There’s no two-ways about it, this has been another difficult year for all of us.

The challenge of Covid-19 is continuing to disrupt our lives – particularly with the rise of the new and worrying Omicron variant – and for many this will mean another festive period markedly different to what we’re used to.

Despite this, and as I look back on the year, there is much to be thankful for and our fantastic NHS and care staff deserve our praise and our thanks for once again going above and beyond with their day-to-day jobs, their treatment of those with Covid-19, and their amazing effort to rollout the lifesaving booster programme in the past few weeks and months. Their dedication and commitment to their role is often commented on, and it is only right that they are once again thanked for their selfless service and sacrifice.

I also want to give my thanks to the charity workers and faith groups who are there week in and week out, across our community, those in need and further demonstrating our strength as a community. It has been a difficult time over the past two years and these groups have been a vital lifeline for so many in our communities, providing the support and companionship which has got many through the darkest times of the pandemic.

On the more positive side, my personal Christmas highlight this year was the lovely joint carol concert outdoors in the Mews by Muswell Hill Library last Friday night. It was led by Matt Lunn and the singers from the Muswell Hill Methodist Church and the Muswell Hillbilly Brewers, accompanied by the London Metropolitan Brass Band. A symbol of how things are – slowly – getting back to normal and a great way to wave off 2021.

Let's hope for a healthy and happier 2022.

Catherine West is Labour MP for Hornsey and Wood Green