Tomorrow (23rd March) marks a year since the first national lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The challenges that this last year has brought upon us all have been unprecedented.
The charity Marie Curie have initiated a ‘National Day of Reflection’ to allow individuals to ‘reflect upon collective loss, support those who have been bereaved and to hope for a brighter future.’ A number of activities are planned for tomorrow including a 1-minute silence at 12PM as well as encouraging people to ‘shine a light’ in their window at 8PM.
Local support groups across Huddersfield are also encouraging their residents to take part in the National Day of Reflection. One such group – Almondbury Support and Care – are building on the Marie Curie initiative by additionally decorating the village with yellow ribbons and encouraging people to display yellow items in their windows.
Patrycja Bartosinska, who is one of the original founders of the group, spoke to Huddersfield Times. Speaking about the National Day of Reflection she said, “It’s a beautiful way to remember those who have sadly passed away as well as showing our support for other families who have been affected.”
“I would encourage anyone who has been affected by Covid-19 in any way, to please get involved, show your support and display something yellow. It’s a colour of support and hope for everyone!”
The local support group, which was originally named ‘Almondbury Solidarity against Coronavirus’ was formed last March to help elderly and vulnerable individuals by providing assistance such as obtaining prescriptions, helping with shopping as well as obtaining supplies which were at a high-demand at the time.
The group, which is made up of a team of amazing local volunteers, worked closely with local councillors, Kirklees Response Team and Huddersfield Mission to support their residents. In September, the group re-named as Almondbury Support and Care, to reflect the changing needs of the people whom they support. The group has also been really keen to help tackle loneliness, finding volunteers who live locally to the individuals they support and helping them to connect on a range of different levels.
Patrycja told us that there are plans for the future development of the support group. As well as continuing to provide support and care, they are also looking into providing upskilling opportunities (as Covid-19 restrictions allow) to help benefit residents by running various workshops which can help residents gain useful skills to boost their development such as CV writing and employability skills. She explained, “The group will be around for as long as there is a demand for it”.