We all recognise the enormous pressure the NHS and care system have been under during the past 12 months. There’s been much praise, appreciation and love for these critical workers. And rightly so. But this week I wanted to dedicate the column to the unsung heroes of the pandemic who’ve made our daily lives that little bit better.
They are our postmen, postwomen and delivery drivers who work around the clock bringing mail and parcels to our doors. The retail staff serving in shops, helping us stock up with those essential items.
Many of our local shops have run delivery services for those who are shielding and have been pivotal in arranging support services such as prescription collections for vulnerable people.
It’s been a turbulent year for teachers too, making the switch to distance learning, with the situation changing from week to week. Thank you all.
Our much-loved Mendip Markets have been pitching up, enabling us to ‘buy local’ in a safe, open-air environment. It’s been tough trading times for the stallholders, but hopefully some of the measures the Council has taken, such as waiving fees for market pitches, and seasonal free parking offers in our town centres, has helped. I’m so glad to see the Saturday markets in Frome and Wells back open again, albeit for essential items only for the time being.
Let’s not forget all of the voluntary networks who stepped-up and mobilised so quickly to support our communities. Their local knowledge, enthusiasm and energy proved vital, especially in those early days and weeks. Thank you. You certainly saved lives.
A big thank you also to all the volunteer litter pickers who pick up rubbish left in our towns and along the road side, an all-too-common sight these days. Your dedication is much appreciated!
Finally, I’d like to mention Somerset Waste Partnership who collect our waste and recycling each week. As households we are generating so much more rubbish than in non-covid times and at the moment the teams are grappling with huge amounts of staff absenteeism due to the virus. Collections as a result have been missed – but I would ask that people try to understand the pressures they are under.
It was in this spirit of recognition and gratitude that we raised a rainbow flag above our offices in Mendip on Valentine Weekend, as a symbol of love, kindness and hope. And also as a ‘thank you’ to all those everyday heroes who live and work in our communities.
If you need assistance during the pandemic, including emotional support, please call the Coronavirus Helpline on 0300 790 6275.
ooking forward to hearing from you if you have any questions. I can be contacted either through my Facebook page, @Ros.Wyke, or via email: [email protected].
Written by Cllr Ros Wyke, Leader of Mendip District Council
Please get in touch either on my Facebook page @Ros.Wyke or you can send me an email: [email protected].