Katie Cavanna: We need your help to ensure everyone has a happy Christmas

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no caption - Credit: Archant

This year has been tough to say the least, but seeing how communities have come together to support one another has been incredible. Now, as we enter a second lockdown, lets continue to help each other.

England will enter a four-week lockdown today (Thursday), shutting pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops and piling criticism on Boris Johnson for failing to act earlier when his scientists told him to.

The fresh shutdown, which the Prime Minister repeatedly insisted would not be necessary, will also impose curbs on travel, ban households from mixing inside homes and cancel church services.

As we embark on this second lockdown, it’s important to reflect on the work of so many in our community and how this will continue. Torbay stepped up, united to support each other, and there’s no sign of that stopping.

Everyone has had a different experience of coronavirus (Covid-19) and the continuing impact it’s having on our everyday lives, but the same phrases are echoed in households across the globe; ‘new normal’, ‘social distancing’, ‘support bubble’ - the list goes on.

Our lives have been turned upside down and we’re all still adjusting and adapting as the situation rumbles on, but one silver lining - because we have to find them! - is that communities have truly been formed.

Neighbours, friends and colleagues have been there for one another when it matters most.

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So, whether you’re continuing to do the weekly food shop for an elderly neighbour, been picking up medication for a vulnerable friend, or calling a family member who lives alone to check in on them, all of us have played our part in supporting our community.

We’ve also all been reminded of just how important our key workers are, and how invaluable our NHS nurses and doctors are too.

Never has there been such a feel of community spirit, with many admitting that they’d never spoken to their neighbours before, until that first clap for our carers.

Whatever you did, big or small, will have made a difference to those in your friendship circles, neighbourhoods and families.

Even the beautiful rainbows children drew and put in their windows would have truly brightened up many people’s walks - even a small gesture like that shows that we’re all the same really, and we’re in this together.

That’s what makes a community. Let’s never forget how important it is to have people you can rely on when you need it most.

As a community we will continue to be there for people who need it the most. You only need to look at the phenomenal work of many community groups and charities in Torbay over the last eight months. Whether that’s been through manning the helpline, delivering food parcels, supporting families online – our greatest asset is our people!

With only 52 days to Christmas and another lockdown upon us, statistics are currently showing a doubling in the rate of poverty due to Covid-19.

We know that in Torbay alone, there are more than 6,000 children currently living in poverty. Statistics suggest this number continues to rise at an alarming rate.

Since the first lockdown, Team RE4orm has worked with a number of local businesses, delivering more than 50,000 meals and food packages to families in need across Torbay.

We know that Christmas is going to hit a number of families hard this year. With this in mind, it’s more important than ever to focus on our community.

That’s why we are launching A Very RE4orm Christmas.

We need your continued support to ensure we can alleviate poverty across Torbay and provide the opportunity for everyone to have a happy Christmas.

Over the next four weeks, we will be collecting donations of new Christmas presents, ?Christmas hampers and food for Christmas Eve meals.

If you’d like to support Team RE4orm, please get in touch at www.re4orm.org.uk