How our communities fought back in the face of Covid-19 tragedy

The North West Anglian NHS Foundation Trust is marking one year since the first Covid patient.

NWAFT mark one year since the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. - Credit: NWAFT

People across Huntingdonshire showed strength, resilience and compassion throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. 

As figures reveal that 309 residents of the district have sadly lost their lives to coronavirus so far, we look back on the extraordinary efforts of our communities in the face of tragedy. 

On March 13, 2020 the district recorded its first case of the new coronavirus, but it would be just over a week later before the country went into its first lockdown on March 23.   

The first case for Hunts came just days after neighbouring authorities – with Fenland on March 5 2020 and Cambridge on March 10 2020.  

Little did our communities know what tragedy and testing times would be ahead - with our claps for carers, rainbows in windows and never-ending Zoom calls. 

Our communities showed immense courage when faced with the pandemic and quickly learnt to adapt to help those in need. 

The Huntingdonshire Community Group’s Covid-19 Response Team’s support has been ongoing over the past 18 months.  

Huntingdonshire Community Group Christmas appeal

Huntingdonshire Community Group's Covid-19 response team handed out more than 900 presents in its Christmas appeal - Credit: Huntingdonshire Community Group

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Shopping requests, prescription collections, essential chores for vulnerable residents and a friendly ear for a chat have been just some of the ways they have helped. 

Local businesses did their utmost to keep spirits high and provided dozens of meals, activity packs and held virtual charity events.  

And fundraising didn’t stop because of Covid-19.   

Father-of-two Luke Claxton, from Hartford, raised £35,000 for charity in the first lockdown after setting up a number of community challenges. 

Kate Pistilli, 33, who was eight months pregnant at the time had breast cancer, 

Kate Pistilli, 33, who was eight months pregnant at the time had breast cancer. - Credit: Archant

Buckfest organisers raised more than £8,000 despite their annual music festival being cancelled, Stuie Delf raised an incredible £16,000 for a children’s hospice and Kate Pistilli, 33 - who was eight months pregnant with breast cancer - doused St Ives in glitter.  

Covid survivors were also keen to help raise awareness of the virus and offer thanks to healthcare staff. 

Jay Clack, from Offord, spent 10 days in the intensive care at Hinchingbrooke Hospital fighting for his life.  

“It’s no game, it nearly killed me,” he warned Hunts Post readers.  

Mark Stocks at Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Mark Stocks at Hinchingbrooke Hospital PICTURE: Archant - Credit: Archant

And Mark Stocks, from Huntingdon, was given a 50/50 chance of survival at his darkest point. 

He went on to raise more than £1,000 in a charity walk in August 2020.