Hartlepool residents praised for 'care and compassion' as anniversary of first lockdown arrives

Residents in Hartlepool have been praised for how they have dealt with the “unparallelled challenge” of Covid-19 as the anniversary of the first lockdown is remembered.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 8:52 am
A deserted Victoria Road, in the centre of Hartlepool, shortly after the first lockdown was introduced on March 23 last year.

Hartlepool is to join the rest of the country in taking part in a national day of reflection on Tuesday, March 23, to mark the first anniversary of coronavirus restrictions and to remember all those who have died during the ongoing pandemic.

Denise McGuckin, Hartlepool Borough Council managing director, has paid tribute to residents in the town for how they have faced the challenges of the last year.

She said: “The past year has been an incredibly hard year for the people of Hartlepool and this week’s commemoration will be exceptionally poignant, as we remember everyone who has lost their lives and reflect on the many ways in which Covid has affected us all.

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“I would like to again pay tribute to everyone in Hartlepool for the way in which, each in their own way, they have faced the unparallelled challenge of Covid with courage, dedication and above all care and compassion for others.

“The national vaccination rollout offers real hope on the horizon, but in the meantime we can’t afford to drop our guard – we must all continue to follow the rules on the national roadmap out of lockdown to keep ourselves, our loved ones and others safe.”

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As part of the national day of reflection, a minute’s silence will take place at noon.

Meanwhile at 8pm people are encouraged to help create a nationwide “beacon of remembrance” by lighting up their doorsteps, beaming torch, phone and candle light into the night sky.

Craig Blundred, the council’s director of public health, added residents have done a “fantastic job’ in difficult times”.

But he also urged them to continue to follow Covid-19 restrictions.

He said: “I would like to thank the people of Hartlepool for all they have been doing to follow the restrictions – I know it has been far from easy at times but you have been doing a fantastic job.

“However, as the lockdown now gradually eases, please don’t take your eye off the ball – keep following the rules and above all please don’t forget – Hands, Face and Space.”

This will take place on three consecutive nights to allow residents an opportunity to safely reflect on the past 12 months.

First will be the commemorations at Seaton Carew Bus Station and Clock Tower on Tuesday, from 7.30pm until 9.30pm.

On Wednesday it will be the turn of St Hilda’s Church on the Headland, followed by Hartlepool Art Gallery on Thursday, both also taking place from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

Council officers urged people wishing to attend the light installations to observe the current Covid-19 restrictions and only take in the display as part of their daily exercise and only with their own household, support bubble or one other person.

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