An Open Letter to:
- The public services organisations of our county
- All Gloucestershire NHS Trusts, SW Ambulance Service, Gloucestershire Council,
- all six District Councils and affiliated services, including waste contractors, Gloucestershire Constabulary, Glos Fire and Rescue Service and many others;
- To all serving the people whether through charities the private sector
- or community organisations in Care Homes, Hospices and at home;
- To the thousands of volunteers across our county making a difference to individual lives;
- To the businesses delivering food, mail and parcels to homes or manufacturing and producing County PPE, ventilators and sanitiser gel;
- And to all our constituents in Lockdown Gloucestershire,
We, your elected representatives of the six parliamentary constituencies in our county, pay special tribute on your behalf to the work done during this pandemic to save lives, and enable our communities to keep going.
Under the pressure of the greatest peacetime health emergency in a century, our NHS in Gloucestershire has risen to the challenge – showing great adaptability, skill, courage and resourcefulness in dealing with COVID-19. We are all immensely grateful.
And there is an army of support across the county that has come together in partnership to work alongside and support the work of the NHS. From the carers continuing to look after the vulnerable in care homes and at home, schools who’ve stayed open, IT teams creating the Help Hub and portals for cash grants, councillors responding to needs and every single volunteer helping a neighbour, fire officers delivering national food parcels, together with faith groups and organisations like the Long Table delivering food locally; and even our distillers producing sanitiser gel - so many are playing their part.
We want to recognise and cherish every example of love, sacrifice and community spirit because if crisis determines character it is that spirit, seen in times of floods and now in a pandemic, that makes Gloucestershire a great county.
Lastly, we recognise this has been tough for every individual and family in different ways. There are physical and mental health consequences – and we must all be sensitive to those.
Which makes the overwhelming determination of almost everyone to stick to extraordinary rules - to enable our NHS to be able to treat the sickest patients as we would all wish - all the more precious.
You’ve heard our Queen say that ‘light and life are stronger’. We know we will get through this. And how we do so matters - if we come through it well, this will be in large part because of our NHS’s dedicated service, and the unshakeable support from so many organisations and residents across every square inch of our county.
From the six of us and from the bottom of our hearts to you all - thank you.