that person to move from the back of the stage closer to the front, to lift their voice so more people can hear them?  It resonated with us because; as a charity working with people aged 50+ we want older people to recognise their own worth and for society to remember the value of every older person.  Rather than older people placing a huge burden on society, numerous studies show that older people play a key economic role – to the tune of £40bn more to the economy than they receive in state pensions, welfare and health services.  This is set to grow in coming years so that by 2030 projections indicate that the net contribution of older people with be worth some £75bn!  Not just adding value to the economy of our country, an ICM poll for a WRVS study found that 65% of older people say they regularly help their elderly neighbours and they are the most likely of all adult age groups to do so.

So, if you are standing at the back of the stage of life, can we urge you to come forward and sing a bit louder?  You are worth hearing!