It’s fair to say 2020 hasn’t been great. It’s been almost a year since the current novel coronavirus (Covid-19) began. What followed has been a year of tough restrictions and Lockdowns, changing how many have had to operate.

No one doubts COVID is one of the biggest threats faced in recent memory, yet amidst the anxiety and confusion, the pandemic has also brought with it a sense of solidarity.

It has inspired generosity among individuals and unity among communities in an unprecedented way – especially in Salford.

As of last month, the annual ‘Spirit Of Salford Community Awards’ opened for nominations.

On the official website, it says that ‘the awards will be an opportunity to pay tribute to the people and public services that have made a difference in Salford in these recent difficult times’.

It celebrates the great work individuals and community groups have done over the year and gives people the opportunity to give a little back to those who have given so much.

Community Pride

Sarah Whitehead is the Director of the charity ‘Community Pride CIC‘, her organisation do a lot of community-based research and campaign work to tackle poverty in Salford and the UK.

“During the pandemic we have helped local people to set up a community meal service and a mutual aid support network which has responded to the needs of 1000s of Salford residents struggling during this pandemic.” said Sarah.

Recently, Sarah has also chaired a charity duck race as a fundraiser for people struggling over the Christmas Period:

“The reason for holding the fundraiser is because we have a database of 50 people we have been supporting with meals for the past 7 months – some are elderly living alone, living with long term illnesses or struggling financially and we would like to be able to help them a bit more during the Christmas period.

“For these people, Christmas can be difficult at the best of times due to loneliness and anxiety. During a pandemic, loneliness and anxiety are heightened and it really is impacting on peoples mental health and emotional wellbeing.”

The money raised will be used to buy gifts, toys, and food hampers for those residents that the charity supports.

Sarah said: “There is an added importance on people in the community supporting each other because at this unprecedented time services are not fully equipped to deal with the amount of people needing help and there are many falling through the gaps of support.

“In times like this, we realise that anyone of us can face loneliness and hardship and for me that means we should reach out as much as possible to those who are suffering it now.”

Sarah’s devotion to serving others truly shows what the ‘Spirit Of Salford’ is all about. People like this are what has helped keep our community running in these dark times, giving invaluable support to the people who need it most.

Has someone supported you or people you know during this pandemic? Do you know of organisations and services that have provided support to the citizens of Salford? Maybe think about putting them forward for an award.

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