Dear Consett community,

It is with deep sadness Consett, the UK and indeed the world is having to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic and the aftermath expected to follow.

Initially, we planned to postpone the print edition of Consett Magazine, going digital-only, but after some of our readers reached out to us to say they wouldn’t necessarily be able to access the online edition – we felt it was important to push ahead and publish positive local news in the face of this crisis. And this raises an important point, while many of us are able to surf the web without much thought, some people just don’t feel confident enough to use the internet – and this is totally understandable.

Considering many of the people who’ve been asked to self-isolate are elderly or vulnerable; it seems unfair for the UK government to expect everyone to be able to use the 111 website to read the NHS guidelines/announcements or to contact their healthcare providers. So, we hope those of you who know people who may be at risk are able to check on them with a phone call and make sure they are being looked after; getting food, care, prescriptions, and communicating with them (everyone needs a friend, especially at this uncertain time).

If possible, please deliver this magazine to someone who may not want to venture outside or have access to the internet (of course, make sure you are following government guidelines when isolating and/or coming into contact with others). We always hope to keep everyone informed both online and in print.

Don’t worry, there’s more than just CORONAVIRUS news in this issue (read local history, a person-piece on local legend “Jimmy” Anderson, Lorraine Weightman’s story, and much much more).

As we look out for everyone in our community at this important time, it’s great to see how this crisis is bringing out the best in people. Keep being awesome Consett.

Stay safe, keep your distance, and most importantly look after one another,

Barry Kirkham, Marco Elsy, and the Consett Magazine team.

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