The people in charge of protecting us from the first global pandemic in 100 years seemed more concerned about their social life than our welfare. It made me very ashamed of my country.
But only momentarily, because Boris Johnson and his mates are a tiny minority of entitled, thoughtless brats. I didn’t have to look far to find examples of selfless generosity that embody the best of us… only as far as Broomhouse in fact.
Several years ago, local resident Patricia Farquhar set up a Facebook group, I Love Broomhouse, to share memories of growing up in the area, but at the start of the pandemic people like community activist Donna Squires realised it was a great platform to offer people support during this difficult time.
As Donna told me, the group was able to offer comfort to people affected by the funeral restrictions. “With the approval of families we encouraged people to turn out in the street to give fitting farewells to local people who would have had, in normal circumstances, huge funeral services.”
And donations poured in from as far away as Australia, as local folk and businesses as well as former residents united to look after each other. Last year the group raised £1,500 towards a memorial garden in St David’s church, hosted a breakfast with Santa for more than 80 children and delivered 80 hampers full of treats to pensioners.
The list goes on. The group made a donation to CAMHS, the mental health service for young people, gave the local postie a bonus for all his hard work during the pandemic and donated hundreds of gifts to the local care home, Blenham House.
Donna says there are lots of people who deserve thanks for their generosity and hard work. “Every single one is a star,” she says, adding she is looking forward to the group achieving even more this year.
Boris Johnson may lead the country for now, but it is the people of Broomhouse that we should look to for an object lesson in selfless kindness and goodwill. They are an example to us all, not least the Prime Minister.