A National Day of Reflection has been organised by Marie Curie (the end of life charity) for people to come together to remember those that have lost their lives during the Coronavirus Pandemic, to support those that have been bereaved and to reflect on the challenges we have overcome.

Twelve month ago today, all of our lives changed in a way we never could have imagined. We were shocked as we listened to Boris address the nation to tell us we were going into lockdown. The feeling of having to close one of our settings and tell 19 members of our team we had no work for them was something that will stay with us forever. Yes, we had the Furlough scheme but it still felt like we were saying goodbye to them forever. They’re not just our staff or our employees. They’re part of our Lilliput family and we felt like we had let them down. The guilt we felt after choosing who would continue to work was immense but made easier for us by the amazing acceptance and understanding off our team.
But as time went on no one could have imagined how long this would go on for or how difficult it would be for everyone. As humans, we are social creatures but we were now not allowed to visit our loved ones, see ours friends, hug each other, shake hands, go to the gym, the pub or any other social activity and so many people lost loved ones to who they hadn’t been able to say goodbye to or mourn properly.

However, as we all individually reflect on the last 12 months and how it has affected us and our own families and friends we mustn’t forget the resilience of those around us. The strength of the bereaved as they couldn’t be with their loved one to say goodbye or give them the send off they deserved, no hospital visits, no care home or nursing home visits, weddings and other life events put on hold and children not being able to see their friends. With schools moving to online lessons and people working from home, we’ve had to learn a new way of living and a new way of working.

We’ve discovered a love for outdoors as we were all encouraged to take our daily exercise. Going for walks in our local areas, we’ve discovered places we never knew existed and said hello to people who’ve lived around us but never come into contact with.
But we mustn’t forget the resilience of our children. Throughout this they have continually amazed us. They have been coming into nursery with big smiles on their faces and in turn put big smiles on our faces. As the world around them changed and became very scary for us all, they continued to carry on as normal. They quickly got used to the new way of coming into nursery on their own, waving goodbye at the door as they had their temperatures taken and their parent / carer was asked 20 questions about their health and again at the end of their nursery day, being taken to the door for a quick chat as we waved goodbye. Our team wearing face masks didn’t phase them and neither did not being able to mix with the other children as we maintained our bubbles.
Parents / carers have also been amazing. We haven’t been able to invite existing, new or prospective parents into the settings for 12 months now but parents have trusted us to care for their most precious thing without seeing the inside of our nurseries and as for the new children who have started during lockdown! WOW, just WOW! They have said goodbye at the door and walked into nursery and just got on with it. We’ve always loved children and have been in awe of them for many years but this last 12 months has shown how truly amazing our little people are.
Join us as we reflect on our collective loss, support those of us who have lost loved ones, who haven’t been able to hold the hand of our elderly relatives in nursing homes, who have lost their job or their business and who have struggled at times, as we all hope for a brighter future.

The nation is holding a minutes silence at 12.00 noon today, as well as shining a light at 8.00pm this evening or at some point today just take a moment to reflect on the last 12 months in your own way.

We have a lot to be thankful for and a lot of people to thank. Our families, our friends, our colleagues, our teams, our parents and our children. Without them all, this year would have been so much harder. So THANK YOU all.
We’ve all been traveling through a very long dark tunnel but with the vaccine and each others support we are now seeing the light at the end of that tunnel getting brighter.
Take care everyone, we’re nearly there.