Last week Strathcarron Hospice marked the 1st Anniversary of Lockdown, with a minute’s silence and the planting of flowers to commemorate those that we have lost. However, as we reflected on how difficult the last year has been, we also reflected on the positive aspects that we need to celebrate, and how it brought out the very best in many people.

It was particularly heartening at the start of the pandemic that so many people contacted us to help, often with very practical items. Dentists handed in masks and gloves, schools and individuals made visors on 3D printers, individual supporters helped by making face coverings. Businesses donated goods as they shut their shops and supermarkets kept us supplied with difficult to find items. Rotary Clubs helped fund our PPE throughout the entire year.

In the wider community, our Compassionate Neighbours were busier than ever keeping people connected and providing very practical support to help communities help themselves.

Our supporters understood that we had lost income through the closure of our Shops and the cancellation of many fundraising activities. They rose to the occasion – from donations to sponsored walks, runs, cycles, craft sales and virtual events.

This year our staff went above and beyond our expectations. Even when they were scared they came to work: they changed shift patterns; worked in other areas; undertook different duties, helped each other out and adapted to frequent changes. They found it difficult not to be able to hug and having to wear masks that hid their smiles.

The whole year has been punctuated by many acts of kindness and thoughtfulness for the Hospice and for each other and this has been absolutely amazing. Thank You!