I HOPE you are all managing to stay positive through this latest lockdown.

It is hard to accept the restrictions we must all live under and still try to carry on with our lives as best we can. My mayoral year is proving to be very different to how I had imagined it would be. But I also know for many of you, the isolation and sadness at not being able to see family and loved ones is far greater than any disappointment I might have. I am encouraged by the positive developments in the search for an effective vaccine; the thought the most vulnerable in our communities may soon be protected from COVID is heartening.

On a brighter note, I helped Oscar Saxelby-Lee with his preparations to switch on the Christmas lights next week. Oscar and I would like you to join us in the big switch on – it will be posted on the Visit Worcester Facebook page and @visitworcester Twitter feed at 6pm on Thursday, November 26. We’d love you to send in photos of your own Christmas light switch-on too! Go to www.visitworcester.co.uk/light-up-worcester/ to see how to get involved.

Oscar has touched the hearts of so many of us recently with his courage and strength. There is no-one who deserves to switch the lights on more than him. The Christmas trees in front of the Guildhall look really lovely and the attendants at the Guildhall have decorated it, ready to welcome people back after this lockdown ends. It is up to us all to follow the guidelines so that we can enjoy a relative degree of freedom in the lead up to Christmas and over the festive period.

I also want to say a huge thank you to our postmen and women. I would normally be visiting them at the sorting office at this time of year to give my thanks in person, but this year that isn’t possible.

Once again everyone, please stay safe and let’s look forward to Christmas.