23rd March 2021

No One Like Us

Today, 23rd March 2021, is an anniversary nobody ever wanted to mark. It is one year since the start of the first national Lockdown, and today has been designated a day of remembrance and reflection. Today many will be remembering loved ones, friends and colleagues who were taken from us by the pandemic. We all will be remembering the health and care workers, bus drivers, security guards, key workers and front line staff who lost their lives. We will also remember that a disproportionate number of them came from our Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

We also remember, however, how the community pulled together to respond – and it has been every part of the community. The voluntary organisations, local authorities, health bodies, statutory agencies, schools, colleges and the business sector have all played their part with commitment and pride. Here at ELBA we make the link between the business sector and the voluntary organisations and communities of east London and beyond. The effort and support from every corner has been simply amazing.

In among the pandemic, we also had the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent international protests, and the third anniversary of the Grenfell fire. It has been quite a year.

So we remember and reflect on who we have lost and what we have learned. Our friend, Benna, Tower Hamlets spoken word artist, has written this piece which I think captures a lot of the emotions of the past year really well. See the video of Benna here.

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