New year message: Take stock this Christmas and think back with pride to 2020

Hackney South and Shoreditch MP Meg Hillier. Picture: Stefano Cagnoni

Hackney South and Shoreditch MP Meg Hillier. Picture: Stefano Cagnoni - Credit: Archant

I have been blown away by how Hackney has pulled together in this most challenging of years.

I’ve seen countless examples of people looking out for each other, whether volunteering, donating time or money, or offering small acts of kindness such as checking in on neighbours.

As we pause and reflect during the Christmas period, this is what continues to resonate for me – how strong our community is and how in the worst of times, we can seek solace in the kindness of others.

We have relied on and appreciated our key workers more than ever, the public transport workers, delivery drivers, supermarket staff, teachers, business owners, council workers and everyone who has kept things going this year.

I am thinking of them this Christmas.


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And of course the NHS and social care workers who have faced this challenge with courage and compassion, many of whom lost their lives to Covid, including staff at Homerton Hospital.

We will not forget.

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The approval and roll out of the Covid vaccine is very good news.

But as we look forward to more progress in tackling the virus in 2021, we know that many people have faced significant mental and physical health challenges this year.

Our local businesses and the cultural hot spots that Hackney is well known for have taken a hit.

The economic impact of the pandemic will be felt far and wide.

The sharp rise in infections and the tougher restrictions announced recently mean that this Christmas and the rest of the winter are going to be hard for many of us.

We need to capture the community spirit of 2020 and keep it going next year by continuing to support our neighbours and local businesses.

I hope this Christmas is an opportunity to take stock, to remember the sacrifices so many made this year, to reflect with pride on the way Hackney has responded, and to renew our commitment to pulling together next year.

We can all play our part in the weeks and months to come.

Please be safe and responsible over the festive period so we can continue to look forward to brighter days in 2021.

  • Meg Hillier is MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch.

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