Christmas is a time full of joyous celebrations, time for friends and families to come together, and time to reflect on a roller coaster of a year.
We came together to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years as our monarch, and not so long after found ourselves acknowledging her death and the accession of the new King; a profound experience for many.
We have experienced the wonderful Commonwealth games and have been fortunate that all of our amazing Town events are back, and we have been able to celebrate Christmas in true Warwick style; with the successful Victorian Evening, the amazing display of Christmas Trees in St Mary’s and of course Carols at Warwick Castle to name just a few!
Warwick is known to be a welcoming Town. My thanks to everyone for their friendliness and for welcoming me into their events, homes, clubs, societies and associations with such warmth and hospitality since my election to office in June. I have experienced a truly rewarding time and have been fortunate to meet with many wonderful people from all walks of life.
As I have undertaken my Civic duties, I have been greatly impressed at the goodwill that exists between the diverse communities that make up this great town and the amount of volunteer and charity work that takes place on a daily basis by so many people who go about their tasks quietly and without self-reward, only seeking to make life a little better for those less fortunate than ourselves.
We acknowledge that for many people this is going to be a very difficult winter, we are in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, when so many people need help, support and advice. It’s at times like these when we remember the importance of family, community, time spent together and the role of communal celebrations.
The experiences and strengths that came to the fore throughout the pandemic, in tackling loneliness and isolation, reaching out to those who need help, and being speedy and efficient in how we respond, will help us to stay connected and supportive of each other again throughout these difficult times.
We also see every day that small shops and businesses across the country are suffering, and we are lucky in Warwick to have so many independent, innovative, and interesting enterprises. Now is the time to really show your support and use local shops and businesses where you can.
As Christmas and the New Year approach, I ask you to think about those who are unwell, who have been bereaved, the elderly, the vulnerable and those who feel lonely, and be a good neighbour in this season of goodwill.
The Mayor’s consort and I wish you and your loved ones a truly happy and peaceful Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year.