Living Tree News 30
Dear Living Tree members and friends,

Welcome to our first Newsletter of 2021!

We want to reassure members that we are still very much here, and to encourage any members who are lonely and isolating to email us or phone us on 07341 916976 if they would like a Telephone Buddy, or want help to join a Zoom Friday afternoon session.

Invitations to the LYLAC Zoom Workshops will be going out soon to those who have signed up, with all the instructions on how to prepare and join the online workshops in January.

Don’t forget, you can also wander down to our new allotment to watch it develop over the winter. Once the shed has arrived we have every intention of making it a welcoming space to “meet” other LT members.

The whole team at The Living Tree wishes you a very Happy New Year.


Please email us at to let us know if you would like to join any of the Living Tree Zoom Drop-In sessions this month, and we will email you the link and password to enable you to participate. We will only send you the link if you request it.

For those who might like to have the opportunity to talk in a smaller group or even on a one to one basis, especially if you would like a private chat with someone, we do have the means to create break out rooms which you can join and return to the main meeting when you wish, just at the press of a button! If you ask the Zoom host, usually Vince, he can arrange that for you.

Here are the details of our Living Tree meetings this month:

Friday 8th January 2-4pm

Tea & Chat

Further details to be confirmed.

Friday 22nd January 2-4pm

Art with Libby

Please have ready 3 objects of different sizes, along with paper, a pencil and a rubber.


The Trustees have had a busy year since becoming a registered charity and adjusting to life under lockdown. We are now looking to recruit 2 new Trustees to join the Board, to continue overseeing the work of The Living Tree. It would be useful if potential applicants had relevant experience of a previous administrative role, or skills in supporting anyone going through a crisis or illness.

If you think you can offer your time, empathy & organisational skills, we would be keen to hear from you – either by personally approaching any of the Trustees, or email us on

The Board will consider each potential applicant confidentially with an informal initial conversation, followed by a more formal “interview”.

It would be as much a chance for us to find new enthusiastic people, as for you to check whether you would enjoy being part of our dedicated team!

From The Living Tree Board of Trustees:

Jo Millar (Chair), Rita Bechervaise (Deputy Chair), Vince O’Farrell (Treasurer), Mecki Testroet, Peter Green, Sherry Porter, Alison Boyland 

Have you visited our website?
You’ll find latest news, featured posts, the Library booklist and more.

Sherry is posting daily on The Living Tree Facebook page, with useful information and uplifting responses to the current situation.


The Living Tree has officially joined The National Allotment Society!

January is a month of exploring options and making decisions. We now have our seed catalogues so we can start planning and buying our seeds. We also are deciding which raised beds and compost bins to use, and how to do the shed base in preparation for late February.

A local gardening celebrity has agreed to meet us and help us. The patch doesn’t look very pretty at the moment but we are hoping the manure and worms are working hard!

Alison Boyland

Mindfulness sessions on Zoom will run on the 15th and 29th of January at 2.p.m. Please email thelivingtreedorset@gmail.comfor the Zoom links. A message about loving kindness and self-compassion – from our regular mindfulness teacher Sue Howse – is included in full at the end of this newsletter.
This beautiful collection of writing and artwork (excerpt above) produced by members of The Living Tree is now over 50% off. It is available to buy for just £5 at Good Books on Gundry Lane, The Book Shop on South Street, and also the Tourist Information Centre in Bridport. Also available at Serendipity Book Shop, Lyme Regis and Archway Book Shop, Axminster. All proceeds go to the Living Tree.


I am a health psychology PhD student investigating the role thinking styles may have in the quality of life of those diagnosed with cancer.

The project aims to gain a better understanding of factors that influence how people view their health after a diagnosis of cancer and develop ways in which we can better support those recently diagnosed.

We are looking for those diagnosed with bowel, breast or prostate cancer within the last 24 months to fill out a short online survey here:

Any help would be greatly appreciated as we would like to hear more about people’s experiences after a cancer diagnosis.

Thank you so much.

Sarah Beck

It has been great to see so many of you at Stepping Out classes. Richard and Jo are running classes on Zoom on Monday and Friday mornings for Stepping Out participants.  Please contact Jo on if you usually attend Stepping Out and haven’t already received the information about joining the classes.

Stepping Out has been the lucky choice of Bridport Co-op as one of their Community Fund recipients. Read more on the Co-op fund raising page for Stepping Out and find out how much money has already been raised:

We realise there are many worthy causes to donate to, however if you shop in the Co-op but don’t have a Co-op card, please do consider applying for one and nominating Stepping Out as your choice.

Friday meetings always start with Tripudio, a daily 15 minute lymphatic and cardiovascular exercise regime which can be done in your home, patio or the smallest garden. Karen Forrester-Jones is also offering online 30 minute Tripudio Flow sessions via Zoom. If Living Tree members are interested contact Karen at for timings and links to the sessions.


Last year, The Living Tree decided to arrange for a bench in memory of The Living Tree co-founder Jo O’Farrell (who died in July 2018) to be placed near Highlands End overlooking Eype, a spot she loved to visit and sit to take in the view. Earlier this year, the Trustees invited donations from Living Tree members to help with the cost of the bench. If you wish to make a donation, however small, please put your cheque made payable to The Living Tree or cash in an envelope marked “The Living Tree – Jo’s bench” and hand to any Living Tree Trustee or one of the staff in the Good Books shop in Gundry Lane which is open each weekday morning. Alternatively, phone or email The Living Tree Treasurer Vince O’Farrell on 01308 427851, 07754 270370, or for details of how to donate directly using bank transfer.

