A MEMORIAL garden could play an important part for grieving families as it may shown them their loved ones won't be forgotten, according to a bereavement charity.

Cruse, Scotland's main bereavement charity, has been offering telephone counselling services to families who have lost relatives throughout lockdown and not just from coronavirus.

Their offices in Perth were closed, but volunteers have been a the other end of a phone line to offer support.

When they learned about The Herald's Garden of Remembrance campaign, they felt it was something which could help people.

Our aim is to create a memorial cairn with a simple stone representing the lives of every one of Scotland's Covid-19 victims. We have been offered a site by Glasgow City Council at Pollok Country Park and the campaign has received widespread support.

Read more: Herald campaign: Memorial garden for Scots coronavirus victims takes step forward with offer of site at city park

With families unable to hold the funeral services they would have desired for a relative during this time and restrictions meaning that they might not have had their normal support networks at hand, grieving the loss of a loved one has been made all the harder.

Helen Pirnie, volunteer Bereavement Counsellor for Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland, said: "Perhaps having a memorial garden dedicated to the people who have lost their lives to this virus will show relatives they are now forgotten.

"To have a place for people to go and sit quietly or to speak to someone else who might be there is very important. A memorial garden can provide a moment of peace and a feeling of connection to someone a person has lost.

"I don't know if we have seen the true impact on people of what this period will be. Some people have had to be very insular because of the circumstances we find ourselves in. Families have had to cope with the loss of a relative in a way which wouldn't normally happen. Even something like being given personal items of relatives who died in hospital can help be a comfort but with restrictions that's not always been possible."

Read more: Herald campaign: Memorial garden could help healing process, says top horticulturalist

Cruse exists to promote the well-being of bereaved people in Scotland. They seek to help anyone experiencing bereavement to understand their grief and cope with their loss.

The charity works primarily through volunteers, providing free care to bereaved people. They also train and educate individuals and organisations who may in turn be able to contribute to the well-being of bereaved people.

Cruse can be contacted on hotline 0845 600 2227.

To help with The Herald's email us at memorialgarden@theherald.co.uk