Covid-19 memorial for Stone considered by leaders

Stone community leaders are considering creating an area to commemorate those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in the town.

A Google Street View Image Of Stonefield Park In Stone. Photo: Google
A Google Street View Image Of Stonefield Park In Stone. Photo: Google

Stonefield Park has been suggested as a potential location for a memorial. And the town’s Mayor proposed the planting of a tree with leaves that turn yellow to reflect the yellow hearts displayed in memory of people who have lost their lives to Covid-19.

Members of Stone Town Council stressed the need to remember all residents who have had their lives affected by the pandemic however – not just those who have died – after hearing of Stafford Borough Council’s tribute plans.

The borough council set up a working group earlier this year to discuss plans for a tribute. The authority has now contacted town and parish councils to ask if they are considering anything to commemorate residents who have lost their lives and could suggest land or garden space that could become a reflection area for those affected by the pandemic.

An email to Stone Town Council sent on July 23 said: “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.

“The level of loss experienced is unprecedented and the borough has lost 361 people since the start of the pandemic.”

On Tuesday Stone Town Council members discussed local commemoration ideas.

Councillor Tom Kelt said: “I think it is worth considering, although I’m not aware of the numbers of people who have died from Covid in the Stone area. I would have thought Stonefield Park is a suitable place for some sort of commemoration.”

Councillor Jill Hood, who has been part of the borough council’s working group, said: “I feel very strongly about this. They are considering those who have died, when there is a very strong message that we should consider everyone who has been affected or impacted by Covid, not just the poor souls who lost their lives but those who have recovered.

“There are children who have gone almost two years without an education, people who have been totally isolated without friends. People have gone through this horrendous experience.

“The deaths were tragic but I would like this to commemorate everything that is Covid-related within everyone’s lives. If you look around this room I would imagine every single one of us has been impacted in a really unpleasant way. This is far too big to commemorate only those who died.”

Town Mayor Councillor Jonathan Powell said: “I agree, it’s not just people who unfortunately died or people who ended up in hospital but everybody who has had disruption to their everyday life, family and friends, mental health issues.

“It is somewhere where the people of Stone can see something remembering how it affected them in years to come. I would suggest we think about seeing if we can reach out to the local community and ask if there are any ideas or designs for a commemorative something.

“The yellow heart seems to be something popping up time and time again. If we were to look at a nice lime tree that turns a beautiful yellow.”

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