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Twas the night before Christmas, when all all through the town, the heroes were working, never letting us down.

This Christmas I would like to say a huge IR thank you to everyone who has contributed to making this town a wonderful place to live, despite the challenges this year has thrown at us.

Many businesses have had to fight for survival and for some it’s not been possible to completely change their business model to suit the new conditions, which presents an extreme challenge in keeping going. What many of you don’t see behind the scenes is the wonderful support network that our indie business owners have created. They are truly a team of fabulous individuals who work together to help each other succeed. Absolute legends, all of them!

Even with that fight for survival as a backdrop to everything else, we have seen so much willingness to help others. Hundreds of free meals have been provided by local businesses to help families keep their children’s bellies full. Local residents have set up new initiatives to help connect those with with spare pennies with those without, enabling local people to help each other. Neighbours have shopped for those who have been unable to leave the house, people have decorated windows to give parents with children something to look at and talk about on their daily walks and LOADS of people have started to shop with local businesses they hadn’t previously engaged with.

THANK YOU!

On a personal level, the IR household has had more takeaways than ever before and when we’ve been allowed out, we’ve eaten and drank out and about as a tiny way of showing our love to these businesses. (May have discovered my new favourite wine down at Tasting House, too!)

This year has been a challenging one for me personally, (not just for reasons relating to the ‘vid) and I’ve not been as present in an IR capacity as I would like to have been. Fortunately, many others are also promoting our local independent businesses and have done a sterling job! You only have to look on Twitter to find many people who all love this town and want to help it thrive. Working together and supporting each other really is the key to success, no matter what else is happening in the world.

So once again, thank you all.

Have a lovely Christmas and I look forward to seeing more of what this town is made of in 2021.