09:46AM, Thursday 26 March 2020
Last Thursday, we took the difficult but necessary decision to close our offices for the foreseeable future and produce the Advertiser from our homes.
Just a couple of months ago, it seemed unthinkable that we would be producing a newspaper outside the bustling environment of a busy newsroom. But so much has changed since then, and many previously unthinkable things have become a reality.
Our challenges seem trivial when compared to the heroic efforts of our wonderful NHS employees and everyone working to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable.
Health must always come first and, like many others, we are adapting and trying to make the best of our new way of life.
Providing trusted, reliable news in a time of crisis is extremely important, and we will be there with you every step of the way to keep you updated on the latest developments, advice and community efforts to help those in need.
They may be operating out of their kitchens and living rooms, but our reporters are still working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information available.
We also want to hear your stories and experiences. In a time when the news can be frightening and overwhelming, it has been incredibly heartening to see the efforts going on in our community to look out for those we love and give us moments of joy in difficult times.
The impact of the coronavirus outbreak can be felt everywhere, and there are hundreds of stories to be told.
As a paper, we are facing one of the most challenging periods in our 150-year history, but we will do whatever it takes to tell as many of these stories as we can.
Social distancing is a necessary reality, which means we cannot bring you our usual mix of community news, events, entertainment and sport for the time being.
I hope readers will be understanding and continue to support us so that, when this is over, we can keep bringing you all the features you have come to enjoy for a long time to come.
In a time of huge financial uncertainty, local newspapers are facing a threat to their future at a time when they are of the utmost importance.
Many local businesses will be facing similar challenges and we hope as many of them as possible get the support they need and can adapt to ride out the difficult months ahead.
If you can, we hope that you will keep buying the newspaper or continue to advertise with us. We know that might not be possible right now, but we will be there if you need us.
Don’t forget, you can also support us online.
It is important that our coverage reaches as many people as possible at a time like this, so we have made our articles free-to-read across our websites.
However, we have introduced a new ‘pay if you can’ feature which will give you the option to pay a small amount for a story.
Any money you do spend will go towards supporting independent, trusted journalism and our owner, the Louis Baylis Trust, which donates 80 per cent of our profits to local causes.
Please stay safe, and thank you for your support.
Print and Digital Editor
Baylis Media Ltd