Tributes paid to residents in North Yorkshire impacted by Covid-19

As the nation looks back and reflects on 12 months of the coronavirus pandemic, tributes have been paid to all those who have helped in North Yorkshire’s effort to tackle the virus.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 1:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 1:18 pm

Richard Flinton, chairman of the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum which has coordinated the county’s response to the pandemic, today paid his respects to all of those who had been touched by Covid-19..

On the anniversary of the first lockdown, Mr Flinton told a meeting of the forum that on the national day of reflection that the thoughts of everyone were with the families and friends of the 1,129 people who had died in North Yorkshire.

He said that the impact had been felt by people who had lost loved ones, contracted the virus, suffered with mental health problems during the lockdown and found themselves out of work.

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Richard Flinton has paid tribute to those affected in North Yorkshire. (Photo: Getty, Ronaldo Schemidt)

Mr Flinton, who is also the chief executive of North Yorkshire County Council, said that some light had emerged from the darkness in how people had responded to the crisis.

He said: “Our communities have suffered, as have individuals, and it is time to reflect on all of that.

“The positive side is also what North Yorkshire has brought to help those people to help bring us all together and to help us individually get through this particular time of crisis.

“We have so much positive to mention, whether it is the kindly act of a neighbour, friends pulling together, streets and villages and whole communities coming to rally around those in need or those suffering.

“The businesses that have repurposed themselves to make masks, to help provide food for those in need, or to help key workers.

“We have seen it all in North Yorkshire.

“Over 100,000 volunteer hours, 56,000 calls to people to check that they are okay. All these things have happened across North Yorkshire, and we have a lot to be grateful for and thankful for.

“There is nowhere else quite like North Yorkshire for how we have come together as a collective team of key workers, whether that be supermarkets assistance, whether that be refuse collectors, right through to teachers, social care workers our police, and, of course, our NHS staff.

“All have come together to make sure that we stay safe and all have been coordinated through the local resilience forum, and it has been a tremendous team effort.”

Mr Flinton said that it was important that as people remember the past that they also look to the future and to the positive impact of the vaccine rollout.

He added: “On this day, because I think we can also look forward, we are gaining a stronger position with every vaccination that takes place.

“The national lockdown has brought us to a situation of more control with the virus than we previously had and provided that we can embrace lifting restrictions with caution and also personal responsibility, we can look forward to a summer of increased freedoms and I think hope as well.”