Europe Day 2020: St Albans residents show gratitude for migrant keyworkers helping the UK in fight against COVID-19
PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:22 12 May 2020
St Albans residents demonstrated their appreciation of migrant keyworkers helping the UK in its struggle against COVID-19 as part of their celebration of Europe Day.
Led by local grassroots, cross-party campaign group St Albans for Europe, locked down residents showed their gratitude remotely for all migrants, including many from the EU, who are playing a crucial role in helping the UK meet the challenges of the coronavirus crisis.
Acknowledged on 9 May every year, Europe Day celebrates 70 years of peace, solidarity and unity on the continent.
Members shared activities on social media to highlight the vital contributions that migrants are making to the UK’s fight against the virus, and what difference immigration makes to our country and culture in normal times.
The group sent in photos to make a montage spelling out the message: “St Albans for Europe thanks and celebrates all our wonderful migrant key workers for keeping us safe in the UK. Europe Day 2020”, and pictures of other activities such as European-themed meals enjoyed with their families in lockdown or out on their daily exercise wearing their St Albans for Europe T-shirts.
Pressures during the coronavirus crisis on the health sector in particular have been exacerbated by the departure from the UK of EU citizens who were made to feel unwelcome after the Brexit referendum. Over 60,000 NHS staff in England are EU nationals, and the care sector is also heavily reliant on overseas workers, as is the UK’s food supply chain.
Chair of St Albans for Europe Fiona McAndrew said: “We were delighted that our supporters responded so positively to the idea of creating a virtual message on Europe Day to thank these valuable keyworkers from the EU and beyond, who are doing so much to support us in the COVID-19 crisis. And beyond that, that people wanted to do something to celebrate what it means to be a British European.
“On Friday we remembered VE Day and all the sacrifices the wartime generation made for us, to defend our way of life and ensure that Nazism and fascism did not prevail. Europe Day was an opportunity to mark what came next. Although we have left the EU, the need to cooperate with our close neighbours across the channel will continue.”
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