These deaths aren’t just numbers on a spreadsheet – they are husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends and colleagues who have tragically been taken from us, often with their loved ones cruelly denied the chance to even say goodbye. Whilst we now hope and pray that with infection rates declining and vaccination rates increasing that life in general can go back to at least some semblance of normality, we must also remember that for so many of our residents there can be no return to normal. We cannot bring back the loved ones they have lost, but we can remember them, honour their memory and do our best as a council to support our residents who have suffered such painful losses.
We also have to pause and reflect on how just how difficult the last year has been for our front line health and social care staff, continuing to do heroic work in almost impossible circumstances. We cannot begin to imagine the physical and mental toll the past year has had on many of our NHS and care home workers, often faced with a constant stream of illness and death that all of us would struggle to cope with, yet still doing the job they do every single day to try and treat the sick and save lives. So today we remember their struggle and incredible service over the past year as well.
Finally, we should all take a moment to reflect on how difficult the past year has been for all of us and our loved ones. None of us have found the past year of illness, death and lockdowns easy to cope with and it’s important that we all recognise this and know that it’s ok to not always feel ok. As a council we know that the post-pandemic recovery isn’t just about lifting restrictions and re-opening our economy, it’s about ensuring that our residents can access the support they need to deal with the physical and mental health challenges that the past year has caused. So today let’s reflect on that too and reach out to our friends, colleagues and family members to check in with them.
Today we reflect, we remember and we hope for better days ahead, but we also won’t forget those who have been lost and the pain that has left behind. As a council we’ll be observing the national one minute’s silence at 12pm to remember all of those we have lost and this evening we will light Lambeth Town Hall in yellow, joining with other town halls and landmarks across the country in a show of unity and remembrance.
We will never forget those we have lost in Lambeth and as a council we will continue to support those left behind in every way we can. Today we will remember and reflect on the year that has past and tomorrow we will continue the process of healing and recovery as a borough and a community. Together we will get through the challenges that lie ahead and as a council we stand ready to support our residents on this journey.
Councillor Jim Dickson & Councillor Danny Adilypour
Cabinet Members for Health and Social Care