North Yorkshire residents are being urged to share in a Christmas message of thanks to key workers, frontline staff and those working behind the scenes for their dedication during the pandemic.
The County Council’s Team North Yorkshire campaign is recognising everybody who has played their part, including staff from the County Council, district councils, North Yorkshire Police, the NHS, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, those working in the private sector and thousands of volunteers.
County Council leader Councillor Carl Les said: “Our lives were turned upside down towards the beginning of the year, but the resilience of our key workers and communities is something to celebrate.
“For the last nine months we have worked in partnership with district council colleagues, blue light services, the army, businesses and voluntary sector. One positive thing we can take from the pandemic is how we have all come together to serve our communities. I’m really proud to be part of Team North Yorkshire.”
The care sector has faced unprecedented challenges, with care home staff trying to keep loved ones safe and cared for during a difficult time for families who were unable to visit, and public health teams have worked tirelessly alongside partners to manage outbreaks and prevent the spread of coronavirus in communities.
The County Council’s Integrated Passenger Transport (IPT) team has gone the extra mile in helping with PPE deliveries, hospital discharge transport, door-knock checks, pharmacy deliveries and coronavirus swab tests.
Sarah Stanbridge, IPT Operations Assistant at North Yorkshire County Council, said: “It hasn’t been an easy year, but everyone has really rolled up their sleeves and mucked in. The commitment everyone has shown, our own teams and the partners we’re working alongside, it’s just incredible. Seeing how so many services have adapted, too. I’m proud to have been part of that.”
During the first lockdown, schools remained open to look after the children of key workers and have since found new ways of working to welcome all students back through their doors.
Then there are the unsung heroes of the pandemic, working flat out to maintain vital services across the county. This includes the highways department, customer service centre team, library staff and volunteers, trading standards, household waste recycling centre operatives and the registration service.
Graham Hind, Highways Project Engineer, said: “We’ve been keeping the roads clear and the county moving for our key workers to get where they need to be. We have continued to serve our residents the best way we know how throughout the pandemic.”
Community support organisations and their volunteers have been continuing to work with the County Council and its Stronger Communities service to help people who have been left isolated by the pandemic. Volunteers have helped to make sure North Yorkshire residents who have relied on support with shopping, collecting medication and other essentials have everything they need and that nobody slips through the net.
Cllr Les added: “There are so many people across the county who are going above and beyond to help others. It’s also important to thank businesses for continuing to serve our residents in very difficult circumstances.
“Council staff, emergency services and volunteers are working flat out over the Christmas period to maintain vital services. I would like to thank everybody who has played their part. I wish you all a happy, and above all, a safe Christmas and New Year.”
Amanda Bloor, Accountable Officer for the three North Yorkshire CCGs, said: “On behalf of NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, I want to extend my deep gratitude to each and every one of our health and care workers, together with our public sector colleagues who have been working so hard over the last nine months.
“We know what a difficult time this has been, but the way you have responded, with pride, courage, hard work and diligence has been nothing short of extraordinary.
“Thanks to everyone’s exceptional efforts, we’ve continued to be able to deliver outstanding care to our patients – albeit a little bit differently in some situations – and look after those most in need. There are challenges ahead, but I know you will continue to respond with the same determination and vigour. To you all – thank you.”
Chief Constable Lisa Winward of North Yorkshire Police said: “I’m hugely proud of everyone at North Yorkshire Police, and the partners we are working alongside, and the resilience and dedication they have all shown over a very difficult and challenging year.
“Balancing their concerns for their own families and loved ones with their commitment to keeping the public safe, our workforce have continued to demonstrate all the values that we are so proud of in the British police service, putting our communities and the most vulnerable first to ensure they are safe and protected.
“Many have gone above and beyond, embracing new ways of working and showing real innovation and creativity, ensuring we have been able to continue to deliver the high level of service that the public of North Yorkshire expect and deserve.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone one of them and to wish them all a very Happy Christmas and send my best wishes for 2021.”
Chief Fire Officer Andrew Brodie said: “I’m proud of the work all of my colleagues have done throughout the pandemic; from those on the frontline who have taken on new activities such as pharmacy deliveries, to our enabling services teams who have kept everything running.
“By working together as one team, not only as a fire service but as part of the local resilience forum, we’ve been able to continue to deliver our services and help our communities. Well done and thank you to you all.”