Rutlanders’ community response to Covid

Thanks to all in Rutland who helped through COVID19 – inspiring to see how Rutlanders have worked for the benefit of our community. Rutland’s High Sheriff Richard Cole and I are sending out certificates of appreciation following consultation with town & parish councils who have put names forward.

Rutland has been quite astonishing: making visors, scrubs & masks, collecting and distributing food, running Good Neighbour schemes, dog walking, shopping – you name it, there have been people helping.

The Covid restrictions have severely limited my ability to meet and thank people in person, but I recorded the following message in the hope that it will be seen by at least some of the many people it is intended for:

Thank you to all Rutland’s volunteers (video opens in a new YouTube window)

Remembrance Sunday 2020

In Rutland we are proud of our military history & serving Army personnel. Remembrance 2020 has to be Covid-19 compliant. It may be different, but that does not stop us remembering with gratitude all who have served & serve our country. Our small sacrifices during the Covid pandemic pale into insignificance when compared to theirs.

Because of the Covid restrictions, to help everyone to remember in their own homes we have recorded an online Remembrance Day service for Rutland:

The Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet, Thomas Menzies:

I will be attending very small, Covid-compliant services in Oakham and in Uppingham today. Sadly that means I cannot attend the short open-air service that is planned at St Andrew’s Church in my own village of Whissendine. But my husband will be there, tolling a single bell before the service. Here’s an image of the church’s Gate of Remembrance:

And here’s the socially-distanced open air service:

Dying Matters in Rutland is launched

Dying Matters in Rutland has been launched! Visit our website: https://www.dyingmattersinrutland.org/

Planning ahead makes sense for people of all ages. Just as taking out insurance does not mean you will have a fire or be burgled, setting out what you would like to happen at the end of your life does not bring your end nearer! But it does mean that when the worst happens it is better for all. View the short video on the homepage to find why I am involved.

New Lieutenancy Air Cadet

October 19th – Delighted to hold a COVID19 compliant award ceremony at Oakham Castle⁩ for my Lord-Lieutenant Air Cadets. Cadet Sgt Alice Weaver handed over to Sgt Thomas Menzies. Thanks to Alice for her support – sad for her that the pandemic prevented so much. Welcome Thomas!

Battle of Britain – 80 years on

September 13th: Marking 80 years #BattleOfBritain80 at Rutland’s commemorative Spitfire ‘sculpture’ on the Oakham ring road, with committee members of Rutland’s branch of Rutland Armed Forces Association. All were socially distanced – this was necessarily a more muted occasion than had been planned, due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

Sustainable Land Trust

September 10th: I was glad to welcome a few of Rutland’s young people to the Sustainable Land Trust Communities. See their Learn & Transform programme which will provide them with skills, experience & qualifications; and also promote well being, confidence and mental health by teaching about the environment while living in it.

Merchant Navy Day 2020

September 3rd: Without the Merchant Navy both world wars would have been lost & our lives would be very different. Merchant Navy Day was marked in Rutland at Oakham Castle today, although numbers were severely limited due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Tribute was paid to those who serve our island country. Thanks to Capt Bob Strick for raising the Red Ensign.

Rutland Remembers V-J day, 75 years on

August 15th. We had plans for Rutland to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VJ day in style, in the company of Rutland’s many military veterans who I know would have been keen to attend such an event. Unfortunately, current restrictions to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus make this difficult – especially as so many of the veterans who would wish to attend are of an age where contact with that virus would be particularly dangerous. So instead I organised small wreath-laying ceremonies at the war memorials in Whissendine, Oakham and Uppingham. I was so pleased that the High Sheriff of Rutland accompanied me.

I am particularly grateful to Nick Clarke of ‘Nick Clarke PR & Media’ for recording the following video so that all can, at a safe distance, share at a in our joint remembrance of those who suffered and died to preserve our liberty.