I’m back after enjoying a couple of weeks of leave and would like to say a big thanks to Deputy Andy Wrintmore for so ably jumping into my shoes.
The reason for my time off was due to the discovery that I’ve been diagnosed with anal cancer.
I’ve chosen to share this with you because I know I’m not alone in experiencing a serious illness during this pandemic, and I’d like to sympathise with anyone in this position who is out there worried about the possible complications that can arise due to the pressure on our precious NHS. It’s easy to put off being checked out while this horrid virus is lurking but please don’t delay.
In my own case, each step along the way has taken a little bit longer than usual, BUT I have great confidence in the experts at the BRI who are dealing with me. Their support and expertise is second to none, and I would urge anyone who is hesitating, to get symptoms checked out as soon as they can. I’ve felt extremely safe at every turn and am now well ensconced into the system with a treatment plan of chemo and radiotherapy set up over the next few weeks. I’ve also had my vaccine jab, which helps me to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
I’m very lucky to have a naturally positive outlook and a relaxed disposition, and the 80% success rate they’ve forecasted for the outcome bodes well.
So, I will be continuing in my role as Mayor, with my wing man (Andy Wrintmore) standing by if needed, and although I may be ducking in and out for treatments as we go along, I’m very much in the picture and intend to be around at every opportunity. I’ll certainly keep you posted on my progress.
While we’re on the subject, I’d like to give a big shout out to Frome Medical Practice for managing the vaccine call-up so efficiently. They’re working under huge pressure but they’re getting through the list incredibly quickly, while also managing regular appointments, helping us to feel that little bit safer each day. Well done, everyone involved! I hope you manage to get your jab soon, if you are eligible and have yet to receive a phone call or letter then you can book an appointment online by going to the NHS website and searching for Covid Vaccination. In the meantime, take care of yourselves and please remember to look out for those around you.
As you will know from Andy’s report last week, we finally had the go-ahead from Mendip to reopen our fantastic market, and I was down there on Saturday to thank our wonderful traders for hanging in there. I’m pleased that it was as busy as you like with the usual brilliant atmosphere. Very chilly, but so lovely to be able to shop in the open air,and being able to socially distance too! You can find out more about Frome’s Markets and what is currently open at Discover Frome.
I’m in the process of making my window display for Window Wanderland and would urge you to do the same. It’s something the whole family can do together – maybe even as part of a school art project. It’s fun, it’s easy and it will really lift the town’s spirits, and especially those who live around you. Give it a go, why don’t you? Sign up by heading over to the Window Wanderland website.
I know there’s been concern around the use of the skate park in May Baily. It’s considered illegal to use it at the moment, which I’m sure must be highly frustrating for those who enjoy it, and a bit confusing since play areas are still allowed to be open. Like so many legislative decisions, this one seems a little strange. Our wonderful neighbourhood police team are compelled to monitor the skate park and we need to support them, but what of our youth? Where can they go and what can they do? I wish I had the answer! If you have a good idea that can support our young people please take a look at our community grants scheme and find out more about how we can help.
I hope those of you managing young children at home are doing ok too – it’s pretty tough with all this home schooling, especially if you’re trying to hold down a job as well. I take my hat off to you.
Nothing is normal at the moment but the future’s looking brighter and hope is on the horizon, although we do still need to be careful. Whatever your circumstances, and whatever you’re doing, please stay safe. I’ll be thinking of you all.