Christmas is a time of coming together with its sharing of gifts, laughter and food. This year is extra special, after a long and difficult year. As I reflect back over this year, I am struck once again by how supportive and generous our community is. From effective community organisations like Dover Outreach, Talk It Out and Dover Big Local to young resident Scarlett Smith, a beacon of good cheer and hard work. This year in particular has been one where national, county and local resources have been drawn on time and again, as event has followed event.
Yet we have risen to the challenge. Putting our collective and individual shoulders to the wheel, and making sure that we keep businesses going, look after people who are most vulnerable, and tackle the changing nature of the virus and its threat to lives and livelihoods. As we face the challenge presented by another variant, the Omicron, we must once again take steps to slow the spread of this infectious virus and get boosted.
Over this Christmas period, it is important to take the opportunity to rest and re-charge the batteries. For many, home has also been their place of work for much of the year. So re-claiming home as home is vital. Taking back Zoom and Teams for virtually meeting with family and friends who are further afield.
Some will be working throughout this period. My thanks to everyone in Border Force, HM Coastguard and the RNLI for the work they do in the English Channel. To our local NHS teams and NHS volunteers, in the hospitals, GP surgeries and the vaccine centres who look after us all. To those who will be caring for the elderly and homeless, for the sick and destitute. Thank you.
Whatever your plans this Christmas- gather safely, look after each other and have a lovely time.