There was widespread relief around the country at the Prime Minister leaving hospital. The pressure he was under before his admission was immense, it was clearly a dangerous situation and he was brilliantly looked after by the NHS. His thanks for his care team struck a chord. It was touching to hear the reaction of family members from New Zealand and Portugal and their obvious pride at what their children are doing to help others (whatever their background) recover. Boris’ experience brought home to many how dangerous this virus can be.
Even more of an impact has been made by the loss of those who we know from their appearance on our TV screens over many years and who therefore feel very familiar. The same is true of those who we have never met but who we hear have lost their lives in this pandemic doing everything they could to help others. Increasingly we also know of people known to us who are being directly impacted by the virus.
These are the human faces behind the statistics: that’s what brings it home and the knowledge that our actions can save lives and help the NHS is helping drive the success of social distancing.
It’s still early but underlying the awful statistics on the spread of the virus is evidence our national effort paying off - all our actions are having an effect.
We need to ensure that we protect what has in many cases taken taken decades to create but which risks being destroyed by the impact of the pandemic. One such area needing help is the charity sector
I was therefore pleased that last week, the Chancellor announced a £750 million package of support for charities. This will include support for hospices and organisations like St John’s Ambulance and Citizens Advice (who locally are doing excellent work to offer guidance to residents impacted by Coronavirus) as well as charities supporting vulnerable children, victims of domestic abuse, or disabled people. A lot of support is also being targeted at smaller, local charities working with vulnerable people.
One area charities have highlighted and is a matter of deep concern during lockdown has been the risk of increase in domestic abuse. This week the Government launched a campaign “#YouAreNotAlone” to remind people who are vulnerable that help is there for them.
Those who need support can call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline on 0808 2000 247. Locally, any person at risk of or experiencing domestic abuse can contact WORTH Services on 07834968539 or 033 022 28181. Advisors are available 9am till 5pm Monday-Friday.
In an emergency people who need help should always call 999.
The lockdown is working in reducing the spread of the virus and through it we are all contributing to saving lives - but the lockdown also continues to impact members of our community who for different reasons need support.
Photo Credit: Before the country entered “lock-down” Jeremy Quin visited Farlington School Bear Slinfold to cover a wide range of issues - in particular the environment.