The trustees would like to extend the Telephone Support Service to include one to one, face to face contacts for anyone who feels they would like some company occasionally, especially those who may just be coming out of isolation/quarantine or who may be new to LT. These ‘meet ups’ would be socially distanced and outside for now to make them as safe as possible. If you would like to volunteer to be such a contact or would like to meet up with somebody from Living Tree, please email Rosemary with your phone number at or phone and leave a message on 07341 916976 with your name and phone number and we will get back to you.
A new advice line has been established because we are all relying much more on online technology to keep in touch (like ZOOM).  It is available to provide support for people with IT and digital problems of all kinds. Some of their most popular topics are how to set up video to stay in contact with friends and family and how to get online for beginners.  Telephone 01305 221000 (option 2).NATIONAL, REGIONAL and LOCAL RESOURCES
The most up to date national information on COVID-19 is:  and for health information

I have a selection of books from the Living Tree Library that are available to loan to members.

They cover topics such as nutrition, cookery, complementary therapies and cancer specific books. Click here to view the latest list:

If you would like to borrow any Living Tree books, please contact me, Rose Thorpe, on

and I will get back to you with some suggestions and details of how to borrow them.

The three therapists in Partnership with The Living Tree listed below are able to offer their services by telephone, email or Zoom:

If you feel you would like to use these therapists during this period via the Therapist Partnership please leave a message for Rita on the Living Tree phone 07341 916976 or email:  If you would prefer to see these therapists privately and are able to self-fund your therapy then please contact them directly using the contact details above.

There will be no Worry Busting session in January – if you feel that you would like some support you may contact me through the Therapist’s Partnership (above) in confidence. I hope we will resume Worry Busting in January. Warm regards. Louise Wender
Hopeful Hampers & Good Neighbours Transport. Good Neighbours are offering transport for LT members to Dorset County Hospital for essential appointments. Phone and leave a message on the Good Books answerphone 01308 420483 and someone will call you back.
With Jane Silver-Corren. Jane is running 3 singing sessions a week on Zoom on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 3.00pm. The sessions last one hour and are fun and light-hearted. If you are interested please email: and she will send you the Zoom link.
If you have concerns about medical issues concerning your cancer or treatment Macmillan has a number of useful resources and virtual support  Please note that any urgent issues should still be referred to your Clinical Nurse Specialist.The Penny Brohn UK Centre provides online resources, including a series of free online classes from international leaders in health, wellbeing, psychology and lifestyle.  They are also running a Helpline 0303 300 0118 and some 1:1 services.  Contact
  • AXMINSTER AND LYME CANCER SUPPORT have a beach hut at Lyme.
Please contact these groups directly to find out about other kinds of support available.
12-13 DECEMBER CHARITY AUCTIONThe Charity Raffle for Weldmar Hospice which should have taken place in December has been postponed until the end of January, date to be confirmed. Thank you, Roz Copson.
Donations to Roz (01308 422650) or Nigel (01308 281203).

Hi all,  Please see below the updated selection of fabrics for my masks. Masks are still £5 each and come in 2 sizes: S/M and L. I will still be donating £1 from each to The Weldmar Hospice. Most fabrics are 100% cotton but one or two are polycotton. As well as the patterned fabrics, I have plains in black, grey, light blue, mid blue, pale pink, mid pink, red. Please email me with your order at Payment by BACS or cash. Thank you for your support. Love Chris.



Dear All

As we move into the New Year of 2021, I invite you to reflect on what has been meaningful during this unprecedented year of 2020.  Maybe you can ask what has been important in your life.

Just as a North Star  guides as a compass,, ask “What is the core value that you would most like to express in 2021″ – such as, for example, living with more  balance or connecting with others; seeing our own goodness and trusting it.  We are often already doing this without realising it.

Our thoughts can so often undermine our enthusiasm for taking action, thus

discouraging nourishment in daily life (the ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’, ‘what’s the  point?’

etc.)   Cross-checking our thoughts with reality is a perfect antidote to negativity

We can admit our vulnerability.  Very often it feels as if we have to be responsible , or feel guilty when we ask for help.  But we don’t have to do everything all on our own.

What would you say to a dear friend or pet, knowing how important this core

value is for them and how much it hurts to be ignored?

Can you, allow the words of this  compassionate  value to yourself, wash over you,

like a warm bath?

Recently, I heard an Israeli Mindfulness Teacher explain how a Green Sabbath

Day is practised in Israel. It is a day you choose in the week to relax into simplicity,

rest from digital communications relax from the treadmill, notice what is here to enjoy, and what needs replenishing or rejuvenating .  Content in a day of rest, you

then ask ‘What is good enough, right now?’
Jane O’Shea offers some encouragement in her poem:

The Voice Calling You Home


“Take off your muddied work-coat

toiling so hard to make yourself something else

Stop shouting for your work to finish

you need simply to open  the door

Someone will hand you a rich moist cake

and say the time for celebration has come

Time for you to rest my friend

your searching has come to an end. Open the door and come right in

You will find the handle on the inside of your heart

  Someone has  left the light on

   with a note to welcome you home….”


We frequently become strangers to our own compassionate hearts.  What barriers

are keeping you from finding the handle inside your own heart?


With much love warmth and kindness to you all


Wild geese offer themselves to your imagination 
Tel 07341 916976. Contact with any mailing list enquires/changes of address, ideas for events or items you would like to include in the next newsletter or on the website.  Our newsletter is sent out at the end of each month. The deadline for submissions is one full week before the end of the month.