Memorial garden for people killed by the Covid-19 virus is going to be created in the Harborough district
“We put up memorials and tributes to people killed in wars. And we are all fighting an invisible war against Covid-19”
An emotive memorial garden for people killed by the Covid-19 virus is going to be created at a crematorium in the Harborough district.
The special heartwarming tribute will gradually take shape at Great Glen crematorium over the next few months.
A gleaming polished black granite stone will form the centrepiece of the stirring new memorial at the London Road facility.
Harvey Watson, who manages the site, said: “This is going to be very powerful and very emotional.
“The coronavirus has had a huge impact on just about every family in the land.
“Many thousands of people have died – and we are still suffering.”
He added: “We put up memorials and tributes to people killed in wars.
“And we are all fighting an invisible war against Covid-19.”
Harvey said the striking garden will become a new focal point at the three-year-old crematorium.
“People will be able to come here and remember their loved ones who have died throughout this crisis.
“The garden will hopefully give people a place of peace and quiet,” he said.
Harvey said they are also set to provide a picnic table as they create a comforting, reflective space for grieving families hit hardest by the deadly pandemic.
“We will have a stone monument surrounded by a colourful floral rainbow.
“The rainbow has come to symbolise our admiration and thanks for our hero NHS staff as well as being a colourful ray of hope for better days ahead,” said Harvey.
“Our rainbows will be created using the vibrant colours of begonias, petunias and geraniums.
“We have certainly been staging more funerals as a result of local people dying of the coronavirus.
“We can do up to 50 funerals a week but on average we carry out 35-40.
“Families, friends and loved ones who come here are all treated with the utmost empathy and sympathy.
“It’s particularly tough because we still have to enforce social distancing with no more than 20 people attending funerals.
“We have four staff here and they have been brilliant at such a challenging time because they have been affected too, of course, like the rest of us.”
The new memorial will be carved by stonemasons from Bristol-based Westerleigh Group, which operates the crematorium.
“It will be made off the site, brought in and set up.
“Work is expected to begin on the stone memorials in the autumn with garden landscaping taking place in the early spring of 2021.
“All being well the memorial garden will be completed and ready to visit by this time next year.
“They are being set up in all of our 34 sites across the UK,” said Harvey.
“We are proud that our crematorium enjoys close links with our local community - and we therefore thought it would be an appropriate gesture to create these permanent and lasting memorials.
“It will be a special place where people can remember and reflect on the loved ones they have lost.
“They can give thanks for the wonderful way that the NHS, key workers and whole communities pulled together during this unprecedented crisis.
“As this project progresses we will be reaching out to the local community to help shape and finalise our plans.”