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Seasonal messages for our Express readers

Tan Dhesi, MP for Slough

My best wishes to you all for a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. As we come to the end of this year, it’s time to reflect on what has been an extremely difficult 2020.

My heartfelt condolences to anyone who has lost a loved one to this deadly virus, as many of us sadly have across our local Slough community, and hope for normality and positivity for 2021, as the vaccine is rolled out.

Although this year has been incredibly tough, it truly has shown what a wonderful community we have. So many have volunteered to help the vulnerable in this time of crisis – buying shopping for those shielding, sharing important public health information, or supporting those struggling to make ends meet. You’re truly the best of us. We all must continue to remember the power of community and how much stronger we are when we work together.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the tireless work of all public sector and key workers, including teachers, NHS and care staff, council workers, postmen and women, transport workers and many, many more. You have been keeping Slough and the country going through this crisis and will continue to do so over the festive period.

I think we’ll all appreciate what we have more than ever after this year, making this time of year more special than usual, whether you’re celebrating Christmas or not. Remember to stay safe and ensure you follow the public health guidance to protect each other and our NHS.


Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor

Across the country people are making difficult decisions about how to celebrate Christmas and whether to see family and friends.

For most of us it will be very different this year.

It has been a difficult 12 months for everyone, but I have never been more proud to represent the Windsor constituency in Parliament.

Throughout 2020 I have been reassured by the thousands of conversations, visits and interactions I’ve had with constituents.

It seems to me that our residents have drawn together in difficult times, obeyed the rules and provided support and care to each other. Indeed on almost every day of this year I have witnessed acts of kindness which exemplify the best of who we are.

My thoughts this Christmas are with residents and, above all, with who have lost loved ones to the virus this year. The new year will be a new dawn with vaccinations ushering in a brighter 2021.

In the meantime I wish you a safe and happy Christmas.


Councillor James Swindlehurst, Leader of Slough Borough Council

As the year panned out we’ve faced challenges that no-one could have expected, and I’ve been struck by how many people in Slough have stepped up to meet the challenge COVID has presented us and the extraordinary levels of resilience in our residents who have overcome adversity in the most amazing ways.

I’m proud of the way Slough has pulled together and of the efforts of all our council partners and community volunteers.

I want to pay tribute to all our frontline workers and volunteers who have kept Slough safe throughout 2020 – we owe you a debt of gratitude so great that its hard to know how it will be repaid – thank you for all you’ve done.

COVID, and the recently announced restrictions, has bought us a Christmas like no other, and for many I know the thought of not being able to sit down with friends, family members and loved ones is unbearable.

But the message of Christmas is one of hope, with the vaccine now approved for use and being rolled out in our own community there is a prospect of a time freer from the restrictions we have had to bare - so however you spend your Christmas, please follow the guidance, keep safe and protect your loved ones. Merry Christmas.”


John Story, Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead

I know this year was not what anyone was planning.

It has been difficult for many of us.

I would like to thank our dedicated key workers who throughout the year have ensured our most vulnerable residents received a phone call or a visit.

Our carers visited people in their homes and our children’s services team continued to ensure young people were educated during the most challenging times.

This Christmas will be different, I encourage you all to think about how you will spend it because of the impact of COVID.

Many of us have been keeping in touch with family and friends virtually using Zoom or other platforms.

It will also give us time to reflect upon this year and look forward to what I hope will be a better year with things returning to some sort of normality.

I wish you all a happy Christmas and a healthy and peaceful 2021.


Councillor Sayonara Luxton, Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead 2019/20

Christmas is usually one of my favourite times of the year for enjoying the festivities with family and friends as we remember the birth of Jesus Christ.

This year the celebrations will be very different as instead of gathering together we will be keeping in touch via phone calls and virtually.

I chose to support Thames Hospice during my mayoralty and I am thrilled that I was able to raise over £40,000 for them.

Please accept this as a personal thank you to everyone who has contributed to my fundraising for this very special local charity.

This year, more than ever, we are indebted to the dedication of our NHS, carers and all the key workers that have kept our country running during the coronavirus pandemic.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

I also extend my sympathy to all those suffering illness, loss and bereavement.

This time of year gives us the opportunity to reflect, remember and rejoice and to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.

I would like to wish you all a happy Christmas and a healthy peaceful 2021.


James Preston, Editor of the Slough & Windsor Express

With Christmas plans cancelled and another lockdown in force, many of us will be counting down the hours until we can finally see the back of 2020.

As much as we want to forget it, this horrible year will live long in the memory.

But for all the bad news it has been our sad duty to report over the past nine months, there have still been moments I hope we will look back at with warmth.

The community efforts to help support and protect vulnerable people across the Royal Borough and Slough have been inspirational. People from a wide range of backgrounds stepped forward to work together to do their bit, from helping to feed hungry families to picking up the phone to check up on someone who was lonely or isolated.

Key workers put their lives on the line to care for the sick and keep us safe.

We clapped for carers, donated to charities at the frontline of this crisis and did our bit to support struggling local businesses in any we could – and it has been a privilege to report on these acts of good during such terrible times.

As much as we will want to put 2020 behind us, I hope we will not forget what members of the community can achieve when they work together to help others.

I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas.

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