I have read this word a few times today probably because everyone is thinking ahead now. Dying to leave 2020 behind with all the buzz words of furloughing, pivoting, covid, pandemic, unprecedented…..flip…we don’t want to hear those words very often anymore!

Now it is all about vaccine, spring, new, optimism and fresh.

What does our optimism look like? What have we learnt from months of all those other words.

From a Charity point of view it has been incredible and very poor. The NHS has come out of it extremely well with millions raised to help the NHS but I wonder where that money will be spent. People have been so keen to give because of the hard work, well not even hard work…exceptional work done by doctors , nurses, and retired health staff that have come back to work to help out. Doing long, hard shifts and in some cases being with people as they lose their battle to live with the virus and end their lives holding the hand of someone they didn’t know before but their relatives are not allowed in. I have spoken to some nurses who have had to do that. One man asked my friend if she could roll her glove back so that he could feel skin for the last time.

That is why people gave in their hundreds and thousands and I hope that is where the money will go…to make their working lives easier.

Homeless charities have also done well. As a nation we have been brilliant at putting extra food in trollies at the supermarket for those that are less fortunate than us. At Cheltenham Open Door where I am the Chairman we have been inundated with donations of food, clothes and offers of help. It has been heart-warming, encouraging and moving. I have a sad feeling that people struggling with poverty and homelessness might increase in the coming months too so long may it continue.

The charities struggling are the Hospices and general everyday charities such as children’s charities which have been put on the back burner a little. Even the Lottery grants are solely for Covid related charities at this time and without events permitted for the others it is a struggle and I am afraid some may fold.

But lets be optimistic! The vaccine is being rolled out. By spring the picture should be less gloomy. We can book holidays! The sun will be coming out. Charity Events will hopefully take place and people will be having fun….

‘Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.’