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A Christmas message for colleagues

21 December 2020

As we come towards the end of what has been a very difficult and challenging year, we want to say thank you to every one of you for the way you have pulled together across Derbyshire to support our communities and each other.

Thanks to your continued dedication, we’ve moved forward in ways we might not previously have thought possible. We’ve adapted to the changing situation and embraced new ways of working, showing our true Derbyshire spirit every day.

For some of you it’s meant maintaining vital services such as our social workers continuing to support and protect vulnerable children and adults, and our road workers continuing to fix potholes during lockdown.

For others it’s meant changing the way services are delivered such as our library service, recycling centres and in our care homes where new measures were put in place to keep people safe.

It’s also meant building new services such as our Community Response Unit to support residents through this difficult time while others have switched roles to strengthen capacity in services where demand is high.

Teams have embraced digital working, with services such as Live Life Better Derbyshire now being delivered online, Early Years service videos replacing face to face delivery and the fostering team holding virtual events to recruit much needed foster carers.

This is just a snapshot of your incredible efforts in such strange circumstances.

We’ve now begun to see the roll out of the coronavirus vaccine which offers some hope for the future, but it’s important to remember that we still have a long way to go. For now, it’s still vitally important that we continue to follow Government guidance including the Christmas bubble restrictions which will inevitably mean that Christmas will feel very different this year.

We hope you’re able to take a well-earned break over the festive period but we know many of you will be at work continuing to keep vital services running.

If you are working or on standby over Christmas then we thank you for your commitment to Derbyshire residents.

We also know that Christmas holidays can be a difficult time for those who don’t have friends and family around them. If you feel that you need some support or someone to talk to, please remember that there is a range of wellbeing support available.

As we welcome in 2021, we have an opportunity to build on the strength we have shown. Looking outward and forward, seeing where we can add value, being bold in our approach to change and putting Derbyshire residents at the heart of everything we do.

We all wish you a merry Christmas and a very happy new year.

Councillor Barry Lewis - Leader

Emma Alexander - Executive Director, Commissioning, Communities and Policy

Helen Jones - Executive Director, Adult Social Care and Health

Jane Parfrement - Executive Director, Children’s Services