A big hello to you. We hope you and yours are safe and well in these difficult times. With the planning victories for Power Court and Newlands Park well behind us, we are continuing to support and promote new regeneration opportunities and the good things happening in our town.

Right now we want to celebrate the great things being done by individuals and organisations in Luton, during the Covid-19 crisis. As always, in tragic and challenging times, we see the very best (and sometimes the worst) in people. For 90% of the time it brings out the best in Luton and Lutonians – and that’s where we shall be focusing our attention. Positive news only!!

We’ve already celebrated the extraordinary work being done by NHS frontline and support staff and carers looking after vulnerable people, plus key workers in so many roles from refuse collectors, shop staff, lorry and van delivery drivers, emergency services personnel, transport services, and teams keeping the infrastructure working in gas, electricity, water, sewage, and telecoms utilities. All are heroes to one degree or another – we salute you and we will continue to tell your story!

It might seem a little crass to compare these tough and historic times with the things previous generations had to endure during WW2, after all no one is dropping bombs on us and 18-year-olds are not forced to join the military and risk death on active service. We can, however, see parallels with those times: tragic loss of family, friends and colleagues, huge disruption to normal life, separation from loved ones, shortages of goods in the shops and, most of all, individuals and businesses stepping up to the plate to ‘do their bit’.

An example is the truly exceptional work being done by Smiths Group, based at Bramingham in the north of Luton. They are a key part of an elite group of UK businesses that have repurposed to rapidly produce 15,000 ventilators for the NHS to help critically ill Covid-19 patients. www.ventilatorchallengeuk.com

A ventilator made by Smiths Group

A ventilator made by Smiths Group

In wartime Luton, Vauxhall Motors produced 5,600 Churchill tanks, 250,000 trucks and 5,000,000 Jerry Cans for the military as well as prototype jet engine components.

We want to provide a vehicle by which those, who today, are ‘going above and beyond’ can be recognised and we can all say ‘THANK YOU!’ A lot of people won’t want ‘a fuss’, but saying thanks is the least we can do.

We’d ask all our followers to let us know of friends, relatives, colleagues or organisations and businesses who are ‘going the extra mile’ for our community. Send us a brief note, with a photo if possible, on Facebook Messenger or by emailing saveourtownluton@hotmail.com.

We can’t promise to publish every one, but we’ll do our best over the days and weeks to come.