Remembering community spirit in Eastwood and Kimberley one year after lockdown

A year after the coronavirus crisis saw Eastwood and Kimberley residents plunged into the first ever lockdown, it is time to reflect on a very difficult 12 months.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 3:17 pm
Vaccines have given hope to many at Eastwood Primary Care Centre.

On Monday, March 23, 2020, the world as we knew it changed for good.

The country was forced into full lockdown to prevent the onward march of a new, deadly and invisible threat that was already claiming the lives of our nearest and dearest.

Covid-19, a coronavirus, has now taken the lives of 89 Eastwood and Kimberley residents, 172 Broxtowe residents, and 2,300 people across Nottinghamshire city and county.

Isaac Walker received a goody bag from Eastwood MP Lee Anderson.

These deaths represent hundreds of voids in our lives which will not – and cannot – be filled.

One year on since that first lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, we look back on 12 months we will all remember – the good, the bad, the heart-wrenching and the hopeful.

Everyone’s experiences during the pandemic have been different, with many lives and livelihoods broken beyond repair.

Our social lives, businesses and future plans have all been paused for the best part of the last year, with many of us completely unaware or unprepared for what the next year would bring.

Eastwood father and son team Steve and Connor Hardy made hundreds of thousands of face shields.

Parents have suddenly had to become teachers while grandparents have been denied cuddles from their own grandchildren.

There has been a significant spike in mental health illnesses, with isolation proving an immense burden on already pressured lives, and thousands have been left waiting many months for treatment and surgery.

Holidays and weddings have been cancelled, only a couple of mourners could attend funerals, with comfort and hugs not allowed.

Patients were cared for in hospitals and care homes alone and unable to see loved ones. Many of which died alone with families saying farewell over video chats that were arranged by heartbroken staff.

People ravaged the supermarkets in search for the last packet of pasta and offices shut, schools shut, pubs shut – everything shut.

And now countless businesses have closed their doors for good, leaving many without jobs.

But despite this tremendous blow, many Eastwood and Kimberley residents came together to help one another get through the crisis.

Key workers bravely continued on with their jobs and volunteers from all walks of life showed unwavering support for those in need.

And it is these things we should try to remember as we move forward.

Broxtowe Borough Council leader Coun Milan Radulovic has praised residents for their community spirit in the face of crisis.

He said: “This year has been tremendously difficult on all of us.

“All of us have known people that have suffered the effects of the virus.

“It’s a time now for reflection on our community and how we can give hope, inspiration and leadership for the future, and how we can improve the quality of life for people.

“And I hope the community spirit that we’ve all shown together can be carried forward to the next generation.”