A year ago Epping Forest like the rest of the UK entered the uncharted territory of the Covid pandemic and the first national lockdown.

Twelve months on all of us have been affected to a greater or lesser extend and now is a time to renew our reflection and keep all those who have sadly died within our local community in our thoughts and prayers, along with their families and friends.

We can also reflect on those who have given so much to keep things going within our local community, the NHS staff and essential workers.

We can also give thanks for the many volunteers who have either individually or with community groups stepped forward to help their community and their neighbours. The last year has seen communities across Epping Forest at their very best.

Let’s also remember our local faith leaders, who have supported their communities and individual families at the time of greatest loss.

In the next 12 months as our communities return to a new normal let’s support our local businesses and keep this renewed sense of our community working and coming together.

Stephen Murray

Loughton Roding ward

Independent district and town councillor