Christmas is almost upon us. As well as Christians celebrating the birth of Jesus, many people will be taking a well-earned break to recharge their batteries. While better than 2020, there is no denying that 2021 has been another tough year for many people at home and abroad.
It hasn’t all been doom and gloom and there has been good news too, but understandably, levels of stress and anxiety have been higher than in more normal years. Even during normal years, it is known that Christmas can be a difficult time for some.
In a year when demand and pressure on services has been high and I’ve seen for myself how hard many people have been working, it is right to give special thanks for those who have kept the wheels turning to make our everyday lives as normal as possible. We think of course of our fantastic healthcare workers in particular for obvious reasons, but many other sectors have also had pressures. We’ve seen people stepping up across the board to tackle challenges and they rightly also deserve recognition.
While some have been under work pressures of increased demand, the other side of the coin is people suffering financial hardship, often as a result of their sector being economically damaged by the pandemic. While the data for Crawley has shown a marked improvement in people being able to get back to work, the impact of depressed aviation has meant our town hasn’t yet bounced back quite as much as other areas.
For those struggling hardship this Christmas, it is good to know that support is available. West Sussex County Council has been running its Community Hub throughout the entire pandemic and it remains open during the holiday period. Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day will be from 10am till 2pm, with much longer hours on all other days. Residents in need can contact the West Sussex Community Hub in confidence by calling 033 022 27980 or by completing a short online form on the County Council’s website.
I wish all readers a very peaceful and stress-free Christmas.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
22nd December 2021