IT is terribly sad that the Alzheimer’s Society has had to close its day care support services in Richmond and Northallerton because it is facing such an enormous loss of income during the pandemic.

It is true that the services have been suspended since March, for understandable reasons, but one day, we will beat the virus and life will begin to return to normal. However, if sufferers and their families find they can no longer access this sort of respite support, they will remain locked down in their own homes.

There are many of these charitable services that will not come back up when we reach the other side of the virus. Society will be poorer for it, and, as ever, the most vulnerable will be the most hit.

The Government does seem to be very good at sloshing around money at the moment – a quick £16.5bn was found yesterday for big defence initiatives – and so it is to be hoped that it can find a few pennies to keep unglamorous services afloat.

But, sadly, it is a reminder to us all, as we tighten our belts, that charities play crucial roles and it is only the generosity of ordinary people that enables them to provide the services that make society a better place.