Cllr shane Bartlett
This year has been very difficult for all of us and as the Christmas season approaches the usual simple pleasures of spending time with family and friends is looking very different.
The Mayoress and I have not been able to represent Wimborne Minster at events during the year and there are none of the usual carol services and other Town events happening in the lead up to Christmas.
The big switch on of the Christmas lights which is usually so well supported by local groups within the community could not take place. However, the Town is still illuminated, and the new display of Christmas lights funded by the Town Council and the magnificent Christmas tree lit up in blue as homage to the NHS nurses, doctors, cleaners and other staff, Blue Light Services and all front line and key workers is in situ on The Square.
I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to celebrate welcoming in the New Year safely at home and not to congregate in the town centre. I will not be making the usual mayoral address from the King’s Head balcony this year and no music will be played in the Square at midnight.
COVID 19 has caused many changes to normal practices both at work and the home and has brought hardship to many in the form of loss of income, loss of loved ones, loneliness, anxiety and mental health issues. It was not possible to support the usual shoebox appeal, but I was pleased to launch the Reverse Advent Calendar, where donations have been made to the Wimborne Food Bank and Wimborne Community Food Supply, Café @ The Allendale.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Café @ The Allendale who in partnership with my Covid19 Volunteer Response Group has done tremendous work in providing food parcels and pre-prepared meals that have been delivered by the volunteers and myself. This has been operating since March of this year, delivering to the vulnerable during this difficult time. I also wish to pay tribute to the Wimborne Foodbank which has seen unprecedented demand this year. I would also like to thank all those volunteers who have supported the Wimborne Resilience group and of course key workers across the region.
It is obvious to all that the threat of Covid19 will not end any time soon and we are likely not to see any return to something approaching normality until late next year. Despite this I am confident that the community spirit and the overwhelming goodwill that has been played out over virtually the whole year looking after those residents in our lives that are vulnerable, lonely, frightened and in desperate need, irrespective of age, will continue to the same level in the future as it has until now.
My thanks go to all those that have helped and have gone that extra mile to ensure those loved ones, neighbours and vulnerable residents are kept safe and looked after during these unprecedented times. You have all been truly amazing and I am so proud to be your Mayor presiding over a Town with such a wonderful community spirit and a love for one another. At this time of year that cup of charitable human kindness means so much, so well done all of you.
My colleagues on the Town Council and I wish our residents and all who volunteer in the community a happy and peaceful Christmas and Good Wishes for the New Year.
Please stay safe and protect your loved ones and the vulnerable.