on Wednesday, 16th March, 2016
A very big meeting at the Quaker Centre at 11:00 – there must have been about twenty five of us from countries throughout the world – including first time visitors from the United States and Paraguay, and regular friends from Pakistan, Thailand and South Korea, Turkey, Lithuania and Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and Somalia, plus Wales and England.
Jo led the discussion this morning and suggested ‘Beginnings’ as our topic. Jo is an inspiration and model for many of us – in her 9th decade she tells us that she is still looking for new experiences and is excited at the beginning of each day as to what the day will bring. She also talked about the imminent start of the first signs of spring, which heralds a wondrous beginning of new life and activity for so many plants, flowers and animals – and gardeners!
For others, we spoke about being torn in our attitudes to ‘beginnings’. We know that accepting and embracing new challenges and change in our lives is both necessary and often desirable, while also often having fears concerning change and the unknown. Experience should show us that often our fears ‘before’ an event are shown to be unfounded, and even if something turns outs to be disappointing or even disastrous, we should accept that is part of life and take some lessons from the experience. Moving into a new house, new relationships, and retirement were often brought up as important ‘beginnings’ in lives. However, the biggest ‘new beginning’, for many of our friends at the meeting was leaving their own country and now living in the United Kingdom and learning English. Learning both a new language and to live in a new country are immense tasks – and hopefully attending FAN Groups and meeting a friendly group of people helps in the process.
The Big Lottery has awarded £59k to the FAN Charity to increase the geographic reach of FAN.
MBE accepted on behalf of everyone who supports FAN Groups.
Award accepted on behalf of The FAN Charity and for all those who attend FAN Meetings.