A GENEROUS offer from a Scottish jeweller to donate the proceeds of her new collection to The Herald’s memorial garden campaign has helped it reach a fundraising milestone.

Silversmith and artist jeweller Caitlin Hegney was among the first to offer her help with our campaign to create a garden of remembrance as a tribute to Scotland’s coronavirus victims.

When she read about our campaign, she was inspired to get involved and offered to donate the proceeds from her rainbow-inspired collection, released during lockdown, to the fund.

We are delighted to reveal that the £400 proceeds from the jewellery sales have helped us over the £8000 mark in our £50,000 target. Our total, which is a combination of donations from our GoFundMe page and a generous donation from a local business, is now more than £8,200.

Read more: Scots jeweller offers her help after being moved by campaign

Ms Hegney, a Glasgow School of Art graduate and artist in residence there, said she was thrilled to be able to tell The Herald how much she had raised for the campaign.

“I was just so pleased to be able to let you know what I had raised through the proceeds of my latest collection,”said Ms Hegney. “I had such lovely responses from people who were buying it. There was a combination of people buying it for themselves after losing a loved one or as a gift for someone. I’ve not had this much feedback before, but people have taken the time to get in touch and let me know what it means to them.

“I put a little message in with the packages letting them know how this was helping towards The Herald campaign. I think this shows how important jewellery can be to people and how personal it is to the individual.”


A site at Pollok Park has been earmarked

Ms Hegney, who works between Glasgow and her home studio on the edge of Argyll and Bute, was inspired to use colours of the rainbow in her latest collection as it had featured so prominently in messages and pictures during lockdown.

She added: “I had usually used metals and blues in my collections before, but maybe the way people were feeling they just wanted a bit of colour in their lives. When people look back on the pieces they have chosen, it will be a reminder of this point in time. It can be a touchstone and mark a particular memory for people. I am just glad I have been able to help the campaign.”

Read more: Herald Campaign: ‘Garden of Remembrance will help so many grieving families’

The Herald’s vision is to create a memorial cairn and a place where families can go to to remember their loved ones lost to the global pandemic. Every Scottish victim of coronavirus will be remembered. We want to build a memorial cairn with a stone representing the life everyone who has died from the virus.

Glasgow City Council came forward with the offer of a site at Pollok Country Park and a location off Rhododendron Avenue on the north east entrance to the park in the city’s southside has been identified.

It has received widespread support and the idea has touched many people.

Maureen Stewart got in touch to say she thought the memorial was a “fantastic idea.”

She added: “I lost my husband Derek on May 1 to the coronavirus. He was only 57-years-old so this means a lot.”

The campaign drew the attention of Scots actor Robert Carlyle saying: “This is a lovely campaign to build a cairn in memory of those lost to coronavirus in Scotland, with a stone to represent every victim. A Garden of Remembrance to be built in Pollok Park, Glasgow.”

And Irn Bru producers AG Barr commented on the campaign. A spokesperson from A G Barr, based in Cumbernauld, said: "Creating a special place to remember loved ones is a touching and fitting suggestion."

Richard Clarke, managing director of the Harry Clarke Group of companies based in Hillington, was quick to respond to the appeal when one of his senior directors – Mark Lammey – lost a very close friend to Covid-19 in the most traumatic of circumstances. Jim Russell, 51, from Parkhead, Glasgow, died from the virus in May. He had been due to marry his fiancée Connie McCready last month.

“It’s been eight weeks since Jim died… but this has not been like any other grief I have known,” Ms McCready said after visiting the proposed site for the first time this week. “I lost my mother eight years ago and I lost a brother five years ago…those were terrible times and live with me still but this is a grief that has to be done alone in so many ways.

“I haven’t cuddled my dad for 14 weeks. This is a very lonely difficult time. I want to look through photographs and share stories with friends and family but so much is done in total isolation. I have my youngest daughter living with me but I must protect her from some of my grief.”

To donate go to: gofundme.com/herald-garden-of-remembrance. You can also send donations via post to The Herald Garden of Remembrance Campaign, Herald & Times, 125 Fullarton Drive, Glasgow G32 8FG. With cheques made payable to The Herald. If you would like to help, send an email to: memorialgarden@theherald.co.uk