The passionate community-spirited Mayor of Oldham, Cllr Ginny Alexander, says she has been compelled to take "a heart-wrenching decision" to postpone every engagement for the foreseeable future because of the coronavirus.
Opening her heart to townsfolk, she said: "I recently made a statement via my Mayor of Oldham Facebook page detailing all of last week's engagements would be postponed.
"I informed you all that these decisions were not taken lightly but were necessary under the Government advice of social distancing.
"I now regret to inform you due to the growth of COVID-19 cases and the severity of this pandemic, we have taken the heart wrenching decision to postpone every engagement for the foreseeable future, putting every aspect of my duties on hold.
"This is necessary to help combat the spread of the Coronavirus," she declared.
"My heart especially breaks for my chosen charities who due to the coronavirus will now suffer as they will not receive the amount they may have expected due to the cancellation of fundraising events.
"I can only apologise to these amazing organisations and pledge my full support to them for the future. I hope that once this pandemic all blows over I am able to assist you all further.
"Thank you to everyone who has supported my mayoral appeal fundraising events in the past, your support means more then you’ll ever know.
"It really is essential that we as a collective public now comply with the Governments orders to STAY AT HOME! You should only leave the house for these four reasons:
1. Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
2. One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
3. Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
4. Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
"During these trying times we must ensure to protect each other in the only way we can – by staying apart. It is now down to us, the general public, to stop the spread of this virus. People’s lives are now in our hands. Do the right thing and STAY AT HOME."
And she added resolutely: "Although I will no longer be serving the community in my chains, I hope to help others during this difficult time wherever possible.
"I really do care about every single one of you, so please stay safe for yourselves and those around you. We can and will beat this pandemic, but only by working together and staying apart.
"Take care of yourselves and those around you. I am sending all of my love and support through these troubling times."
The Mayor's chosen charities are Dr Kershaw's Hospice, Action Oldham Fund, TOG Mind, Stephen Gartland Foundation, The Christie at Oldham, Mahdlo Youth Zone, Pennine Pen Animal Rescue and RSPCA Oldham. Others are to be added throughout the mayoral year.
Keep up to date with all the latest local and national developments here: https://www.questmedianetwork.co.uk/news/daily-coronavirus-updates/.