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WATCH: Sefton honours communities during national Day of Reflection

Tuesday, March 23 marks one year since Sefton went into lockdown.

In line with national events to mark this day, Sefton have put together a special film to honour, remember and thank all of our residents for a difficult and challenging year under COVID-19.

Chief Executive Dwayne Johnson and Council Leader Cllr Ian Maher have also issued the below letter to all Sefton communities.

Southport and Bootle Town Halls will be illuminated yellow this evening (March 23) from 7pm-9pm as a sign of reflection and remembrance to all those who have lost their lives through COVID-19.

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To our residents,

This past year has been a year like no other.

March 23rd 2021 marks a year since the first national lockdown began as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We were asked to stay at home and reduce our contacts. For some, that has meant that they have not seen loved ones for over a year, some have not met new family members, or marked special occasions; others did not get a chance to say goodbye.

Our communities have been hit hard by this pandemic and we want to recognise the difficulties people continue to face as we slowly begin to emerge, a year later.

The impact of this pandemic will be felt for some time to come and it is important that we reflect on the challenges we have faced, and we consider how we will emerge stronger and face those difficulties ahead.

We could not let today pass without recognising the sacrifice and hardship faced by our community and to pause and take stock of the year that has gone by.

But there are some positives we can take from this past year.

It has been heart-warming and truly inspiring to see how our communities have come together to support each other during this time.

We have seen huge numbers of volunteers, supporting those who needed it, neighbours checking in on neighbours, and welfare visits through the window.

We’ve seen fundraising and charities pulling us all through and inspiring stories of people going the extra mile and showing what Sefton can do.

The spirit of our community continues to impress us, while we share an overwhelming sadness for those we have lost and pride in our community for how we are pushing through.

We know that many sacrifices have been made to drive the COVID infection rate down, and sadly, we have lost loved ones along the way.

They will be sadly missed and will not be forgotten.

We will look at options for a permanent memorial and long term commemorations when the time is right, but for now, we would urge everyone to pause, reflect and continue to work together as one community.

We must continue to stick to the rules as lockdown eases so that we can truly put this past year behind us.

We urge everyone to continue to reduce their contacts as much as possible and take precautionary measures as lockdown lifts.

Soon, we hope, we can hug our families again

Sefton Council will continue to support our MySefton community as we emerge from this pandemic and we would, once again, like to thank you for all that we have done over the past year.

We will emerge stronger.

Dwayne Johnson & Cllr Ian Maher.