Open letter to the people of Lisburn and Castlereagh from the Right Worshipful the Mayor, Councillor the Hon Nicholas Trimble

October 12, 2020

Covid 19 has made life very difficult for so many of us. The impact to our health and our lives from the virus has already caused bereavement to many families across Northern Ireland, but it has the potential to do so much more damage if we let it. Our response to combat the virus had very real success over the summer, however it also proved very challenging for all of us, both socially and financially.

As a Council, we have been working hard to support you through this very difficult time. We have been out in our local communities alongside 630 wonderful volunteers in recent months. Together we provided 11,000 food packages and over £89,000 in funding for community support initiatives. In addition, Council Officers responded to 800 calls to our Community Helpline.

As terrible as this virus is, and the difficulties caused by trying to stop it, I have witnessed a tremendous compassion and community spirit from all corners of Lisburn and Castlereagh. I was genuinely humbled to see the selflessness and the support of so many, when it was needed at its most.

We have also been providing advice, support and funding for local businesses who are working tirelessly and following the rules to keep businesses open, protecting jobs and livelihoods. Over the past six months, we have received 954 calls to our business helpline and I have had the opportunity to visit many local businesses recently. I have been hugely impressed with how they have adapted to provide a safe environment for their customers and staff. We are grateful for your efforts and will continue to support you in any way we can.

On behalf of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, I also want to thank you all for doing your bit to limit the spread of this virus and I want to acknowledge how hard this has been on everyone. We each have our own personal worries about the effect of this virus on our loved ones, our businesses, our work and our lives. We each have a responsibility to take action and follow the guidelines.

I am urging the people of Lisburn and Castlereagh to continue to do the right thing. Limit your contact with others, wash your hands well and often, keep your distance, wear a face covering and download the StopCovidNI app.

We cannot afford to become complacent. The Executive continues to respond to the pandemic and implement measures to keep us all safe as we head into winter. We must listen to this advice and work together to protect each other and those that find themselves more vulnerable at this time.

As a Council we will continue to do all we can to support you whilst working to keep critical services operating at all costs.

We have just launched a campaign to help support the public health messaging called, “Do the right thing, right now.” You will see lots of activity across our social media platforms in the coming days and weeks. I would encourage you to like and share our content with your family and friends to help everyone do the right thing, keep going and limit the spread of the virus.

You can find further information and regular updates on our website at www.lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk and on our social media platforms.

My message is simple. Do the right thing, right now. Thank you and please stay safe.