It’s exactly a week since we went in to the third lock down of this horrid pandemic. Our shops are closed, retail staff are furloughed again and we’re living in the shadow of grim figures in our own county. We appreciate how tough life is for everyone and want to thank you all for your support and understanding as we work our way through these unchartered waters.

The continuing good news is that both our hospices remain open to patients who need us. This includes at St Julia’s where things are settling down after a number of staff developed Covid. We pay tribute to the whole team at Hayle who’ve worked incredibly hard to cope with the issues this has caused. We certainly don’t underestimate the commitment of all our clinical colleagues at both hospices and that includes all the support staff too.

While we’re talking about the hospices, though we encourage the use of Track and Trace, we would ask clinical staff to please switch the app off when on shift. We don’t want you being disturbed by messages that don’t apply when you’re already following strict PPE measures.

Our ward volunteers continue to offer extraordinary support at our hospices, but if you’re one of them and have received a shielding letter we must ask that you stay at home. You’re all very precious to us, but we’d rather you stayed away until this virus and its vicious variant are under control. Your role will still be here when it’s safe to come back.

It’s also a good moment to say a big thank you to all our retail volunteers and staff who once again find themselves at home with our shops closed. It’s frustrating we know, but better to be safe than sorry and we’re already planning for brighter times when we can hang the ‘open’ signs up once again.

We don’t want to sound like a broken record, repeating the government guidance constantly, but it’s vital you keep up to date with the latest news. The best place for this is at gov.uk and this page in particular Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

As always, please remember: HANDS. FACE. SPACE. and STAY AT HOME. PROTECT THE NHS. SAVE LIVES.

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It’s impossible to say with any certainty when we might be able to reopen our shops, we sometimes wish we had a crystal ball, but we will keep in touch regularly. Look out for the next edition of All Together that’ll be coming out this Friday (15th January). We’ll share any further updates then and you can read about the new virtual events our fundraising team are launching to ensure the funds keep rolling in.

We’re proud of you all, whether you’re working or furloughed, based at home or in our hospices, staff or volunteers. Each and every one of you, our One Team, are helping keep our front line open for those who need us at the end of their lives.

Paul, Gina and Graham.