ARTICLES


  • Unsung Heroes

    Mid Devon Advertiser
    17 April 2020

    The community responses within Central Devon to the coronavirus pandemic have been extraordinary and wonderful to see. During such an anxious and difficult time, especially for the most vulnerable in our society, we are witnessing the very best of human nature - compassion, kindness and true community spirit. From Hatherleigh to Bradninch to Buckfastleigh, thank you to everyone in Central Devon who is volunteering to help run local support groups, ensuring food, prescriptions and supplies reach those who are unable to leave their house. I have been in touch with several of the groups within our constituency, but if you help run one and I have not spoken with you, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance. My parliamentary office remains fully operational with staff working form home and we are working flat out to respond to the very high volume of correspondence we are receiving. I have also been in communication with local town and parish clerks and with local chambers of trade/commerce about the support available for businesses, determined that the help the government has offered is taken up locally. This includes greater help for the self-employed - something I pressed the Chancellor on very heavily as Chair of the Treasury Select Committee. 

    Thank you also to our magnificent and dedicated NHS staff who are working long hours and putting themselves at risk to care for others. My family has joined the nation on Thursday evenings to applaud their commitment and seeing so many others doing the same has I think cheered us all up. The Government has just written off £13.4 billion of NHS debt to ensure our NHS trusts are focused on the coronavirus pandemic and locally this will assist the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust.

    But our NHS workers are not alone in deserving our thanks. The unsung heroes of this pandemic include our police and prison officers, waste and recycling collectors, lorry drivers, social care workers, nursing and care home staff, teachers, pharmacy staff and many others. There are also the essential businesses that have stayed open to keep us fed and supplied with essentials. 

    By the time this article goes to print, households in Central Devon should have received a letter from the Prime Minister, making it very clear what the restrictions to our movements need to be. Please adhere to them. The seriousness of the challenge we face could not have been made clearer recently with the PM himself in intensive care. There is light at the end of the tunnel though - we have seen some days of no new cases in China, fatality rates declining in some of the hardest hit countries, and our own Deputy Chief Medical Officer predicting that the number of UK infections could start to fall shortly. Please continue to stay safe and stay at home.

    For more from Mel follow him on twitter @MelJStride or visit www.melstridemp.com.








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