Dear Sir / Madam,
It is now over a week since The Queen made her speech to the nation and as predicted the NHS and key services have been under increased pressure. Locally, Cumbria seems to have been a particular hot-spot. Despite the challenges, our local services have held up magnificently and our communities have come together in an unprecedented way; stories of kindness, courage and compassion abound.
We would like to acknowledge and thank most sincerely at a local level everyone who is making sacrifices by putting themselves at risk in the front line for the rest of us.
All of us have an insight from the daily news reports from our hospitals of the heroic work to care for patients and we applaud the skill, dedication and compassion of all the NHS staff. No amount of gratitude is too much for those who are on the front line of caring for us, working long and anti-social hours.
But there are also many other less prominent but no less crucial workers helping during this national emergency who deserve our applause and thanks: care workers in the community, the police and fire and rescue services, postmen, council workers who continue to remove our rubbish, those working in supermarkets and food processing companies and those that are transporting essential goods and many many more.
Our thanks also go to the thousands of volunteers who are giving such vital support and assistance to the NHS and vulnerable people. The response to the call for volunteers has been incredible and overwhelming.
Particularly heartening has been the general acknowledgement by everyone that by staying at home, often at great inconvenience and distress, we can collectively make a difference to the NHS’ ability to cope with the peak in demand. This self-restraint is a great achievement and the mark of a society which exhibits the right values. As Her Majesty said, we should be able to look back with pride at the way we came together to defeat this virus.
There is a long way still to go before the disease is defeated and a full return to work. Nobody can be unaware of the devastating financial impact on very many people, employees, the self-employed and business owners which is so damaging the Cumbrian Economy. Getting the County safely back to work is the surest way to bring our economy back to health, and we know this is a very anxious time for them too, and that they need sympathetic support and help as well.
We hope that we are now at the ‘End of the Beginning’ of this Pandemic.’
Claire Hensman, Lord-Lieutenant of Cumbria
Lord Inglewood, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Cumbria