County Durham marks one year since the first lockdown
We have paid tribute to all those who have died or lost loved ones from coronavirus.
To mark the one-year anniversary of the first national lockdown, we have joined a national day of reflection.
Lighting up County Hall
Following on from a minute's silence at noon yesterday (Tuesday 23 March), we also lit up County Hall in rainbow colours in memory of those who have passed away.
John Hewitt, our interim chief executive, said: "There is no doubting that the past 12 months have been incredibly challenging for everyone across County Durham. I would like to offer my deepest sympathies to everyone who has lost a loved one to coronavirus and wish those who are unwell a speedy recovery.
"The national day of reflection has provided us with an opportunity to remember those we have lost, consider the sacrifices that have been made by all residents and reflect on the way in which the challenges of the past year have brought us all together. We are so grateful to the frontline staff who have supported those in need. Although the pandemic has placed huge pressure on our frontline services, community spirit has never been stronger and it has been incredible to see how people have rallied together.
"As we reflect on the challenges of the past year, it is also important to look ahead to the future. Although we will continue to face further challenges in the future, there is hope that better times lie ahead and we are starting to see signs of light at the end of the tunnel, so we must continue to look ahead."