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Message from Executive Director, Jane Parfrement 6 November 2020

6 November 2020

The clocks have gone back, the first frost has formed and our ‘alternative’ Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations are over – winter is definitely upon us.


The clocks have gone back, the first frost has formed and our ‘alternative’ Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations are over – winter is definitely upon us.

For many colleagues across the council, winter is one of our most challenging times of the year, from our gritter drivers helping to keep the county’s roads clear through to our social care workers who turn out in all weathers to support some of our most vulnerable adults and children.
As if this year hasn’t already been challenging enough, many other staff will be facing additional pressures this year too – not least our public health colleagues dealing with the combined impacts of coronavirus and flu in our communities, and adult care staff preparing for a potential rise in calls to our Community Response Unit for help as we begin another period of national ‘lockdown’. And all this at a time when some of the things we would usually do to relax and unwind are temporarily out of bounds.

So as we enter the final months of this very odd year, it’s never been more important to be aware of our physical and mental health and make sure we take good care of ourselves, particularly while we’re working.

Take regular screen breaks, move around – particularly those of us working from home who may be finding they’re getting less steps in than usual. Get a daily dose of fresh air and make sure you continue to take annual leave.

We’ve done a fantastic job of tackling whatever problems have been thrown at us this year but none of us are superhuman. Our communities need us more than ever this winter and by looking after ourselves we can make sure that we can continue to look after them and rise to whatever challenges may lie ahead.