Tranquil woods and memory book to remember Stafford lives lost to Covid

Dedicated coronavirus reflection areas and memorial woods are among the ways a town will remember their neighbours who have passed away during in the pandemic.

Westbridge Park
Westbridge Park

A book of memories is also among the ideas given approval by Stafford Borough council members at a meeting.

The pandemic memorials will also reflect the impact on communities.

The recommendations put forward by the cross party Covid Memorial Working Group were unanimously agreed by councillors at the meeting held at meeting at the Rising Brook Community Church, in Rising Brook.

Working group chairman Councillor Marnie Phillips 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.”

She also praised all involved in the project.

Council leader Patrick Farrington told the meeting: “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 the virus 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.”

The recommendations included an online Book of Memories for residents to 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

Benches installed in Stafford Market Square and Stone High Street as well as in nature reserves for reflection.

Possible sites for memorial woodlands include Stone's Westbridge Park 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 this can help our community move forward.”

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