In this festive season, I find myself reflecting on the incredible spirit of community that defines our District of North Kesteven and indeed every village, town and place within it.
A community can be any place or space where we have commonality with each other, whether that is within a group or a club, a workplace or any space to come together, a street or a wider location.
Knowing as I do, how people pull together in support of one another and to generate goodwill and seeing it in action over this past year (and every year), it is with immense gratitude that I extend my appreciation and heartfelt Christmas greetings to each and every one of you.
In the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle, let us take a moment to appreciate the unique charm and unity that make our community truly exceptional. The strength of our communities lies in the bonds we share and the collective efforts that contribute to their prosperity and – as we promote so passionately through our overarching vision and daily endeavours at North Kesteven District Council – their fulfilment and flourishing.
One of the charities I am highlighting this year is the Salvation Army in Sleaford. And while of course their work in supporting those most in need continues year-round, it is at this time in particular, that their efforts come to mind; as too do those of countless charities, churches, good causes, individuals and agencies like our own council, supporting the homeless, the hungry and the increasing number of people for whom money just doesn’t stretch as far as is needed.
We think especially of those who are giving up the warmth and comfort of their own Christmas to be of service and on call: babies still need to be born, roads gritted, emergencies responded to, prisoners kept safe, and care provided. There are also warm spaces and hubs to open and food to provide in sadly increasing number.
Please consider yourself how you could reach out with a hand of kindness or a gift of generosity during these colder weeks of winter, to check in on a neighbour, support a stranger or look out for someone you think maybe alone or vulnerable. Even if it is the re-gifting of un-required present; the passing on of provisions to a food bank, volunteering I any way or donating to a charity shop; your actions become a blessing to others.
May this Christmas be a time of joy, peace, and togetherness for you and your loved ones. May the festive lights illuminate not only our streets but also our hearts, fostering a sense of goodwill that transcends the holiday season.
This time can also be a period of hope; looking forward to a new year filled with promise and opportunity. Together we can – and should – continue to build a community that thrives on collaboration, compassion, and mutual support.
I extend my deepest appreciation to the businesses that enrich our local economy and enhance the fabric of our community. To those businesses I say that your dedication and contributions are integral to the vibrant tapestry of the district as a whole and I encourage everyone to support their local tradespeople whenever and wherever they can, as to lose them would be to lose a great deal more than just a shop or a service. Our businesses are the very essence of our flourishing communities, and I am grateful for the partnership we share.
May the magic of Christmas bring you moments of joy and the New Year usher in good fortune, prosperity and harmony for our towns, villages, and entire District.
On behalf of North Kesteven District Council, I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Councillor Mike Clarke
Chairman of North Kesteven District Council
Ward Member for Hykeham Central