On behalf of the whole group, below is a message from Labour and Co-operative Group Leader Vince Maple:

‘This Christmas is truly like no other – I know for so many it will be an incredibly painful season whether unable to see loved ones because of restrictions, having to self isolate or indeed because a loved one has passed away.

My thoughts are with everyone who has an empty chair this Christmas especially the more than 380 families who have lost a loved one here in Medway as a result of CoVid19.

Although Coronavirus has meant such a challenging year for so many, there have been moments of light in the darkness too. From Captain Tom to Bill Bailey, from the mutual aid groups set up to support vulnerable neighbours to collectively coming together on a Thursday night to thank all those key workers who have been and continue to be on the front line.

Those key workers, many of whom have seen their pay frozen, continue to keep our society going throughout the pandemic.  Local Government officers, retail staff, public transport workers, care workers, posties, delivery drivers, teachers, our armed forces & emergency services and of course all those in our National Health Service – to every single key worker thank you for everything you have done and everything you continue to do.

Alongside key workers we have seen our incredible community, charity and voluntary sector go not just the extra mile but the extra marathon.  Housing the homeless, feeding the vulnerable, supporting those who have lost a love one and so much more our volunteers in Medway are amazing.

This is of course at a time where their fundraising activities have also been affected as a result of CoVid19 – I know so many households are struggling this year, but if you are in the fortunate position to have a spare pound or two you can donate to a local charity it truly will make a huge amount of difference.

This will be a year none of us will ever forget but we must continue to show resolve, continue to stand united as a community against this virus and recognise that better days will come.

On behalf of the Medway Labour and Co-operative Team I wish everyone a safe and peaceful Christmas.’

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