We all deserve the joy of Christmas and a brighter tomorrow, says Rother Valley MP

It gives me great pleasure to wish the readers of the Worksop Guardian across Rother Valley a verymerry Christmas.

Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 8:00 am

We need this special festival more than ever this year, after months of lockdown, isolation, and separation.

Activities, hobbies, and services have ceased, and families and friends have been kept apart.

We all know that this was necessary to protect the NHS and save lives but it does not make it any easier.

Alexander Stafford, MP for Rother Valley. Photo: London Portrait Photographer-DAV

Many people are feeling exhausted, fearful, and frustrated.

That is why the Christmas message carries such resonance this winter.

We must think about those less fortunate than ourselves at this time of year: those who are experiencing their first Christmas without a loved one, those who are homeless, those who are lonely, those who must go without, those suffering abuse, those who are sick, and those marking what may be their last Christmas.

This year, these problems are regrettably even more acute, with many people in worse circumstances as a result of the pandemic.

It is our duty to do as Jesus did by treating others as we would like to be treated.

Let us donate what we can to charities that provide support to people at Christmastime.

Let us check on our friends and neighbours, as well as the vulnerable, the underprivileged, and the elderly in our communities – as restrictions allow – even if this must be at a distance or by telephone.

Let us look after those in Rother Valley who have not weathered the effects of the virus as well as others.

I have been proud to witness Rother Valley’s close-knit community in action during the worst of coronavirus.

Now, we must come together once more in the spirit of Christmas to ensure that everyone can enjoy the respite that the season brings.

I am pleased that the Government has announced that we can spend Christmas with our families in a safe and responsible manner.

It is exactly what we need after a brutal 2020.

However, we cannot afford to be complacent.

We must ensure that we see as few people as possible over Christmas.

Just because we can see family members does not mean that we should do so.

Everyone is in a different situation and we must take responsibility for our own actions in order to banish this terrible virus once and for all.

The past few months have been incredibly difficult for the people of Rother Valley but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Britain has been the first country in the world to roll out vaccines and we are already vaccinating residents of the Rotherham area. The defeat of COVID-19 is the Christmas present that we all want most as we enter 2021.

I have been working hard to support local people throughout this crisis and will continue to do so.

As always, I am here for the people of Rother Valley. I wish you and your families a safe and joyous Christmastime and a prosperous and successful new year.

We certainly deserve it.