'Chichester has seen great innovation and resilience in the face of adversity'
Residents and businesses in the Chichester district have been praised for how they have handled the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.
Today (March 23) marks one year since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the first UK lockdown following the rapid spread of Covid-19.
Chichester District Council leader Eileen Lintill said: “The last 12 months have undoubtedly been the most challenging in the council’s history.
"I am extremely proud of the way that our staff quickly adapted in order to continue serving our communities, especially in the early days of the pandemic when it was such a rapidly changing situation.
"As a council, our teams have been working round the clock to deliver vital services to our residents. We have been working closely with our local partners, volunteers and community groups to ensure that residents and businesses across the district receive the support and advice they need.
"I would like to thank all of our staff for their flexibility in responding to the crisis and also say a huge thank you to our residents for their patience, for their messages of support and for really rallying around in their communities to support each other through this very difficult period.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families that have lost a loved one.”
Helen Marshall, vice chairman and CEO of the Chichester Business Improvement District (BID), said it has been 'one of the toughest years we have ever known'.
"However, businesses in Chichester have been amazing in how they have tackled the challenges head on," she added.
"We have seen great innovation and resilience in the face of adversity.
"As the city centre begins to reopen I believe we can reap the benefits of this enforced accelerated period of learning to ensure business models can adapt and flex to the changing customer needs.
"Here at Chichester BID, we are committed to supporting our businesses in getting back on their feet to once more deliver great customer experiences for the residents and visitors of Chichester.”
A part of the National Day of Reflection initiative — proposed and developed by Marie Curie Cancer Care — UK citizens were encouraged to spend a moment in silence at 12 midday. People are also asked to light up their doorsteps with a candle at 8pm to mark the anniversary of the UK’s first lockdown and remember those who have lost their lives in the pandemic.