“One year ago today, we went into a national lockdown that most of us thought, at most, was likely to last a few weeks. We’ve had some relaxations and then some further restrictions but here we are a year later. At 12noon today there will be a minute silence, organised by Marie Curie, to remember everyone lost through the Covid 19 pandemic and many of you will be directly affected by this – our thoughts are very much with you.
“We also want to take this opportunity, as the staff of the NHS Retirement Fellowship, to thank you – our members and followers – for all of your support over the past year. Your kind messages and positivity for everything we have tried to do for you is very much appreciated by each and every one of us. Most of us already worked from home but our Central Office had to close and is still not able to re-open fully while the rest of the staff faced additional challenges – introducing new ways of communicating with branches to provide support through newsletters and regular emails, telephone calls with members and committees and providing as much help as we could when we had very little answers to provide. We’ve seen our social media figures rise exponentially, introduced weekly talks with Mirthy and provided light hearted stories about ourselves to keep your spirits going. Like you, we’ve faced challenges with not being able to see our loved ones, wondering when we would get the vaccine and discovered much about our own resilience (as well as our local areas!)
“We are now energised and ready to help support you as we start to come out of restrictions to get back to doing what you like doing most of all in your life in the Fellowship. Socialising with your friends, planning your trips out and visits, welcoming new members and speakers to your meetings. And we remain hopeful that we all get together at our conference in Manchester later on in the year. We are ready to engage with the local NHS Trusts as they too come to terms with all they have experienced throughout the last 12 months and we will be speaking with NHS representatives at the highest national level to raise awareness of the Fellowship and welcome new members onboard.
“So while we take a moment to remember all we have endured this year, we are also grateful for your support and positive about the future of the Fellowship.”