IN a previous letter to the Western Telegraph, I endeavoured to highlight the people who selflessly gave their time and talents to help and support others at Christmas time.

There was more than an air of togetherness and inclusion that can be both anticipated and enjoyed at that time of year particularly.

Now, a curious juxtaposition seems to have arisen in our society and we are talking about social distancing and self-isolation in the current coronavirus crisis.

Values in our society are for life, not just for Christmas, and it is important that we seek to exercise them throughout the year and not simply adopt them as a seasonal extra.

Of course, we all want what's best for our families and friends. It is human nature to want to protect and support those people we care about. But, let's reach out and treat others with kindness too. I'm sure we can all understand the sense around social distancing and self-isolation, but let's not make people feel the isolation they are in.

At times of crisis, it helps to remember how great our nation can be at pulling together, at reaching out to encourage and support others.

When we are filling our trolleys at the supermarket, perhaps we can put a few things in that someone we know may be in need of. We can still help those who are vulnerable by donating essentials to local charities. We can drop someone a text, call them on the phone or contact them on social media.

Connecting with others is a basic human need, and we all have the capacity to do something selfless and make that connection happen.

Paradoxically, crises bring opportunities, so it is within our gift at this difficult time to value acts of kindness in our society and make them endure.


Community carer and talking therapist