Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham column: 'The Best of Burnley'

Along with the rest of the country, I was shocked and saddened to hear the news earlier this week that the Prime Minister had been moved into Intensive Care due to his Coronavirus symptoms worsening.

Burnley MP Antony HIgginbotham helping out at the Community KItchen in Burnley
Burnley MP Antony HIgginbotham helping out at the Community KItchen in Burnley

This is a stark reminder to all of us that this disease can affect any one of us.

I was heart warmed, however, by the many messages of good wishes that I have received for him from across Burnley, and have sent these to him along with my own warm wishes for a speedy recovery.

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And for anyone who doubted that there was still a sense of community, recent events have shown it to be as strong as ever.

From the weekly doorstep clap for our fantastic NHS workers through to the individuals who are delivering food parcels – everyone is looking out for each other.

This week I was fortunate enough to visit the Community Kitchen, run by Burnley FC in the Community, which has repurposed itself as a centre which creates food parcels to be delivered to those in need.

Working as part of Burnley Together it is identifying those who are at home and so are not able to get out to the supermarkets, ensuring they get the food they need. At the time of writing they had fed almost 1,000 people across Burnley and Padiham and I have no doubt that this number will continue to increase as we manage our way through this outbreak.

None of this would be possible without the support of local food suppliers and Burnley FC. It is times like this when we see what being a community means and I know that this is not the only example. Community groups are working with local businesses across our area to offer help to those who need it.

Many of those same small businesses, which are providing such a vital service to our community are also in need though. If you are one of those businesses and you’ve not yet found out about the support available to you, please visit my website and you’ll find plenty of information on this including details of the Small Business Grant and how to claim it.

I wanted to end with a thank you to all the people playing a part in looking after the people of Burnley and Padiham – from the council officers and food delivery drivers, to local businesses and charities. But most importantly a huge thank you to those working in the NHS.

If you need help from Burnley Together, please go to www.burnleytogether.org.uk or call 01282 686402.