Directly or indirectly, the Covid-19 pandemic has touched the lives of everyone in the world and has led to significant challenges and personal loss for many. It seems only right to celebrate those councillors who played a central role in helping their residents during a period of such extreme hardship, who overcame the barriers posed by social distancing, self-isolation and disruption to their own lives to make sure others were able to cope. This award recognises those who have made a tangible difference by making sure that vital services are continued and going above and beyond to ensure that no one is left behind during the crisis.
Examples of this could include: coordinating teams of volunteers to ensure the most vulnerable have essential supplies during self-isolation; creating a community from their homes through virtual projects, exercise and hobbies to tackle the loneliness that comes with social distancing; defending and supporting victims of homelessness, domestic abuse and others who are particularly affected by the outbreak and at risk of being forgotten; helping to prepare the council and residents for the longer-term recovery; helping those whose livelihoods have suffered because of the virus due to job losses, health conditions or furlough; supporting local businesses to prevent them from going under, sharing accurate information with the community; and personally intervening/advocating to help in difficult situations.
The councillor who wins this award will:
• demonstrate they have championed their local community during the pandemic, ensuring that the day-to-day work of a council is not forgotten (as much as possible) while implementing new measures to help residents through the outbreak;
• have undertaken a new project or service to help residents during the pandemic, particularly those classed as vulnerable or are at risk because of personal circumstances;
• have built strong relationships with community activists and community groups that have led to tangible positive changes.
Successful submissions should:
• focus on how the councillor has gone above and beyond their role to help residents;
• provide clear examples of work or projects they have carried out in their role as a councillor.