Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging everyone across the region to join in with the National Day of Reflection today, Tuesday 23 March.
The event, founded by end-of-life charity Marie Curie, has been backed by government and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and aims to mark the anniversary of the UK’s first covid-19 lockdown.
People are being asked to hold a minute’s silence at 12 noon to remember those who have lost their lives to coronavirus.
Whilst residents are encouraged to light candles to place on our doorsteps this evening to mark the vigil, the fire service suggests using battery powered candles or printing a picture of a candle and placing it in your window.
Staffordshire fire fighters and service staff have considered the work they have done since the start of the pandemic to support communities and take positive steps to ensure residents’ safety and wellbeing.
Over the last 12 months, the service supported the countywide response to the pandemic by delivering PPE to health partners, delivering food parcels to vulnerable residents whilst also continuing to deliver prevention activity to those most at risk and continuing to respond to emergencies.
The service was also involved in raising donations of food, amounting to £500,000, which were also distributed to communities.
Chief Fire Officer, Becci Bryant, said: “The covid-19 pandemic has affected all of our lives in so many ways and the National Day of Reflection gives us all the opportunity to think of those who lost their lives to coronavirus.
“I will be thinking of everyone who has lost their lives, but I will be very much thinking of Alec and his family, as his loss is still keenly felt by myself and the service.”
Staffordshire Police will also join local communities in a minute’s silence at 12pm today.
Chief Constable, Gareth Morgan, said: “The past year has clearly been an incredibly tough and challenging one for us all and especially for those who have lost loved ones.
“Overall, the public’s response during these difficult times, and how they have coped with the restrictions placed on them as part of the national effort to save lives, has been extraordinary.
“I want to thank everyone for the many personal sacrifices they have made, and continue to do so, as this has been vitally important in the efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
“I also want to thank colleagues across Staffordshire Police for their commitment and contribution during this past year.
“I am grateful for their continuing professionalism and dedication as they work with partners and communities as we look ahead to the easing of restrictions and a welcome return to a more normal way of life.”
To find out more about the National Day of Reflection, visit: https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/get-involved/day-of-reflection.