Since 1989, I have lived in Derby, the heart of England.
It's a special place. As a Londoner, it stole my heart very early on. It has a sense of community and togetherness which I think comes from being a small place. It's often overshadowed by its larger, better-known neighbours.
Recently though, it has been news because, sadly, our football team, one of the founding members of the English Football League, has been threatened with liquidation and closure.
The last few months have been hard for the city, but it has been extraordinary to see our people and communities come together. The campaign to keep this historic club afloat has galvanised so many, from all walks of life.
It's not only seen fans of other clubs show their support, but also politicians from different sides stand up in our Parliament to show their non-partisan support.
Derby County FC is not unique, far from it. Like so many sports teams it's an essential part of a place’s identity, its history, and its energy. And like so many football clubs, it brings people together to celebrate their passion, a shared purpose.
For many, it holds profound memories too, of spending time with grandparents, family, and friends, who may no longer be with us. Memories filled with the history of love, loss, winning and losing.
What this challenging period in Derby’s history has underlined to me is the power of a shared cause and coming together to work for a common goal.
We have seen it in abundance over the last couple of years, as people try to support each other through adversity and it is something I think we must all capture moving forward.
Pre-Covid we were living in an increasingly divisive, polarised, and splintered world but the amazing thing about the support for Derby, is that it hasn’t mattered whether people were pro-BREXIT or anti, whether they were pro-Boris or anti or divided by a range of other causes.
It has demonstrated to me just how powerful we are when we stand together and use our energy for the best.