How do you even start to sum up the events of the last 12 months in the traditional December review of the year?
A year like no other, one that will be taught in classrooms in generations to come and one where uncertainty will sadly still dominate as we enter 2021.
But to not highlight some of the positives in 2020 would be doing a real injustice to some unsung heroes in our community.
Using the core themes of ONE Haverhill Partnership, here are just some individuals and sectors that I think is worth highlighting:
One enduring memory of 2020 will be of the nation coming together on a Thursday evening to ‘clap for carers’. Where a rainbow became a motif for our ‘soldiers in blue’ working in the NHS.
Ensuring our hospitals did not get overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic was always at the forefront of our minds. It remains our biggest challenge.
Everyone working in the health service deserves our gratitude. Thank you doesn’t seem nearly enough.
As well as our NHS, now is the time to salute everyone working in our schools and colleges. Quickly adapting to home schooling – and who hasn’t had to become proficient in Zoom calls – our schools have met every challenge and obstacle head-on. They had no choice.
We then had the examinations fiasco, a welcome return to school in September and now the prospect of Covid testing in the New Year.
They have been asked to do so much but staff, students and everyone connected with the sector has shown admirable resilience and determination.
I would like to place on record my huge thanks to Suffolk County Council, West Suffolk Council and Haverhill Town Council for all they have done for our town.
There have been numerous examples of this in the last 12 months – from formulating volunteer groups to support the elderly and vulnerable to ensuing individuals and businesses are given desperately-needed financial support.
On an even more local level, I have seen how tirelessly our town councillors have worked to promote Haverhill and ensure it is safe for all.
We have always known that Haverhill has a strong volunteer support running through the core of the town.
When it was most needed in 2020, this once again came to the fore to help those most in need with shopping, picking up prescriptions and so much more. It was also the year where we all moved to the kitchen for a disco!
While it is true that challenges still remain for our businesses, they have all shown huge ingenuity and flexibility to change their trading methods, as and when necessary.
Many have offered takeaway or click and collect services and made huge internal changes to adhere to social distancing.
Our market is stronger than ever and we all must all do what we can to ensure our town centre businesses follow that lead.
It won’t be easier but shopping and supporting local must be our New Year’s resolution for 2021.
Photo credit: Castle Manor Academy