THE response to the Covid pandemic has done enormous damage to local organisations, including businesses, sporting clubs and social groups. Many individuals are suffering financially and mentally. Some have survived without experiencing hardship, while others, such as those restricted to working at home, have benefitted from savings on the time and expense of travelling to work.

There is an urgent need to initiate a programme of recovery. It is unrealistic to rely on the Government to undertake this task.

If we are to move forward, much will depend on the local community to start building up from the grassroots.

I am confident that many local business leaders and organisations who have not suffered would be prepared to offer help and support to those who have been less fortunate.

If we are to progress, we will need to devise ways in which the various parties can make appropriate arrangements to interact. Ground rules need to be established so that the exercise will be efficient and effective.

The Skipton and Ripon Enterprise Group (SREG) has been operating for many years. Members of successful businesses volunteer to act as mentors to other local businesses leaders by providing advice and support to those other businesses that wish to improve their operation. The track record is impressive.

Consequently, this organisation has developed much insight and expertise on how to implement the interactions.

I have no illusions about the problems likely to be encountered if we are to launch a Recovery Programme. However, I believe it is essential to make the effort and that local bodies such as SREG would have a vital role to play.

Verner Wheelock, Skipton