Why these inspirational Leeds folk are a shining example to us all at Christmas - Laura Collins, YEP Editor

It is nothing short of an understatement to say that 2021 hasn’t perhaps panned out the way we all hoped it would.

By Laura Collins
Saturday, 25th December 2021, 4:45 am
Clockwise from top left, James Tabor and Zoe Perrett; Kalvin Phillips and staff at the Elland Road Vaccination Centre. Pictures by Tony Johnson, Mike Egerton/PA and Simon Hulme
Clockwise from top left, James Tabor and Zoe Perrett; Kalvin Phillips and staff at the Elland Road Vaccination Centre. Pictures by Tony Johnson, Mike Egerton/PA and Simon Hulme

It has been another tough and challenging year for each of us as we’ve continued to find ways to cope with life under the spectre of Covid-19.

Last Christmas was effectively a write-off after festivities were brought to an abrupt end by lockdown.

And in the cold months that ensued we were faced with restrictions and subsequent “road maps” to navigate our way through the next phase of the pandemic. We were all being asked once again to follow the rules and. in turn. make our own personal sacrifices in order to keep ourselves and loved ones safe.

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Clockwise from top left, Scott Summers; Danny Malin; Ruby Nicholson with dad Leigh, and Norman Francis. Pictures by Simon Hulme and Jonathan Gawthorpe

And that sheer resilience came the year after doing the exact same to protect each other.

But then, as restrictions continued to ease, dare I even say that the summer gave us a glimpse of what “normal” used to look like?

But here we are – just a few months on – with the impending feeling that we are still taking each day as it comes with the Omicron strain of the virus causing complete chaos to our

festive plans.

Clockwise from top left, Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield; Maureen Wilkes, and Mick Grundell with young fan Freddie Bremner Burnell. Pictures by Allan McKenzie/SWPix and submitted

With every passing day it feels like we are waiting for a return of restrictions – one thing is for certain, and that is we are still all in it for the very long haul.

We may, once again, not be having the Christmas that so many of us had all hoped and longed for after being parted from loved ones last year.

And there remains a cloud of uncertainty about what lays ahead for us in 2022.

There will inevitably still be some tough weeks and months ahead of us and that spirit of strength and resilience is needed now more than ever.

That is why on Christmas Eve we decided to dedicate our front page to those inspirational people who have lifted our city in the face of adversity.

Despite the tough challenges we have all faced, our city’s shining stars have truly shone brightly and are an inspiration to us all.

They have fundraised, supported their communities during tough times, helped to save lives – and, above all, their actions have been selfless.

Just take our National Health Service stars who not only have supported those suffering with Covid during the darkest of times, but have then found the strength and resilience to be a part of the mammoth vaccine drive effort to help others.

The dedication of each and every of our festive stars, not only to their city but to their fellow human beings, really embraces the true spirit and meaning of Christmas.

It has been nothing short of a privilege for the team here at the Yorkshire Evening Post to share their stories with you over the last 12 months.

And, quite frankly, our team wouldn’t be able to do this without your unrivalled support of this newspaper – both online and in print – over the last year so our heartfelt thanks go to all of you, our loyal readers.

All that’s left to say from the team here at the YEP is to have a very Merry Christmas – as safely and best you can under the circumstances .

And surely, for all of our sakes, next year is going to be much better and brighter for everyone.

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