‘It’s down to us’ to control the virus, says new campaign

A new wide-ranging campaign is calling on residents across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to stem rising rates of coronavirus during a second wave.

The drive – backed by the NHS, local authorities, Leicestershire Police, universities and Leicestershire and Rutland Sport – is called ‘it’s down to us’ and encourages people whether they’re on the school run, travelling to work, in the office or going out for a drink, to change their behaviour during the pandemic.

Launched on social media a few weeks ago, the artwork features local people and landmarks and is designed to remind residents that they play a big role in lowering infection levels.

Mike Sandys, director of public health for Leicestershire County Council, said: “The campaign urges everyone to think about social distancing, wearing a face mask, washing your hands and adhering to the rules 24/7. Or making it run throughout your life like the letters in a stick of rock.

“As winter draws nearer – and the second wave appears to be here – it’s even more important we do everything we can to reduce the impact of coronavirus in our communities and on our public services. Get a flu jab, reduce your contacts, self-isolate when you need to and avoid crowded areas. So whether you’re on the school run, travelling to work, in the office or going out for a drink, please do the right thing. The route out of this is changing our behaviour.”

Andy Williams, Accountable Officer for the three LLR CCGs, said on behalf of the NHS: “The winter months are always very busy for the NHS and your help to lessen the impact of COVID is really appreciated.  We know it has taken its toll on people, not just COVID itself but the impact of COVID on people’s mental health for example, but the NHS with our partners in social care and with support from other organisations including the voluntary sector, is committed to making sure you get the care you need.”

Councillor Lee Breckon, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for health, said: “Through targeted action and behaviour change campaigns, we’re doing everything we can to control the virus. We’re in this for the long haul and the clear message is that it’s up to us all to play our part.”

Ivan Browne, Director of Public Health for Leicester, said: “Many people have been doing their bit over several months to stop the transmission of coronavirus and we thank them for that.

“Unfortunately cases have been going up locally and nationally so we must all take these simple steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones and control the virus.”

Councillor Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council, said: “We are all working extremely hard to control the virus and it is more important than ever that we continue to do this. It has to be collective effort. It is not about you, as an individual. It is about us, as a Community. If we work together we can keep each other safe.”

Chief Constable Simon Cole said: “Hands, face, space. It really couldn’t be more simple for people to take responsibility. We continue to let people know that the police will take action against those who break the rules, you could be facing up to 10k in fines. We have to work together to protect our families and our livelihoods. It is, without a doubt, down to all of us.”

Cllr Jonathan Morgan, Leader of Charnwood Borough Council, said: “We are all still in this together and as case numbers increase, it’s important that we do not become complacent with the actions we need to take to protect one another. I’d urge people in Charnwood to take notice of the campaign and play their part by following the simple steps to help control the virus and in turn reduce the pressure on the NHS.

“So, whether you’re visiting the shop or meeting a friend, remember to wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering indoors if you’re able to and keep your distance from those you do not live with. The message is clear and simple, it’s down to us.”

Kevin Harris, Chair of the LLEP Board of Directors said: “Businesses must play their part just as much as individuals to minimise the economic impact of this pandemic. By implementing the NHS track and trace and ensuring that customers follow the rules they are helping to reduce the risk and spread of infection, which is key to keeping businesses open and safeguarding jobs in the longer term.“

The ‘it’s down to us’ campaign includes:

  • Posters and banners for pubs – reminding customers to wear a face covering
  • ‘Shop safe’ posters for businesses
  • Posters for sports clubs
  • Social media posts urging parents to take care at the school gates

If you require urgent mental health help you can contact Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust’s Central Access Point 24/7 telephone line 0116 295 3060. A wide range of mental health support is available on their website at www.leicspart.nhs.uk/emotional-wellbeing – including videos in different languages.