Leeds' values of unity are stronger than ever in face of crisis as we say Big Thank You - Coun Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council

These past few months have undoubtedly been among the most challenging and worrying times our city and our country have faced in our lifetime.

Saturday, 11th July 2020, 11:45 am
Staff gather outside Leeds General Infirmary for the final Clap For Carers.

Each of us has experienced the pandemic in our own unique way as we’ve all made huge sacrifices and seen changes to our day-to-day lives the likes of which none of us will have ever envisaged.

But even in the face of so much uncertainty, the people of Leeds have responded with characteristic tenacity and compassion, taking care of their city, their communities and each other in a myriad of new and inspiring ways.

All across Leeds, we’ve seen examples of this remarkable selflessness and community spirit from those who have been going the extra mile as they work collectively and individually to keep the city going.

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Health workers outside Leeds General Infirmary celebrating the NHS's 72nd birthday.

Our incredible health and social care workers have led that charge, becoming beacons of hope to the nation as each day, they step into unimaginably difficult and dangerous circumstances and strive to keep the most vulnerable in our society healthy, safe and secure.

For this, we owe them a debt of gratitude which can never be repaid.

Within our communities, we’ve also witnessed an army of volunteers mobilise and coordinate with astonishing speed, galvanised by a simple, human instinct to lend a helping hand to friends and neighbours in need.

Our local businesses have felt the full force of the pandemic, with many being forced to close their doors with no firm idea when they would be able to reopen.

The innovation they have shown in finding new ways to continue serving their customers has been testament to their grit and the resilience of our city’s economy and we are proud to have given them our continued support.

This has,of course, been a tumultuous time for our schools and our young people.

From the teachers who have continued to work so hard, to the parents who became home schoolers overnight and the pupils who have adapted to a completely new learning environment, each deserves their share of praise and recognition.

The cultural landscape of Leeds has also changed dramatically, with museums, galleries, libraries and attractions unable to welcome the public who cherish them so dearly and so many events cancelled.

The imagination shown by the city’s arts community in creating activities and exhibitions has been a source of joy for so many isolating at home.

Above all, what we have seen from our city these past few months should give us all hope that we can continue to fight the virus together and emerge from this unprecedented crisis with our values of unity and togetherness stronger than ever.

To all those who have made that possible, on behalf of the city, we say thank you.