THERE has been so much heartache caused by the coronavirus.

Day after day we receive the grim reports of the rising death toll - of yet more families who have had loved ones ripped from them before their time.

Amidst such devastation, sometimes it’s been hard to find any kind of glimmer of hope.

Today’s news that 141 patients have been discharged from local hospitals after recovering from COVID-19 might be that beacon of light we have been looking for.

It's so important that we hear of these stories of recovery. They bring belief that we can find a way through and begin to live normal lives again.

They also highlight once again the amazing work being done by hospital staff. For every person who survives coronavirus and gets back home to their families and friends, there is an entire NHS team which has been part of their treatment, support and recovery - many of them working incredibly long hours and putting themselves at risk.

Away from Cumbria, when we hear of incredible stories such as that of 106 year old Connie Titchen - believed to be the UK's oldest patient to recover from COVID-19 - who was clapped by staff as she left hospital in Birmingham following three weeks of treatment, it adds to the feeling that more positive days are ahead.

There is also the fact that Spain and Italy, who have suffered terribly from the virus, are starting to report daily falls in the number of deaths and have begun to make cautious steps out of their own lockdown.

In the UK, lockdown has presented us with daily challenges to our freedom and we have reported the occasions when people have failed to follow the guidelines designed to protect the NHS and save lives.

But we must also highlight that these rulebreakers are in the minority and many millions more have done their bit by staying at home.

We know it's not easy but there are signs that brighter times are ahead.

We can get through this - the biggest crisis many of us have known in our lifetimes.

Our incredible health service makes us believe it is possible. Our thanks again, go to each and every single one of our NHS workers.