Children’s charity’s plea over easing of COVID-19 restrictions

A charity that helps young children in South Holland has urged people to continue to do all they can to stop the spread of COVID-19, even now restrictions have ended.

Little Miracles, which organise days and experiences, says many parents of the children they look after are “scared and feel like they’ve been forgotten” now legal restrictions have been removed.

While the government has announced that anyone aged over 12 with severe neuro-disabilities, Down syndrome, immuno-suppression and multiple or severe learning disabilities could now be vaccinated, the charity’s senior childcare worker Emma Watson said many of the most vulnerable children they help wouldn’t fall into that category, and some wouldn’t be able to have the jab due to pre-existing conditions.

“The biggest thing for us is that people give consideration to those that are not able to access the vaccines. Yes, having the vaccine is a choice, but some don’t have that choice.

“Many of the families we work with are trying to start their lives against after shielding for the last 14 to 18 months.

“I’m not going to sugar-coat it, many families have been in touch to say they’re scared.

“They’re going from being in their own homes to protect their children to being out and about and surrounded by people who might not wear a mask.

“If you’re a parent of a child with a medical condition and you’re about alongside people without masks its only natural you’re going to worry about your child’s safety.

“We have been putting on events to help get the families out and about again including one last weekend. We took every precaution including taking covid tests with us, to give the parents peace of mind.”

The restrictions have been lifted despite England seeing its highest rates of confirmed cases for months.

In Lincolnshire 85 per cent of those eligible have at least received their first vaccination.

South Holland District Council leader Lord Gary Porter said: “The collective effort amongst our communities that has allowed us to get through these lockdowns and restrictions has been a much-needed positive and inspiration during hard times, and the need for this continued joint responsibility will not suddenly end from next week.

“Whilst we are taking a positive and long-anticipated step in the right direction, we must remain aware that COVID is far from a thing of the past, and this is instead a move to a new phase of living with the virus and its impact, made possible through the success of our vaccination programme.

“Cases continue to rise across the country, and now is not the time for us to become complacent or to get ahead of ourselves with the progress we have made. I’m sure, like me, you are ready to take the next step towards what feels like normality, but please continue to follow some of the simple steps that have helped slow the spread of the virus over the last year.

“Few places have felt the impact of the pandemic greater than our local and independent shops, hospitality venues and businesses, and they will need your support more than ever in the coming months. So whether it’s retail therapy, a meal out or the simple pleasure of a pint that you’ve been missing, please get out there and support those working hard in our towns and villages.”

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