Lockdown 3: In the tough weeks ahead we'll be #therewithyou - Laura Collins, YEP Editor

For the last 289 days the Yorkshire Evening Post has been there every step of the way as the nation navigates its course through this seemingly never-ending crisis.
Staff at Leeds General Infirmary during the Clap for Carers last year.Staff at Leeds General Infirmary during the Clap for Carers last year.
Staff at Leeds General Infirmary during the Clap for Carers last year.

Back in March, when the country was first plunged into lockdown, we pledged that we would be #therewithyou.

It was a phrase we blazed across the front of this newspaper - hand in hand with titles across the country - and it is something we have proudly carried on our masthead ever since.

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Over the months that followed, we printed hundreds of photographs of our selfless keyworkers who helped to keep the cogs of our great city turning during its darkest times.

And now, more than ever before, we will be relying on the army of healthworkers, volunteers, shop workers, refuse collectors and more to keep our city running and support those who need their help the most.

Our thoughts also go to the army of frontline workers in our city’s hospitals, surgeries, clinics and practices who have in effect become a human shield to us all.

Last year we launched our #Supportlocal campaign back in March to promote and champion our city’s thriving local business network who were diversifying to stay afloat.

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And today we are urging you to share your stories with us. We know just how much blood, sweat and tears have gone into those businesses as they’ve just about kept their heads above water.

Our independent sector is the jewel in Leeds’ crown - and today we want to hear from you about how you are supporting local businesses and how they in turn are supporting themselves in a bid to ensure they continue to be the lifeblood of our city’s high streets.

The YEP has a duty to report accurately on what is happening in Leeds.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We take absolutely no pleasure in reporting the scale of this crisis.

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At the end of the day we are all human - we feel every single emotion as well.

Yet we do this because it is our responsibility as journalists and a trusted publisher to hold officials to account, both locally and nationally, over their handling of this chapter in our collective histories.

Our reporters do face the difficult task of reporting accurately about the human tragedy of coronavirus.

Sadly, almost 1,200 people have lost their lives here in Leeds and our thoughts are with their grieving relatives, friends and colleagues who know all too well just how indiscriminate this silent killer is.

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It makes for uncomfortable reading and we can’t shy away from this.

But I have listened to the feedback from our readers and we will be ensuring we provide you with as much context and transparency about where the information has come from in a bid to tackle the tide of misinformation.

On Monday night the Prime Minister warned the weeks ahead will be the hardest yet and “now more than ever, we must pull together”.

But this time is different - our doctors are armed with two vaccines to help them fend off the virus.

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And today, as we head into our third lockdown, I reaffirm that commitment to you, our readers.

We will continue to be #therewithyou and we hope that you, in turn, will continue to show your support for our journalism in the weeks ahead.

And as ever your feedback is invaluable so please email me with your stories and suggestions at [email protected].

A message from the Editor:

Leeds has a fantastic story to tell - and the Yorkshire Evening Post has been rooted firmly at the heart of telling the stories of our city since 1890. We believe in ourselves and hope you believe in us too. We need your support to help ensure we can continue to be at the heart of life in Leeds.Subscribe to our website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe. For more details on our newspaper subscription offers click here.