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