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Chairman's Letter: November 2020

Dear Member(s),

I trust this letter finds you well.  As I write, we are in the midst of the so-called “second wave” and experiencing a further lockdown. However, as we come to the end of 2020, a year that none of us will forget in a hurry, there are glimmers of hope in that a vaccine appears to be on the horizon.

Despite all the restrictions, the UAH staff team continue to actively pursue initiatives to promote and highlight the needs of the built heritage sector. There are currently many calls on government funding, however it is important that we plan and invest for recovery. We need to ensure that there is an understanding of the role that our built heritage will play in the regeneration of our communities, and in the development of a sustainable and attractive environment for both locals and visitors. This will be vital as we seek to promote the health and wellbeing of our population and once again attract tourists and offer them a high quality authentic experience.

Details of some of our initiatives are included in the attached newsletter.

Our virtual office remains active in responding to you, our members, and in taking forward our day-to-day activities. Obviously, a number of events have been curtailed due to the restrictions. However, on a positive note, our online activities have proved very popular and in some ways have been more accessible to a wider range of people than would normally be able to join us. This has generated some heartening positive feedback, and lessons have been learned which we will take forward to the post-pandemic days. It has also been really encouraging to receive important financial support by way of donations, for which we are very grateful.  These, in addition to a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, have helped to ensure that we can continue with our activities through this period. Our sincere thanks to all those who have so generously helped.

I also want to thank all of our staff and volunteers who have worked together in a cohesive and mutually supportive manner to ensure that the organisation maintains its activity and survives this difficult time. On your behalf, I sincerely acknowledge their fantastic efforts.

I do also want to thank you, our members. As we have said before, membership is the lifeblood of any organisation and your continued support of UAH is crucial and greatly appreciated. At this time I would also highlight that the majority of direct debit membership fees are due and will be collected at the start of January.

As we come to the end of 2020, I wish you and yours well for the remainder of the year and for the Christmas season. As we look forward to 2021, we do so with hope. In the words of retired US Admiral William H. McRaven, “The only thing more contagious than a virus is hope.”

Best wishes and keep well,

David J Johnston, Chairman

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