By Phoebe Rocks- Born in Bradford Industrial Placement Student
Today, March 23rd, is National Reflection Day, marking a year since the Prime Minister first announced a stay-at-home order in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This day of focused reflection was proposed recently by the Marie Curie charity to remember those whose lives have been lost; it is hoped the event will take place annually. 
Despite the negative impact the pandemic has left in its wake, the past year has brought communities closer together and allowed families to spend more quality time together, which would otherwise have not been possible. With particular relevance to the population of Bradford, this time has drawn attention to the exacerbated existing health inequalities with those from black and minority ethnic (BAME) groups and people living in deprived communities. Bradford is a large, multi-ethnic city, meaning significant proportions of people in the area have been more at risk to the wider impacts of coronavirus.
Throughout the pandemic, the Born in Bradford (BiB) research programme has been working at full capacity. BiB families have been at the centre of research in helping to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on various aspects of education, health and wellbeing . Through a series of longitudinal studies developed in accompaniment with local communities, the BiB workforce has conducted some pivotal research throughout the first, second and third lockdown. Some major projects I have been involved with personally focus on in-depth research into the impacts of COVID-19 on child wellbeing, and health beliefs and attitudes towards COVID-19. I have highly valued being involved with such ongoing work which has been fundamental in raising awareness and helping to make informed decisions for future interventions.
For more information on these projects please visit: https://www.bradfordresearch.nhs.uk/family-and-community-impacts-of-covid-19/
As we continue to make progress with the virus and step into a new chapter of hope and positivity, it is important to look back and reflect on what we have achieved, both within BiB, and on an individual level. For me, when I reflect on what I have accomplished during the year, the pandemic has taken me down a path of personal development and provided opportunities of novel research and new experiences and allowed me to reflect on things from a different perspective. Securing a placement within BiB along with the accompanying challenges of restrictions and remote working has been testing, yet contributing to such inspiring work, during such a critical time, is something I am extremely proud of.
I encourage you to take time today to reflect positively over this past year and allow yourself to look forward to the near future and the excitement it brings. It is challenging times like this that can send a powerful message, to individuals, to family and friends, and to our community, that we are there for each other.
It is “important that we all come together to reflect on our collective loss, celebrate the lives of the special people no longer here, support those who’ve been bereaved and look towards a much brighter future”. (Marie Curie chief executive Matthew Reed).
Help dealing with loss
More information on National Reflection Day