Posted: Tue, 23 Mar 2021 10:06

Local reflections - a year on from first lockdown

One year since the first national lockdown, leaders across the city, county and Rutland are sharing a message of remembrance, thanks and hope.

In a short video, police, council and NHS chiefs are joined by the Lord-Lieutenant in remembering those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 and thanking everyone who has played their part in the fight against it. You can watch the video at https://youtu.be/NrqKEs3Hrtc

A year on from 23 March 2020, there have now been over 79,402 cases across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and sadly 2,380 people have lost their lives.

Tomorrow (Tues), public buildings will lower their flags to half mast to remember all those who have sadly died from coronavirus.

Residents across the city and county are encouraged to join the national minute's silence which will be held at 12 pm.

In the evening, council buildings will be lit, just as they were during the first lockdown last year to thank all key workers, particularly those working in the NHS and in social care.

At 7pm on the 23rd, Leicester Cathedral will host a virtual service of music, readings and reflection. It will include representatives from NHS, councils, police as well as bereaved families. For more details, visit http://leicestercathedral.org/events/memorial-of-lament-covid-19/

Lord-Lieutenant, Mike Kapur, said: "It has been a long, hard twelve months. Every one of us has done our bit to fight this disease - thank you all. A year on, like many others, I have mixed feelings. I am reflecting on lives lost and families grieving, as well as the kindness and hope in our communities."

County council leader, Nick Rushton said: "Life was turned on its head last March. The tremendous efforts of all key workers - particularly in health, care, police, schools, as well as supermarkets and logistics - have kept us going. I want to thank everyone who has worked day and night this year."

Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: "Our thoughts are with all of those who have lost family members and loved ones over the past year, and our thanks go to everyone who has worked tirelessly to care for others and keep life going. It has been an incredibly difficult time and we are by no means out of it yet, but we can now start to look forward with hope."

Covid lead for Leicestershire Police, Assistant Chief Constable Kerry Smith said: "I would like to thank everybody who has helped keep communities safe, followed the rules, and prevented the spread of the virus in what has been an extremely challenging and tough year for us all personally and professionally."

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council, said: "We want to thank our local communities in districts across the county for pulling together and supporting those who needed help. It's been a difficult year for us all, but these incredible efforts in towns and villages across Leicestershire made an immeasurable difference to local people."

Andy Williams, chief executive of the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, added: "Words cannot really describe the efforts of the health workforce, and volunteers, in facing this pandemic. I'm reflecting on lives lost, and all those lives which have been changed this year.

"I also want to thank those who've helped to vaccinate huge numbers of people so far across the city, county and Rutland. Every vaccine given is a symbol of hope and recovery. It's not over yet – but we can look to the future now."

A tree-lined memorial walk at Watermead Country Park will be formally opened this spring.

The joint city and county council project has the backing of local people and businesses, who supported the memorial walk through a crowdfunding campaign.

The linear walk will provide a place for reflection and remembrance for all those whose lives have been disrupted by the pandemic.

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