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16th May, 2022

Solihull falls silent to remember Covid victims on anniversary of first lockdown

Sarah Mason 24th Mar, 2021

DOORSTEPS lit up across Solihull as residents remembered those who have died from Covid-19 on the anniversary of the first lockdown.

The National Day of Reflection on Tuesday (March 23) was organised by the Marie Curie charity to show support and solidarity for the millions of people who have been bereaved due to Covid.

At the Marsh Lane hospice a service was held for staff and patients where a heart of yellow and blue ribbons was laid for those who died while under the hospice’s care in the past 12 months before the nation fell silence at midday.

Residents then came together once more at 8pm in silence with candles, torches and phone lights to “light up the night” with a further minute’s silence.

Residents at the Royal Star and Garter home came together to remember the resident who died after contracting the virus and a tree was planted in their honour and for all those who have died.

Singers in Solihull also joined the virtual Marie Curie choir to perform Brian Knowles’ funeral poem, Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep to music.

More than 100 singers from across the country took part in a live zoom performance of the song on the day.

Solihull singer Elaine Oakley is part of the Marsh Lane Daffodil choir and took part in Tuesday’s performance.

She joined the choir after her Grandad spent his last few weeks at the hospice almost 30 years ago.

She said: “I have found singing as part of our local hospice community choir to be the most satisfying, uplifting and wonderful experience.

“As we normally practice at the site of the hospice we have unfortunately not been allowed to gather for over a year and this has had a devastating impact on my own mental health and the absence of being able to both uplift the hospice inpatients and support Marie Curie charity.

“I was delighted when I luckily found the choir and instantly felt an affinity to join and be a part of this worthwhile community.

“I was welcomed by the friendliest group of caring people and everyone was committed to delivering a performance to lift the spirits of all who listen. I am counting the weeks till we can all sing together again.”

Marie Curie warns that without the right support for people who have been bereaved, the devastation that the pandemic has caused will impact the lives of people for generations.

Amy McNaughton-Brown, fundraising lead at the Solihull hospice, said: “It was an opportunity for us all to remember those who have died this past year and also to reflect on how difficult this year has been for everyone.

“We placed a ribbon in remembrance of each person who has died in our care over the last 12 months and shared a minute’s silence to reflect on all that has happened and to stand by those who are grieving.”

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