2020 was a year unlike any other.
Twelve months ago, no one could have imagined what the year just gone would have in store and that we would all find ourselves sorely tested by the coronavirus pandemic.
Even after living with the virus for almost a year, it can be hard to process what we’ve been through.
The new year is always a time for reflection.
Looking back on 2020, the thing that sticks out in my mind is the resilience and genuine spirit of togetherness shown by our communities, big and small.
Faced with a global pandemic, the residents of Redditch have shown real commitment to taking the steps needed to keep the virus under control.
People have made individual sacrifices such as self-isolating and staying away from loved ones.
However, they’ve also volunteered and joined together to form groups and networks that have been instrumental in helping us support the vulnerable, isolated and those in need of assistance.
Key workers have been rightly praised throughout for their incredible dedication under severe pressure.
But let us also remember the local businesses, communities and volunteers, who have delivered food, collected medicines and seen to it that no one has gone without help.
In a difficult year full of struggles, this has been a much needed source of positivity and reassurance, and is something we should all be very proud of.
Whilst the next few months will continue to be tough, with a Covid-19 vaccine now being rolled out, there is a great deal of hope and cautious optimism as we enter 2021.
I wish everyone in Redditch a very happy and healthy new year.
My very best wishes to you all,
Councillor Gareth Prosser
Mayor of Redditch