WARWICK chairman Martyn Ashford says he is proud to call the district home as he reflects on the covid crisis as the anniversary of the first lockdown falls.
Today (Tuesday) marks one year since the UK was placed into its first lockdown. Shops, pubs, cafes, theatres, museums, cinemas and offices closed as the nation was told to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.
And the chairman of Warwick District Council, has shared his reflections on the past year and is asking residents to join a nationwide minute’s silence at noon, followed by a doorstep vigil at 8pm.
He expressed his condolences to those who had lost loved ones to the virus, and praised the community’s response to protect and support one another.
He said: “One thing that is clear now is that when the situation became real and our communities needed us, I was proud to see that local government worked with their partners and organisations to help and support them. In April, a ‘shielding hub’ was established with councils, charities and volunteers across the county coming together to provide food and medicine to the clinically extremely vulnerable members of our community who were shielding and unable to leave their homes.
“At the height of its operation, over 5,000 food parcels and prescriptions were delivered with over 3,000 people provided with mental health and financial support. I would like to thank all of the officers and volunteers involved in this operation for representing the very best of local government.
“I would also like to give thanks to the many community voluntary organisations, including the Warwick and Leamington Covid-19 Mutual Aid Group and the Covid-19 Kenilworth Support Group for their outstanding care and support to the local community – it makes me proud to live in Warwick district.
“Teams from across the council have been providing support and advice to businesses to help them to open safely, along with distributing business grants to support them during the restrictions they have faced. Over £48million has been paid to businesses so far, with the restart grants set to begin from April 2021.
“I know that the restrictions and various changes to how we live have been challenging for people, but I would like to thank everyone who has followed the rules to keep their family, friends and everyone safe. With the successful rollout of the vaccine across Coventry and Warwickshire, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. As long as we all continue to do what we must to protect ourselves and each other – wash our hands, cover our face, make space and get the vaccine when it’s our time – then we will hopefully see a return to some kind of normal.
“I hope you will join me in observing a minute’s silence tomorrow to honour and remember the 140,000 plus people that have lost their lives this past year, and to light up your doorsteps at 8pm for a national vigil.
“Over the next few weeks and months as we progress through the Government’s roadmap, we will be there to support and guide businesses and residents to ensure they feel safe as the restrictions are eased.”