MALVERN Hills District Council is in talks with a kind-hearted land owner so a natural commemorative space can be created to remember all those who have lost their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The space, which has been offered for free by the kind-hearted owner, will be developed as a natural place of reflection, where residents can remember loved ones, as well as mark the significance of the pandemic.
More details will be announced once an agreement has been confirmed.
The announcement comes on the National Day of Reflection today (Tuesday, March 23), which marks the one-year anniversary of the first national lockdown.
It is being spearheaded by end of life charity Marie Curie as a way of encouraging people to reflect, remember and celebrate the lives of everyone who has died from Covid-19 and other causes.
People are also being encouraged to reach out to those bereaved who may have lost someone to the virus, or to another cause, and have been unable to mourn properly because of coronavirus restrictions.
Official figures show 141 people in the district have died where Covid-19 is mentioned as a cause on the death certificate.
Residents are being asked to pause at midday today for a minute of reflection.
At 8pm people are also being asked to shine a light or hold a candle on their doorstep or from their window as a giant ‘beacon of hope’ in memory of those who have died and those bereaved and to look forward to a brighter future.
Coun Rouse said: “We mourn each and every loss of life as a result of this terrible disease, but we also give thanks for the tremendous efforts of our local NHS who have saved hundreds more.
“I am also grateful to each and every resident and business in this district.
“Many, many more people are alive today because you have played your part by staying at home, looking after each other and making many sacrifices to control the spread of this virus.
“We still have a long way to go and must be careful not to put it all at risk as we start to come out of lockdown.
“But wherever you are at midday, I urge you to pause to remember the lives lost, give thanks for the determination and hard work of our NHS and all key workers, and draw inspiration from the way we continue to pull each other through this challenging time as we look to build a much brighter future.”
Malvern Hills District Council has produced a short video to mark the day using items submitted to the Malvern Hills District Covid-19 Memory Bank.
Click here to view it on the council’s Facebook page.
Other organisations taking part in the national day of reflection include Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire Children First (WCF).
Both organisations will support the day as the nation comes together to reflect on our collective loss, support those who’ve been bereaved, and hope for a brighter future.
Staff will be encouraged to take part in the one-minute silence at midday on Tuesday and the flag at County Hall will be flown at half-mast.
Paul Robinson, Chief Executive of Worcestershire County Council, said: “The past 12 months have been tough in one way or another for everyone in Worcestershire and across the nation.
“Tuesday is an important time for all of us in the county to pause for a moment and reflect on those who have lost their lives or who have been bereaved, it has been an incredibly tough time for everyone.
“It’s also important that we reach out to our family, friends, and colleagues who have struggled during the pandemic or lost a loved one and offer our support.”
In March last year, the County Council set up the Here2Help Service for residents who needed extra support throughout the pandemic.
In the past 12 months, more than 5,000 people have requested help from the service and over 2,000 people have volunteered to offer support, giving a total of 6,000 hours of their time.
Teams at the County Council have also received and delivered more than 2,000 PPE requests. Over 500,000 masks, 450,000 aprons, and 1.1 million gloves have been distributed to those who need them, helping them to continue to carry out vital support in schools and care homes, keeping children and vulnerable people safe.
Businesses across the county have received over £140 million worth of grant funding from local authority partners in Worcestershire as they face huge struggles during the pandemic.
Marie Curie Chief Executive Matthew Reed said: “We need to mark the huge amount of loss we’ve seen this year and show support for everyone who has been bereaved in the most challenging of circumstances. We cannot simply stand by and not recognise the effects the pandemic has had on the bereaved. We know people are in shock, confused, upset, angry and unable to process what has happened.
“The National Day of Reflection on March 23 gives us a moment to reflect, remember and celebrate the lives of everyone that has died, as well as show our support to family, friends and colleagues who are bereaved during these challenging times – from Covid-19 and other causes.”
To find out more about the National Day of Reflection and how to get involved visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/dayofreflection. #DayofReflection