Yes, it’s that time of the year again when we look back at the past 12 months and this time most definitely say thank goodness that it is over, writes Kathy Bowry. We learned to manage to live with Covid, even though it is still with us, so we could be forgiven for thinking 2022 would be the turning point. Then, Bang!

Russia turned it sights on Ukraine and Putin’s horrible war shows no sign of abating. Desperate migrants are perishing in the icy waters of the English Channel. Women have been barred from attending universities in Afghanistan. China is now facing another wave of Covid. Global warming is affecting us all and we are seeing more and more natural disasters globally. The supply chain is in bits. Fuel and food prices are rocketing. Strikes…I could go on…and on.

Indisputably, 2022 has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, uncertainties, disappointments…and I am not just talking about the welter of UK Prime Ministers we have seen passing through the doors of 10 Downing Street.

As for the problems facing the textile care industry, the high cost of utilities, labour shortages and a broken supply chain are all talking their toll. In the UK, the Textile Services Association continues to lobby the Government for help as businesses bow under the pressures of the cost of living crisis. The TSA is pushing for support to continue after March 2023, and it is calling on commercial laundry owners and executives to write to their local MPs to really push the message home. 

“We are writing to the PM, Chancellor and BEIS,” said David Stevens, CEO of the TSA.  “But we can be much more effective if individual MPs are raising questions about our predicament, too.  That’s where individual laundries can help – by persuading their MPs to take up the cause.” 

The TSA has put together a letter template to help laundries willing to add their name to the cause.  “It’s not just who you write to, it’s what you write,” says Stevens.  “The letters need to include information about how your laundry impacts on the MP’s constituency – we need to make them understand just how important our industry is.  Do you supply a hospital in the constituency?  Mention it – and point out that without the support of commercial laundries, 90% of hospitals would have to shut down.” 

You can access the TSA’s letter template here

Nevertheless, despite all the doom and gloom, at this time of the year it is difficult to be totally despondent. Afterall, there is a New Year just around the corner, and although we all know when Big Ben strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve things are unlikely to change like magic, the sound always offers hope for better times to come.

I will leave you with a little bit of light relief. When all the shenanigans were playing out in Downing Street earlier this year, Larry the resident cat at Number 10 Tweeted his own resignation message shortly before the departure of Boris Johnson: "I can no longer, in good conscience, live with this Prime Minister. Either he goes, or I do.” Well, Larry is still there. When Liz Truss, after nearly bringing the country to its knees in her short term, was slow to depart, he wrote: “The King has asked me to become Prime Minister because this nonsense has gone on long enough." If you want to find out he feels about the present incumbent you can follow Larry @Number10cat).

Ending the year on a positive note, I wish you all the very best and happiest Christmas and New Year. See you in 2023.

 • We are shutting up shop over Christmas from 24 December to 4 January.