A COVID memorial has been unveiled at Burscough’s West Lancashire Cemetery and Crematorium in memory of all those who died through the pandemic as it continues to devastate families across the UK.
Westerleigh Group, the UK’s largest independent owner and operator of cemeteries and crematoria including the Burscough site, announced last year it planned to create Covid-19 memorial gardens at most of its sites in England, Scotland and Wales.
They issued an open invitation for people of all ages and backgrounds to submit ideas for a design to be etched onto a stone obelisk which will form the centre-piece of each garden.
Rachel Almond, a 39-year-old part-time teacher and part-time budding artist, was thrilled to learn that her design was chosen as the North regional winner. She said: “The design I created was very personal and sentimental to me, and I am thrilled that the symbolism and emotion came across in my artwork.
“I hope that when others see the design, it has the same impact on them; remembrance, love and not forgetting loved ones.”
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper unveiled the memorial and said: “The world has gone through such a tragic period with hundreds of thousands of lives having been lost due to the impact of Covid-19 and many more still dealing with the long-term effects, sadly including 263 in our own community in West Lancashire.
“I am humbled to be invited along here today to unveil this wonderful feature to commemorate those lives sadly lost, but to also mark and celebrate the community spirit borne out of the pandemic and the huge sacrifice and dedication of our key workers who continued to work throughout to keep us alive and to keep the country going.”
Roger Mclaughlan, chief executive officer of Westerleigh Group, said: “We would like the memorial gardens to provide permanent, tranquil places for people to visit to remember loved ones who lost their lives during the pandemic and also to remember and reflect on those who have sacrificed so much to help others during the coronavirus crisis.
“I would like to congratulate Rachel for her winning design and am looking forward to seeing how it looks in the memorial gardens at our crematoria in the north of the country.”
Rachel’s design has been or will be etched onto the black polished granite stone monuments which will be placed in the memorial gardens at Westerleigh Group’s Howe Bridge, Vale Royal, West Lancashire, Gedling, Great Glen and Babworth crematoria.