Irene Sobowale, Chief Executive of The Disabilities Trust, reflects on a day marking a year since measures were put in place to contain the coronavirus pandemic, which changed life as we knew it:

“On 23rd March 2020, exactly one year ago today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation and told us that, to slow the spread of coronavirus, we must all stay at home.

“In the year that has followed that day, our strength and resilience as a nation, and as a Trust, has been tested to its very limits. We could never have predicted the challenges we’ve faced – but we could also never have foreseen the sheer force and power of human kindness, generosity and compassion that has carried us through the past 12 months.

“The pandemic has put pressure on hospitals and frontline workers. The Trust has been no exception in stepping up to the plate; colleagues from across our organisation have all played an essential role, against a backdrop of ever changing guidance. From adopting new infection control practices within a matter of days to supporting the vaccination rollout, our frontline workers have all played an essential role, against a backdrop of ever changing guidance. Our support staff too have shown great resilience and strength, adapting to working from home, and supporting our frontline teams, with great agility.

“I have never been prouder to be a part of this organisation than I have been over the past year and thank all of our colleagues.

“Today will offer us all the opportunity to pause and reflect on all that we have faced in the last year, give thought to the losses experienced by too many families and focus on the belief of brighter times ahead.”

Watch our video on a reflection of the last year