How the Herts Advertiser showed the community coming together during the coronavirus crisis

PUBLISHED: 10:59 11 October 2020

Marianne Burrows volunteered to display drawings of Hope the Hippo as part of the St Albans Rainbow Trail fundraiser for Home-Start Herts. Picture: Marianne Burrows

Marianne Burrows volunteered to display drawings of Hope the Hippo as part of the St Albans Rainbow Trail fundraiser for Home-Start Herts. Picture: Marianne Burrows

Archant

Throughout lockdown, the Herts Ad has highlighted ways that the St Albans and Harpenden communities have come together to help others during the pandemic.

Preet Cox, who organises the St Albans Rainbow Trail, has been recognised for her community efforts with a Hero of Hertfordshire Award. Picture: Courtesy of Preet CoxPreet Cox, who organises the St Albans Rainbow Trail, has been recognised for her community efforts with a Hero of Hertfordshire Award. Picture: Courtesy of Preet Cox

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.

Sarah Russell set up Hertfordshire Scrub Hub from her home in Harpenden. Picture: Herts Scrub HubSarah Russell set up Hertfordshire Scrub Hub from her home in Harpenden. Picture: Herts Scrub Hub

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.

Sarah Russell set up Hertfordshire Scrub Hub from her home in Harpenden. Picture: Herts Scrub HubSarah Russell set up Hertfordshire Scrub Hub from her home in Harpenden. Picture: Herts Scrub Hub

It's OK To Say charity founder Stacey Turner with the Children's Air Ambulance.It's OK To Say charity founder Stacey Turner with the Children's Air Ambulance.

You may also want to watch:

Landlord of The Boot pub, Sean Hughes, is leading the Save St Albans Pubs campaign.Landlord of The Boot pub, Sean Hughes, is leading the Save St Albans Pubs campaign.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Herts Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Herts Advertiser