How the Herts Advertiser showed the community coming together during the coronavirus crisis
PUBLISHED: 10:59 11 October 2020
Throughout lockdown, the Herts Ad has highlighted ways that the St Albans and Harpenden communities have come together to help others during the pandemic.
Since March, we have been covering the story of the St Albans Rainbow Trail, which set off the trend of people displaying drawings of rainbows in their windows to spread positivity during lockdown.
Started by mum-of-three Preet Cox, the initiative took off, with more than 2,000 people joining the online group and raising money for Herts-based charities – including raising more than £500 for Home-Start Herts. In August, Preet was recognised with a prestigious Hero of Hertfordshire Award for her efforts.
She said: “The best part of the community group is seeing the diverse talent, creativity and kindness people show and share with one another while they take part in the events. This brings with it a feeling or solidarity within our community, which is wonderful.”
We also helped support the Herts Scrub Hub, which was set up by Sarah Russell from Harpenden and saw 50 volunteers across Herts sewing hundreds of sets of scrubs for NHS staff.
The Scrub Hub made deliveries to Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Watford General, Luton & Dunstable and Barnet hospitals, as well as many local GP surgeries. The group raised more than £7,000, which they used to buy over 2,500 metres of fabric.
We also highlighted the ongoing efforts to save the city’s beloved pubs, which were already suffering before lockdown due to high business rates. As well as publicising which local eateries were taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, we gave a platform to Sean Hughes – owner of Dylans, The Plough Sheapshyde and The Boot – who called for the public’s helping pubs survive the crisis.
In light of the recent 10pm curfew on pubs, the Herts Ad followed the efforts of MP Daisy Cooper to help save the hospitality sector – as she wrote to the Business Secretary calling for more government support.
Throughout the pandemic, we have continued our It’s OK To Say campaign, encouraging people to talk about mental health. This has included exploring the mental health challenges presented by lockdown and the experiences of children as they adjust to being back at school.
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