This week Reading East MP Matt Rodda writes exclusively to Chronicle readers:

The last few days have been difficult and challenging for our local community.

Coronavirus and other dreadful news have hit families very hard.

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Despite all this and the tough times we face in the weeks ahead, I have enormous faith in our community, and I hope that we can all find some hope in these difficult times.

I want to thank our NHS and care staff for their bravery and determination and for the hard work, help and support which key workers, volunteers and our community as a whole is offering at the difficult time.

I’ve taken great strength and encouragement from some of the incredible work which is underway at this very difficult time. I am deeply impressed by the way local people are pulling together to help those in the greatest need, such as the work of local charities and food banks. Volunteers have been helping our NHS staff organise vaccinations and other residents are helping in many different ways.

Our community is offering support to those who are facing other serious problems.

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My experience of life in Reading and Berkshire is that this is how people respond in a crisis: thinking of other people before themselves.

I believe we should be proud of our community. We are going through some very difficult times, but people are doing their best to help one another to get through this.

We can and we will get through the difficult days ahead.