Council approves plans for remembering those lost to Covid pandemic

Councillors have agreed to establish a book of memories, dedicated areas of reflection and a memorial woodland to remember lives lost to the Covid pandemic and its impact on communities.

Benches could be installed in Stafford Market Square as an area of dedication and reflection.
Benches could be installed in Stafford Market Square as an area of dedication and reflection.

Stafford Borough Council set up a cross party Covid Memorial Working Group to put forward proposals and on Tuesday (September 14) the recommendations were unanimously agreed by councillors.

Leader of the council, Patrick Farrington, told the meeting at the Rising Brook Community Church in Stafford: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had, and continues to have, a huge impact on the lives of residents living in the borough.

"The scale and effects of Covid are different, the knock-on effects are vast, especially for people who have lost loved ones and for those who are living with long Covid.”

Councillor Marnie Phillips, Chair of the working group, thanked those involved and said: “We have all been impacted by Covid in very different ways and the way we have dealt with the changes that it brought to our lives has been very personal.

“These unprecedented times needed a whole new approach to our daily lives.

“Thankfully we are through the worst now but are still left with those mixed emotional memories.

"Our lives may have returned to more normal rhythms but, for some, the losses and experiences will remain painful for days to come.”

A report shared with councillors at the meeting set out plans for an online "Book of Memories" – where residents could submit their memories for inclusion on the council’s website - a postcard would also be made available for residents who do not have access to the internet

Also areas of dedication and reflection – which could see benches installed in Stafford Market Square and Stone High Street as well as in Local Nature Reserves and Memorial Woodlands – which would be "areas of tranquillity and reflection" created at, for example, Westbridge Park in Stone and the newly designated Local Nature Reserve at Fairway in Stafford.

Councillor Philips added: “We wanted to put forward proposals that could encompass everyone, all experiences and all types of memories, to find ways to celebrate the good and allow us to reflect on our personal experiences and the lives of those we lost.

“Our thoughts through all our discussions were about how this can help our community move forward.”

The full report is available at staffordbc.gov.uk

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