The High Sheriff of Cumbria took a tour of Appleby on Thursday in a visit to talk about the health of the town and coinciding with World Suicide Prevention Day.
On the invitation of Appleby mayor Gareth Hayes, High Sheriff Julie Barton visited Appleby on Thursday and took a walking tour of the town.
“We are very conscious that everyone is now entering a delicate period of rebirth in a way and when I saw that Julie was keen to focus on community wellbeing, it seemed a great idea to meet and share our common community goals.
“We are making plans under the guidance and stewardship of our own Riverside Health Centre and Healthwatch Cumbria to keep a keen eye on the health of the town and, in particular, those that continue to struggle and feel vulnerable,” said Mr Hayes.
The High Sheriff, from Ulverston, praised Appleby’s resilience during the peak of the crisis.
She said: “Many people are living more isolated lives, but there have been so many acts of kindness and generous support shown during the COVID-19 crisis.”
Mrs Barton said she had been looking forward to meeting those who worked hard to support others and tackle social isolation and loneliness.
“Appleby shines out for its community spirit. In fact, there were three High Sheriff Special Recognition Award certificates awarded to people in Appleby.”
The High Sheriff was escorted by the mayor on a walking tour of Appleby’s principle heritage sites as an introduction to a number of planned short ‘Walks for Health’ around the town.
These are aimed at a multifaceted approach to improving mental health, general fitness, pre-diabetes strategies and many more health initiatives.
She also took time to visit shops and businesses who bravely kept the town ticking during the heart of lockdown.
Mr Hayes added that the walk finished at Appleby Railway Station and the opportunity to wave goodbye to the final flock of tourists leaving on the Staycation Express as it finished a very successful period of national notoriety.
“I think the Staycation Express has been a great way to enjoy some of Cumbria’s dramatic scenery and history,” said Mrs Barton.
“It’s been a wonderfully innovative idea to boost both rail travel and the local economy.
“Congratulations to all those who brought this fun and relaxing experience to life so quickly during a year fraught with new challenges due to the pandemic.
“I admire the ‘can do’ attitude that has enabled this venture to go ahead whilst keeping travellers safe and socially distanced.
“I’m delighted the Staycation Express focuses on Appleby, which has so much to offer visitors.”