With another Christmas just around the corner, we again find ourselves facing more uncertainty about what the festive period and the New Year will look like, not only for us, but for our loved ones, friends and communities.
And while plans and traditions may need to change again this year, it’s crucial that we all play our part to keep each other safe.
Despite the difficulties and disruption we’ve all experienced throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen some of the best of who we are as a society in the ways communities have come together to get help and support to the people who need it, leading to new friendships, connections and partnerships. We’ve also seen great resilience and determination from older people, despite the significant challenges created by the pandemic.
With the potential for more restrictions and disruption ahead, we may be feeling disappointed and exhausted. But the strength and solidarity we’ve already shown should inspire us as we work together to deal with the next phase of the pandemic.
I want to thank all of the older people who have met and spoken with me on Zoom, as well as those who have written to or phoned me to share their experiences. Older people’s voices have been invaluable in supporting me to call for action and influence policy and practice throughout Wales.
I also want to thank everyone working with and for older people for everything they’ve done during the past year to make a positive difference to people’s lives under incredibly difficult circumstances.
As we head into 2022, I want older people throughout Wales to know I will continue to play my part as their independent champion ensuring older people’s voices are heard and responded to.
Wishing you all a happy, safe and healthy Christmas.
Heléna Herklots CBE
Older People’s Commissioner for Wales