COVID-19 continues to impact much of our daily lives and work and this is no more evident than in the social and health care sector. Our key workers are going above and beyond their duties every day and ensuring that the best possible care is available to those who need it. However, our members are telling us that they need more support to do so and that is why this week Eurodiaconia joined with several partners to call for concrete action from the European Commission to support the sector across Europe. We have been fortunate to be able to have several high-level political meetings with the European Commission over the past three weeks but we still need to see actions as a result of these meetings. We want to see easier access to funds for our members to adapt their work, pay for additional staff and to acquire needed equipment. We will be waiting eagerly for a response. But our focus is not only on the institutional provision of services but also on those who face increased vulnerability at this time. Our members are telling us about increasing inequalities, concerns about particularly vulnerable groups who are in danger of being ignored in this crisis, and the long-term impact of isolation and confinement on people’s well being.

We must see action – not just from organisations in the membership of Eurodiaconia but also from political and institutional leaders. We cannot allow the social fabric of our society to be further weakened because we are not seeing the bigger picture. Without action now, the legacy of COVID-19 will be one of increased poverty, exclusion, and economic and social inequalities.

I am immensely proud to be part of the diaconal movement that is responding with innovation and tenacity in providing services and care at this time. But I am also proud that our members have sight of the bigger picture – of societies where people thrive and not just survive – where love for our neighbour underpins our actions and the spirit of mutuality and participation continues to grow. This is what we cannot lose – this is what we will not lose – and this is what will bring our societies to a better, healthier place.

Have a good weekend,