Kate Powell, the Anna Chaplain for Alton, has loved getting to know the older community of Alton.
She especially enjoys their colourful life stories and attitudes to life. Growing Old Gracefully shares the profiles of some of these amazing people and why they chose Alton to live out their final chapter of life. Here Kate talks to Mon Spiers.
1) How old are you and how long have you lived in Alton?
I turned 92 last week and have lived in Alton since 1949 when I went to Treloar’s as a nurse at the age of 18.
2) What made you choose Alton?
Before I qualified as a nurse, I looked after a young boy with special needs and loved it so much that I decided to train as an orthopaedic nurse specialising with children.
At the time Treloar’s was a children’s hospital and provided accommodation for their nurses, so it was the perfect place for my first job.
3) What do you like most about Alton?
Oh, that is easy! The best thing for me about Alton is the many friendships I have made over the years.
I met my husband here, after a blind date set up by my friend, and together we made lots of friends in the town.
Sadly my husband died 30 years ago and I have been on my own ever since, but I still have lots of those friends who look out for me and keep me company.
4) Tell me a little bit about a favourite time in your life?
My involvement with Scouting is one of the best things I have done with my life.
When my son was old enough to become a Scout, I started helping with different outings and events. I really enjoyed it and decided to train as a Scout leader, and was very proud to earn my uniform 50 years ago.
I have been involved with the Scouts ever since and was even invited to one of the Queen’s garden parties at Buckingham Palace as a thank you.
Recently I was very touched to be recognised for my service to the Scouts. A big surprise tea party was organised in the Scout hut to celebrate the voluntary work I have done for the Scouts and I was so touched by all the people who came. I was awarded a certificate signed by Bear Grylls, and can say that tea party is one of the highlights in my life.
It was a lovely afternoon and so nice to be reunited with so many different people who I have known over the years.
5) What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
I have contributed many different things to the community over the years and am now enjoying all the contributions that others make. I go to lots of different activity groups, lunch clubs and coffee mornings as I love being with other people.
My hope is that I can continue to participate in these groups and feel part of the Alton community for as long as possible.
For more information on the Anna Chaplaincy, call Kate Powell on 07539 026546.