Communities across Kilmarnock have a great tradition of coming together in times of crisis and today is no different.  Covid-19 has reminded us how delicately we are connected with others, at a stroke it has removed any doubt about the importance of meaningful, sharing and healthy relationships to our wellbeing.

Who can fail to be moved by the heart-warming responses people have exhibited in the face of this crisis which not only reveals our innate willingness and ability to help one another but also the importance of community?  Everyone and everything matters more than ever and it is essential that this truth persist when life goes back to ‘normal’.

Civic engagement and social responsibility have very quickly moved from nice-to-have to essential and lifesaving.  Celebrate Kilmarnock’s approach has always been to prioritise and support those on the ground and in communities to work together in common purpose.  Decentralisation creates resilience.

Covid-19 has encouraged an outpouring of individuals checking on neighbours or volunteering to help the local third sector continue its essential work, to local shops offering free delivery and supplies to older or vulnerable people, to community groups providing free meals. But let us not lose sight of the crucial contribution of the civic / social infrastructure already in place.

Our ability to adapt is being tested more than ever before, so many changes have happened so quickly but the fundamental remains: a community’s resilience is and always has been about people, their relationships with and connection to others.

Celebrate Kilmarnock’s approach to the crisis and the afterwards, remains challenging ourselves and others to be better and do better.  To re-balance society, by harnessing our energy and love to reshape social mores, social values, and the way we see ourselves and others.  Change is upon us.

(Update provided by Andy Colvin, Celebrate Kilmarnock/East Ayrshire Council)