New coronavirus monument unveiled in Workington

  • Watch as Matthew Taylor visits Workington to see the monument for himself.

A new monument which will pay tribute to those who died during the coronavirus pandemic has been unveiled in Workington.

The Covid-19 monument and garden - known as The Nightingale Garden - was revealed this morning - three years to the day since the first national lockdown was announced.

The garden at Vulcan Park has been created for the local community to remember those who died during the pandemic, those who are still suffering today or people who made sacrifices to help those in need.

One of the people at the ceremony was nurse Lisa Skillen. She was working in intensive care at the West Cumberland Hospital as patients from the first wave of infections began to be admitted.

"The most challenging thing for us was the privilege of spending time with people when their family couldn't be there," she said.

"And that was very difficult for the staff. And I mean, like I say, it's a privilege. We just wish that they could be with the families, that the families could be there. "So it was it was our job to be with them."

The monument that features in the centre of the garden was donated by R.A.F Engineering.

Owner of R.A.F Engineering, Rafal Gibki, said: "We hope that the monument will bring comfort to those who need it; knowing that there is now a permanent memorial for all who suffered and lost their lives."

Steve Marshall, the monument designer, said: "A distant memory now, all too real then. Two-metre distancing – 20 second hand washing – 8pm on a Thursday, weekly applause for our NHS staff and key workers – the long wait for the miracle cure.

"The monument embeds and depicts all of these and more, see if you can find them all, there is around fifteen in total – look out for the rainbow."  

Cllr Beth Dixon, chair of Workington Town Council’s Environment Committee, added: "We are very excited to be able to unveil the monument and garden for our community; I am sure it will be a special place for many." 

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...