New year message: We will support you through this

Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, speaking at a Fair Futures Commission meeting at Ar

Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, speaking at a Fair Futures Commission meeting at Arts and Media School Islington. Photo by Em Fitzgerald - Credit: Archant

This has been the most challenging year many of us have faced.

I’ve always been proud to represent our incredible borough but no more so than over the past nine months where we’ve seen everyone come together to keep our community safe and support our most vulnerable people.

On behalf of Islington Council, I want to say a huge thank you.

When the pandemic started, we saw volunteer mutual aid groups spring into action overnight to help their neighbours with food, prescriptions or just a friendly phone call.

From places of worship to Arsenal FC, we’ve united to help each other through this crisis - from offering hot meals to vulnerable people in need, to helping make sure local children have laptops and wifi to learn at home.

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I want to say a special thanks to our key workers who have worked tirelessly on the front line to look after us all – council workers, our incredible NHS staff, teaching staff, carers and posties, to name a few – thank you for everything you do for the people of Islington.

This festive period will be different and challenging for us all, but for those who have lost loved ones in the pandemic, it will be even harder and I want pay tribute to everyone in our community who have lost their lives to this deadly virus.

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As we look forward to the year ahead, the vaccine roll-out brings a fresh sense of hope - but the virus remains currently extremely dangerous, with soaring numbers of cases across Islington and London.

We all need to work together and do our bit to stop the virus spreading serious illness and death in our community, and protect all of our friends, families, neighbours and loved ones.

As a council we will continue to support everyone in our borough to get through this - our We are Islington helpline will stay open for as long as it is needed, we’ll keep working with the NHS to make sure people can get tested easily and vaccinated locally, and we’ll continue to be on the side of local people as we rebuild a fairer Islington.

To those who are celebrating, happy Christmas, and a very happy new year to all.

  • Cllr Richard Watts is leader of Islington Council.

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