2020 has been a year like no other. On the Islands of Guernsey, the most noticeable shift has been towards a stronger sense of community.
Our islands have always been a wonderful place to live and spend time. The friendliness of a small place is a fantastic asset to an island community.
This week marks World Kindness Day, a day to highlight good deeds in the community focusing on the positive power and the common thread of kindness that binds people together. We wanted to mark the occasion by sharing just a few great stories of wonderful things that have happened on our islands this year.
Despite a year of turbulent and unprecedented headlines, there have been many that have stood out in our Bailiwick. Throughout lockdown, every street was lined with rainbows and thank you signs for key workers. Many doctors, nurses and medical staff found themselves to be the recipients of random acts of kindness, as well as huge community shows of support. From brownies and hand cream being delivered to the hospital to flowers arriving on doorsteps and PPE equipment supplied by local hardware companies. Chocolates and biscuits were delivered to the team at the Guernsey Dairy and to the States Works team headquarters. These stories continue as the year goes on. We have been fortunate to have returned to a level of near ‘normal’ since exiting lockdown back in June and our community has kept this #GuernseyTogether mentality going all year long.
The community has enjoyed a plethora of community events with a renewed sense of gratitude on the islands, from concerts on the beach and Sunday markets to community quiz nights and small acts of kindness across the islands.
With a lack of tourists visiting our shores this year, we needed the local community to rally around, enjoy what we had here at home on the islands and support local businesses as part of a Staycation Club campaign. The results saw many hotels and restaurants fully booked for weeks across the islands, and the local transport links busy helping locals island-hop in the sunshine, something that seems to have continued into the cooler months, as many have rediscovered the wonders here on their doorstep. It has proven to be a lifeline for many in the local hospitality industry, who are grateful for the outpouring of local support.
Every year, The Guernsey Press hosts The Pride of Guernsey awards where local people are celebrated for their kindness and sense of community spirit. From Neighbour/Teacher/Grandparent/Carer of the Year to an Overcoming Adversity award for those who show strength in spite of any challenges they may have faced in the year. The Awards are about the people at the very heart of our islands whose contributions deserve to be recognised. This year, that seemed even more poignant.
The Islands of Guernsey are filled with community spirit and people who can’t wait to welcome you back soon.