A year of Covid-19 lockdowns: Alnwick leaders reflect on an unprecedented 12 months of sadness, hardship and community resilience
Community leaders in Alnwick have been reflecting on a year since the announcement of the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown.
The unprecedented year has affected everyone, whether it be through the loss of loved ones, separation from friends and family and restrictions on everyday life.
Vicar of Alnwick, Rev Canon Paul Scott acknowledges the anniversary will engender a whole spectrum of emotions but he has also been gladdened at the caring way in which so many have thought of others.
He said: “All over the country ‘Good Samaritans’ have ensured that an eye has been kept on the vulnerable: a regular ‘phone call; a plant left on the step; some shopping done or a newspaper collected and delivered.
"All these small acts of kindness have quietly but significantly changed the way we live for both the doer and the receiver. Added to this, of course, is the wonderful way in which our NHS has dealt not only with those who have needed hospitalisation but the truly magnificent approach to ensuring the rollout of the vaccine.
“So my hope is that, as we journey along the roadmap to recovery, we can nurture these acts of kindness. That, with due care and mutual respect, we might continue to see where there is need or dependency and help out. As we do so such small acts of kindness will ensure that quality of society will benefit as a whole.”
Mayor Lynda Wearn said it was hard to believe it is a year since Alnwick Town Council set up a Covid-19 support group.
"My thoughts go out to all those who have struggled, lost loved ones and who have suffered during the past year,” she added.
"I must thank all the key workers and volunteers who have worked so hard during this difficult time. I have been amazed by the resilience and good behaviour of the people of Alnwick who have done their bit to keep everyone safe.
“We are all looking forward to being able to meet again, see our families and support our local businesses and hospitality venues, as well as welcoming all those who will be visiting the town for their staycation.”
Lisa Aynsley, chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade, said: “I can honestly say I was probably the only one who genuinely believed Boris when he locked us down last year, that it would indeed be for a three week period.
"So commenting on a year of Covid in many ways feels very surreal. A year where so much has been learnt but also lost.
“I feel Alnwick and its businesses have shown a resilience that is second to none and we have all worked together to keep on top of ever changing regulations, grant funding opportunities and generally supporting each other throughout the challenges of this unprecedented year.
"Stakeholders in the town have come together in a way that the town has never seen before, with the likes of The Alnwick Garden and Northumberland Estates getting behind the independent businesses to give everyone the best chance of making it through.
"I believe Alnwick will come out of this lockdown a more robust and vibrant town than ever before combined with the prospected uplift in ‘staycationers’ this summer, the future is bright for our fantastic town.”