This week the Prime Minister announced the end of all COVID restrictions in England and other changes, including the imminent end to free testing. Since the start of the pandemic, the voluntary sector has worked closely with partners to ensure that everyone has access to any and all support that they might need during what has proved to be a very challenging couple of years. This has not changed.
Already we have been contacted by people who are worried about how recent announcements will affect their daily lives. We know that right now there are many vulnerable people in our communities who, rather than seeing the scrapping of restrictions as a return to old freedoms, feel that it places an extra weight of concern upon them, knowing that what few protections were in place are now no longer expected.
The voluntary sector, along with the NHS, the police, city and county councils, and even many in the business community, will continue to work together to offer support and advice and do whatever we can to help you both feel and be safe.
So, if you feel vulnerable or concerned, remember that you are not alone. Services are still available to help you with food, to do or collect your shopping, to bring you your medications, and make sure that you don’t need to put yourself at unnecessary risk. There are services and networks available to help you stay connected, to support your mental and emotional wellbeing as well as your physical health.
COVID has not gone away. Living with it doesn’t mean going back to how things were before we even knew what it was, it means remaining vigilant and continuing with the good habits that we have all developed in the last 2 years, like washing your hands regularly, not coughing or sneezing openly, and yes, wearing a mask in shops and on public transport. These are all simple kindnesses that we can show to others, and that doesn’t inconvenience us at all.
If you need something and you’re not sure whether it is available, or where to access it, you can contact CVS, your local community centre, or the city council. Together we can keep everyone safe.