Stay home this Bank Holiday weekend: Message from the Mayor of Hackney
This weekend is normally a time for family and friends of many faiths and none to come together and spend quality time with their loved ones – whether for Passover, Easter or simply to enjoy the Bank Holiday.
We can’t pretend that this year it won’t be harder to do that. The coronavirus pandemic has robbed us all of the opportunity to visit our family, enjoy our city and celebrate as normal.
But while that is difficult, it is a small sacrifice compared to the continuing heroic work of our NHS staff and frontline workers, who this weekend will continue to put themselves at risk to save others and ensure vital services for our most vulnerable residents carry on.
I have been completely humbled by their incredible work. We should always remember that the amazing nurses, doctors and care workers are members of our community, and their work has an impact on their families and personal lives – especially at this time of year.
I’m proud to represent them as Mayor of our borough, and like so many of you, join the Clap for Our Carers to thank them on Thursday evenings. We should also take a moment to remember those who have already lost their lives in Hackney to this terrible disease, including transport workers, NHS staff and community elders, all leaving behind friends and family that will be dealing with acute loss and grief.
So if at any point this weekend, you’re tempted to lounge in the park and enjoy the sun, invite your family over for dinner or gather for worship, remember that you are putting the lives of these heroes at risk. You are putting the lives of your loved ones at risk. You are increasing the risk that the NHS could be overwhelmed with demand.
I know that most people are observing social distancing rules, including in our parks, and I want to thank you for doing your bit to slow the spread of the virus. We must all play our part.
Our quiet resolve must continue in the coming weeks, and with it the #HackneySpirit that has seen so many people volunteer to help their neighbours in need. We’re now starting to deploy over 1,200 volunteers that have registered with us, our staff have delivered over 1,000 food packages to those that really need our help, and hot meals are being cooked and delivered by volunteers and local organisations.
This sense of community, that makes me so proud to live in Hackney, is what will get us through this testing period. So while this Easter Bank Holiday weekend may be difficult, know that by staying at home, and celebrating remotely, you’ll be supporting your friends and family, and that one day soon, we will be able to enjoy spending time together again.
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney