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Brighter days ahead

In March 2020, our lives changed forever. Parents became teachers. Masks became essential items. Zoom calls became a daily occurrence and face to face meetings became a thing of the past. While many of us found ourselves working from our front rooms, NHS workers, carers and delivery drivers found themselves working on the frontline.

For many, the past year has been one of great loss. Too many of us have lost loved ones. Too many of us have lost businesses. All of us have lost time.

We will never forget the sacrifices made by NHS workers and the incredible work they have done to keep us safe. Nor will we forget the strength and resilience of members of our local community, who have come together to raise spirits and support their neighbours in times of need.

Monday 17th May marks the next step towards life returning to normal. Prospect wanted to do something special to commemorate this huge milestone in our journey out of lockdown, remember loved ones lost and recognise the key workers who dedicated themselves to getting us through the past 12 months.

Collaborating with local company Willow Bella, we are so excited to brighten up the high street with a spectacular window display at our Head Office in Reading.

There was so much that we wanted to express with our window display, but most important was the transition from darker days to a more hopeful future. Willow Bella captured this perfectly, using recycled surgical masks – a very familiar object to all of us this year – to create a beautiful array of butterflies, in order to symbolise the transformation from the connotations of fear and negativity surrounding the masks to a positive outlook on the freedom they afford us to move towards a more hopeful future. And of course, the display had to be an explosion of colour! With a huge rainbow neon light as well as colourful flowers and foliage, the display references the NHS rainbow colours and reminds us of the brighter days ahead.

Naturally, we couldn’t do a display in Reading without a little nod to the Banksy artwork we saw appear on Reading Gaol earlier this year! Contrasting the beautiful colours is a typewriter hanging on a black and white cord to symbolise prison colours and the feeling of being trapped over lockdown.

Though we are so excited about this incredible display and the joy we hope it will bring to the community, we recognised that there was a more important way to properly thank our local NHS heroes and support our local community. That is why we are immensely proud to announced that we will be donating £1000 to the Royal Berkshire Hospital to say a big thank you for all the work that they do to keep the people of Reading safe and well. We are also donating a further £1000 to the Reading Arts Foundation, to show our support for their fantastic campaign to turn the Reading Gaol into an arts centre – such a worthy cause that it brought Banksy to Reading! The arts are the beating heart of any city, so let us keep Reading’s art centre thriving.

‘Lockdown’ was the official word of 2020. Let’s make ‘hope’ the official word of 2021. If you find yourself in Reading this weekend, come along to witness our incredible shop front firsthand. We are so excited to share it with you all!

Welcome home, from Prospect. 

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