The people of the South: a day of reflection

WATCH: ITV News Meridian's day of reflection, speaking to people from across the region about the highs and lows of their year.

Today marks the anniversary of the first national lockdown and for the last 365 days, we've met people from across the South who have incredible stories to tell. From new babies, to recovering from Long Covid and even swimming the Channel.

Donna and Toby Morgan

Donna Morgan was put into an induced coma for almost 3 months as soon as the pandemic hit in March 2020. She caught Covid-19 and her husband Toby was left at home.

But kept busy by fundraising for the staff at St Richards Hospital in Chichester.

Donna leaves hospital in June 2020 Credit: ITV News Meridian

Shelina Permalloo- chef and author

Celebrity chef Shelina Permalloo from Southampton is cooked and delivered food for nursery staff and key workers to help them during the crisis in the early days. She then continued into the school half term holidays in October to make sure children didn't go hungry.

Shelina Permalloo cooks at her restaurant in Southampton for the vulnerable Credit: ITV News Meridian

Carmela Magbitang, General Manager at Sunrise of Sonning

Lockdown no doubt made us appreciate our loved ones and the time we spend together. So in May, a care home in Berkshire reunited families and residents with a drive-through visit to lift people's spirits- at a safe distance.

Bringing loved ones together Credit: ITV News Meridian

Emma Townsend, Robert Batchelor, Arthur and baby Sienna

Having a baby in lockdown was no small feat! Emma and Robert from Herne Bay welcomed baby Sienna in May and her brother Arthur is besotted with her.

Baby Sienna in May 2020 Credit: ITV News Meridian

Sebastian Combert, cellist

Live performances were put on hold in the first lockdown but the love for music was still strong. So, many musicians took to online to reach audiences far and wide. Just like Sebartian Comberti, a cellist part of The Hanover Band in Sussex.

Live performances were put on hold in the first lockdown Credit: ITV News Meridian

Ruby Santus, circus performer

In July, Circus Santus based in Kent were stranded in a field outside Sittingbourne due to the lockdown. They struggled as they were not eligible for cash support for businesses and the arts. But members of the public dug deep to make sure the circus, that's been touring for generations, survived.

Circus Santus were stranded in a field outside Sittingbourne Credit: ITV News Meridian

Justin Legge

A swimmer from Bridge near Canterbury didn't let coronavirus stop him swimming the Channel. He raised £25,000 for Blood Cancer UK and NHS Charities and swam in August. But his training was a little unusual...

Justin Legge swam the Channel in August Credit: ITV News Meridian