“One of the best things about being Lord-Lieutenant is being involved with our community foundations and, through them, with our charities, both large and small, and the people who work with them many of whom are volunteers. It has been a constant learning curve and an uplifting reminder of the power of individuals who, with great compassion and ingenuity, make crucial contributions to community life continuously.
“At the moment, through this crisis, all of these initiatives become even more indispensable but, also, more stretched and vulnerable due to lack of financial support. I am so pleased, therefore, that the community foundation is able to contribute and to mitigate this difficulty somewhat.
“I know how hard people are working, often voluntarily, and how this often requires risk taking and a disregard for some personal safety and wellbeing. This is done with boundless generosity and self-sacrifice so that those being cared for or helped, do not lose out. How can one thank these charities and those who work within them, adequately, for this undertaking?
“I have, myself, been asked by my doctor to continue shielding for another month at least because of my own health. This gives me some insight into the isolation and loneliness which some people in our towns and villages are experiencing. But this is just one of the problems currently besetting our communities. It is, though, one which I know about from first-hand experience.
“My thanks to those who are assisting vulnerable people who are living alone, is extended to all those who are involved in other activities which are making life across the county run smoothly for so many of us, at the moment.
“A message of this sort is hardly worthy of this gratitude, but it is, nonetheless, very sincere. It is sent on behalf of us all, the people of Somerset. In addition, it also comes from Her Majesty and other members of the Royal Family because I represent them in our county.
“Thank you all so very much.”