Colin Smyth at Summerhill
Colin Smyth at Summerhill

On the anniversary of the first lockdown, South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has praised key workers and local volunteers who have continued to work tirelessly for their local communities over the past 12 months.

The local MSP will join other MSPs for a minute silence in the Scottish Parliament today to remember those whose lives have been lost during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Colin Smyth said: “The last year has been tough for everyone in our local community and our thoughts are especially with those who have lost a loved one to the pandemic. Too many lives and livelihoods have been needlessly lost and the fact that all of us will know someone who has died shows the devastating impact this virus has had.

“The one ray of sunshine has been the way our community has come together. From the NHS and social care staff and teachers in our schools, to those who have kept food on our shop shelves, we owe our key workers an enormous debt of gratitude.

“Our army of local volunteers have also responded to the pandemic in an extraordinary way and shown they are the backbone of our communities all year round, whatever the challenges.

“Volunteering is a selfless act and during the Covid-19 pandemic we have seen our volunteers shine.

“The fact lockdown and restrictions have been in place for a year has meant the work of our volunteers has been even more invaluable than we could ever have imagined.

“Our volunteers are the unsung heroes in our community, from those running our local foodbanks to those just taking time to look out for their neighbours.

“As Covid-19 continues to present new challenges and the pandemic reaches its first anniversary, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to you all.”

Colin recently visited Summerhill Community Centre to see how the centre has continued to support the community during the current lockdown. The busy centre normally runs a range of clubs but although many of these have been curtailed due to the restrictions, the centre’s volunteers have continued to provide local support to the community, including leading the coordination of the Fareshare project in the area across Dumfriesshire from Annan to Upper Nithsdale.

Commenting in the work of Summerhill Community Centre Colin Smyth said: “During the pandemic it would be easy for local community groups to shut up shop and lock down, but instead the volunteers at Summerhill Community Centre have redoubled their efforts to provide lifeline services to the most vulnerable in our community. Their work is an inspiration to us all in these dark times.”


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