The heart-shaped arrangement of yellow flowers has been planted on the grass verge of St Helens Linkway, facing the Ravenhead Retail Park as a visible reminder to all who pass by on one of the busiest routes through St Helens Town Centre.
Labour Town Centre Ward Councillor Michelle Sweeney thought of the idea as a simple and immediate tribute to those who died of Covid-19, while the council considers a more permanent memorial that would last for years to come. It was unveiled this week by Cllr Sweeney, Cabinet Member of Environmental Services Cllr Andy Bowden, and Council Leader David Baines.
Cllr Sweeney said: “The yellow love heart is the symbol that has been adopted by the families who have sadly lost loved ones to coronavirus. I thought it would be a fitting memorial to all the lives lost and to remember the devastating impact this virus has had and continues to have in communities across St Helens Borough.
“That impact will reverberate for many years I am sure. I wanted our residents to know this is not something that we will just forget and that there are very few people within our borough who have not been touched by coronavirus.”
Labour Council Leader David Baines said: “All members, officers and I were glad to be able to offer this simple tribute to all the local families who’ve lost loved ones to this terrible pandemic, and I thank Councillor Sweeney for bringing the idea to us.
St Helens Borough has shown time and again over the last few months that we are stronger together. As turn our thoughts to recovery, and time, kindness and hard work begin to heal the wounds in our communities, we will need such visible reminders of the hardships we’ve all endured.”
An online Book of Condolence has also been launched this week for families and friends to share photos, poems and memories of loved ones lost, not only to coronavirus, but throughout the lockdown period, as many people have not been able to grieve in the way they might want to.