Date: 22 Dec 2022
For many of us, Christmas is a time of reflection; looking back on the year that’s been.
This year, we are grateful that the pandemic is having less of an impact on our daily lives, and we can look forward to a Christmas free of restrictions and spending time with family and loved ones.
But this year isn’t without its challenges. Rising costs and household bills are affecting us all, and this brings with it new worries and pressures for households and communities across the city – at what can already be a difficult time of year for so many.
As a Council, we’re working hard to support our residents this winter through a number of initiatives, especially those who are most vulnerable.
Over the last few weeks, as I’ve visited different parts of the city, I have been heartened by the abundance of generosity and acts of kindness I have witnessed in communities; people, many of them volunteers, who give of their time freely to help others, and ensure those most in need are looked after.
Christmas is the season of goodwill and traditionally a time when we look outwards and do something for others; but I believe that Belfast does that all year round, and especially during difficult times. And it is that sense of community, friendship, and togetherness that we will take forward with us into the new year.
This Christmas, we remain mindful of the hardship and challenges facing so many in our city, but it's my hope that anyone struggling takes some comfort in knowing they are not alone.
I wish all citizens a peaceful Christmas and a healthy and happy new year.