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Covid-19 Memorial opens at Borders Crematorium

Covid-19 Memorial opens at Borders Crematorium

by Borders Crematorium

Covid-19 Memorial opens at Borders Crematorium

A Covid-19 memorial at Borders Crematorium near Melrose is now available for the public to visit.

The memorial was officially unveiled at a launch event on Wednesday 11th August at the Scottish Borders site, which is run by Westerleigh Group, the UK’s largest independent owner and operator of crematoria and cemeteries, with 35 facilities across England, Scotland and Wales.

Just over a year ago, Westerleigh Group announced plans to create permanent dedicated memorials within its landscaped Gardens of Remembrance at most of its sites for people to visit and commemorate loved ones who died during the pandemic.

The memorials also provide focal points for people to remember, reflect on and pay tribute to NHS key workers and whole communities who pulled together during the crisis.

At the heart of each tranquil memorial is an all-polished black granite obelisk surrounded by wildflower planting incorporating all the colours of the rainbow, which became a common symbol of hope during the pandemic.

Westerleigh Group invited people of all ages and backgrounds to create a design for the stones, and six winners were chosen, one for each of Westerleigh Group’s regions.

The obelisk at the memorial in the Scottish Borders features a design which was created by Poppy Lunn, aged 11, who entered the competition for a family friend diagnosed with Covid.

Poppy drew three thistles, with one thistle in the middle featuring a rainbow on it, representing the NHS. Poppy saw the design in stone for the first time when she attended the Borders ceremony.

She said: “I entered the competition for a family friend who had Covid. I also know a few people who work at Borders General Hospital so I wanted to show how much I appreciated everything they have been doing.

“I was so happy when I found out I had won. It means a lot to my family, especially my Nana and it is amazing to think people will be looking at my design for many years to come and remembering these times.”

Her design has been etched onto the memorial stones at Westerleigh Group’s Stirlingshire and West Lothian crematoria as well as the Borders Crematorium.

Roger Mclaughlan, Chief Executive Officer of Westerleigh Group, said: “I’m proud that our Covid-19 memorial is now open for people to visit.

“So many communities have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Sadly, many families have lost loved ones, and our thoughts and sincere condolences go to them, first and foremost.

“We felt we needed to do something not only to remember those who passed away but also to honour others who did so many positive and selfless acts to support people and bring their communities closer together.

“These lasting memorials will provide a tranquil place for people to remember and reflect; where they can seek some comfort knowing that the legacy of those lost is not only being recognised but will be remembered for many generations to come.”

Members of the public are welcome to come and visit the Covid-19 memorial at Borders Crematorium. Please visit www.borderscrem.co.uk for opening hours.