How should we remember the victims of the pandemic?

A nationwide minute's silence was held on the anniversary of the first lockdown to remember the people who have died from the virus, and the many more lives that have been impacted.


Today, the anniversary of the first lockdown, is an opportunity to reflect on the past year – one of the most difficult in our country’s history.

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister

The silence was organised by the end-of-life charity Marie Curie, and supported by Prince Charles, the charity's patron.

Restrictions this year have limited the number of people allowed to attend a funeral, and even prevented loved ones spending their final hours together.

So, people have been finding other ways to remember those who have lost their lives to the virus.



Lockdown poem

There’s one thing that drowns out our silent cries That thing is hope, the hope that gives us a future  The hope that keeps us alive.

Birmingham’s Poet Laureate Casey Bailey and Young Poet Laureate Fatma Mohiuddin, have written poems commemorating the year – and lives – that Covid took and how the city has responded.

The Hope Bell

Plans have been revealed for a Covid-19 memorial in Loughborough in the shape of a bell to mark the impact of the pandemic on the local community.

The Hope Bell would commemorate the lost lives, honour key workers, and be a symbol of hope for the future.

It would be part of a clock chime installation with four smaller bells, all made by Taylor’s Bell Foundry in the town, the last major bell foundry in the country.

Queen’s Park is being looked at as a possible location.


Plans have been drawn up by Charwood Borough Council for the Hope Bell to commemorate the lost lives and honour key workers. Credit: Charnwood Borough Council

Giant mosaic

A giant floral mosaic is already in place in a health centre in Birmingham to serve as a permanent thank you to the NHS and other emergency services.

Mosaic artist, Jackie Nash, had planned to do the artwork ten years ago, but had to wait for funding to go ahead with it.

She says the timing "couldn't have been any better" and now wants it to be a tribute for the hard work that emergency services have had to face during the pandemic.

It's made of 42,000 pieces and spans 46 feet around the Karis Medical Centre in Edgbaston.

She hopes it will act as an all year round summer garden for the community and is also aiming to do another mosaic for Primrose Hospice in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.


Artwork

The In Memoriam art installation has already travelled to places like Bournemouth and London Credit: Luke Jerram

An open-air art installation to remember the victims of the Covid-19 pandemic is coming to Birmingham as a temporary memorial for the public to visit.

Birmingham Hippodrome - in partnership with BrumYODO and Birmingham City Council - is hosting the artwork from 8-16 May for this year's A Matter of Life and Death Festival.

In Memoriam is an open-air art installation and temporary memorial by artist Luke Jerram, created in tribute to NHS workers as well as for all those who have died during the pandemic.

The memorial consists of 120 flags created from bed sheets arranged in the form of a medical logo.


Trees and gardens

A tree has been planted in Telford Town Park to create a space for families and friends to reflect and remember loved ones they've lost to Covid-19.

When they come out to this beautiful town park, they have a little quiet place to go and remember loved ones they’ve lost to this pandemic.

Cllr Raj Mehta, Chair, Telford & Wrekin Interfaith Council

In Stoke-on-Trent they’ve repurposed the Rose Garden in Fenton Park as the city’s area of reflection. 

More than 1,300 daffodils will grow there for every coronavirus related death at Staffordshire’s largest hospitals.


An image showing the design concept of a series of Covid-19 memorial community gardens across Birmingham has been released.

Credit: Birmingham City Council.

The design shows a pebble bed where people can write the name of someone lost in the pandemic on one of the stones.

The trees would would be spaced at two-metre intervals as reminder of the social distancing guidelines that people have been asked to follow over the last year.

The last year has been a time of grief and heartbreak for too many people in Birmingham as communities and neighbourhoods right across the city have experienced loss and tragedy and it's important to remember and pay tribute.

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council

A memorial woodland will be created in Derbyshire to remember and honour more than 2,000 local people who have died with Covid-19 in the last 12 months.

Derbyshire County Council is considering Grassmoor Country Park as a site.


And, work has already begun on a tree-lined memorial trail which will straddle the border between the city of Leicester and the county.

It will be used for people to have a space for reflection and remembrance for those whose lives have been affected by coronavirus.

Fruit trees are being planted by NHS, social care and education teams, and East Midlands Ambulance Service have got involved. They say in a world after Covid, we need to think about the planet's health, and human health. They've planted a cherry tree as part of a 'Hope Orchard.'


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