A Christmas message for you

Cllr Lucille Hague Chairman '22'23

Christmas Greetings from Cllr Mrs Lucille Hagues, Chairman of North Kesteven District Council

Within our district of North Kesteven, it is widely recognised that we have a strong connection with our communities and that our wonderful residents show immense consideration and support for each other. Whether that be caring for the infirm or elderly, through generosity for those in need by donating to food banks and other facilities, providing safe warm centres for social activities, transport to appointments and helping hands, and by ensuring neighbours with whatever needs are not overlooked.

Since my election as Chairman of North Kesteven District Council in May, it has been a great privilege to represent the Council focusing on engagements within North Kesteven, and neighbouring districts to meet such incredible people with a great passion to care and volunteer in myriad ways within their communities.

Once again, the NK Community Champion Awards highlighted in 2022 many examples of community endeavour and selfless service. Representative of the breadth of volunteering undertaken daily by hundreds if not thousands of District residents, all nominees are winners in the affections of those who are impacted positively and impressed by their actions, and I would like to congratulate and thank all the unsung and inspirational heroes within North Kesteven.

At this time, it is essential that we recognise those who will be working quietly, tirelessly, and often voluntarily, behind the scenes during this year’s festivities, for example the Salvation Army, Samaritans, providers of foodbanks and homeless accommodation and the various crisis and helpline services. We acknowledge and appreciate too, the skills and dedication of those in the emergency services and who come to our rescue in time of need.

Our thoughts too are with the Armed Forces, at home and abroad, and our specialist intelligence services protecting our country from terrorism.

My chosen charity is Children with Cancer UK. Many families spend Christmas in hospital with their children who are diagnosed with Cancer from as early as a few months old. They face a long journey of treatment with the added worries of side effects this can bring.

Christmas is a time of year when families get together to celebrate, share gifts and enjoy each other’s company. Whilst it may feel like these times will last forever, it’s crucial to treasure the time we have with our loved ones. Unfortunately, for families affected by cancer, a normal Christmas spent at home, free of worry may be difficult to find.

By donating this Christmas, you will be helping ensure fewer children face the possibility that this Christmas may be their last, funding life-saving research to help every child to survive and enabling them to ‘ring the end of treatment bell’ returning home to their families. My funding page is at www.justgiving.com/CWC-UK

2022 has been a year of substantial change and challenge as a nation; with the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, the war in Ukraine and its global repercussions, climate extremes and ongoing economic pressures.

Characteristically, and in many ways, District residents and community groups have responded to these situations through expressions of generosity, kindness and voluntary endeavour – both as individuals and on a community-scale, by opening their hearts and in a number of cases their homes to refugees and those in greatest need.

As every act of kindness seeds another and can make the world of difference to those in receipt of the thoughtful gesture, I encourage everyone to consider how they personally could spread a little light, joy and hope within their street, neighbourhood or community this Christmas time and into the New Year.

Through our shared initiative, expressions of kindness and neighbourly consideration for the places where we live, work and contribute, we can each make a significant difference to the outcomes of others and grow our flourishing communities for the benefit of all.

In regards to making a difference to the daily lives of our residents, businesses and neighbourhoods of North Kesteven, I especially want to thank everyone who works for and contributes to the excellent, efficient and effective delivery of services and positive responses for our communities – in particular our colleagues, Members and partners.

Through a collective approach and strong teamwork, the Council was twice recognised this year as one of the six best local authorities in the UK, delivered eight more of the most climate-advanced council houses, began its most significant investment in the District’s economic potential and among countless other areas of work, stepped-up in support of Ukrainian guests displaced by war and in response to those most impacted by challenges relating to cost-of- living and economic pressures.

On behalf of the officers and Councillors of the District Council, I wish all residents and businesses joy and peace for Christmas and a healthy, prosperous, and happy New Year.

Councillor Mrs Lucille Hagues

Council Chairman & Ward Member for Cliff Villages

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