IT has been devastating year which has at times has seen families left to grieve the loss of a loved one without the close support of people around them.

With restrictions in place for most of 2020, even saying goodbye following the loss of a father, brother, mother, sister, son or daughter has made the pain all the harder to bear.

As we watched the damage and havoc coronavirus was wreaking on our daily lives and saw the death toll continue to rise, The Herald looked at how we could help.

From a simple idea of creating a place where people could go to remember loved ones or reflect, The Herald memorial garden campaign was born. Seven months on since we launched the campaign, sadly many more lives have been lost to this dreadful virus and we now find ourselves being plunged into tougher restrictions to help battle the threat from the spread of a new strain of the virus.

Read more: Kiltwalk cash takes The Herald’s campaign halfway to £50k target

In a year when we have witnessed unstinting acts of bravery and kindness, we too have been given a boost as we close this year with the offer of a £10,000 pledge towards our £50,000 fundraising target.

An approach was made by the Freemasons of Glasgow who described our campaign as “a thoughtful initiative” and said they were keen to become involved. We can today reveal that the £10,000 donation towards our campaign, has taken our total raised to more than £41,000.

Donald Martin, editor-in-chief of The Herald and Herald on Sunday, said: “We are absolutely delighted by this generous donation from the Freemasons of Glasgow and for their kind words with regard to our campaign. This fantastic amount means we have raised more than £40,000 towards creating a fitting memorial to those who have lost their lives to coronavirus and what could be a memorial for the nation.”

Andrew Mushet, Provincial Grand Master of Glasgow, The Freemasons of Glasgow, offered their support to the campaign.

Read more: Entrepreneur gives £10,000 to Herald memorial garden campaign

Mr Mushet said: “It is truly heartwarming to observe the manner in which the project has met with the approbation of various civic departments and with the generous citizens of Glasgow. In due course an inclusive place of contemplation and reflection for individuals and families will be raised in the natural setting of Pollok Park, a serene focal point of remembrance.

“As the 36th Provincial Grand Master I am delighted on behalf of the Freemasons of Glasgow to pledge £10,000 to The Herald memorial garden appeal.”

Freemasonry has strong links in Glasgow and the Provincial Grand lodge of Glasgow is able to trace its origins to 1739 when Alexander Drummond, Master of Greenock Kilwinning No XII was appointed the first Provincial Grand Master. The Province of Glasgow is the largest in the Scottish Constitution with 77 Lodges.

Just days after our campaign launched, the leaders of Glasgow City Council Lord Provost Phil Bratt and Council leader, Councillor Susan Aitken, offered us a site in the stunning grounds of Pollok Country Park. Since then we have set up a steering group to take the project and seen the public generously support the campaign.

Our high profile supporters include actor and Trainspotting start Robert Carlyle and Scots DJ Edith Bowman.

Some of our fundraising highlights this year include:

• £5000 donation from Harry Clarke Group of Companies, Hillington

• £10,000 donation from the John Watson Foundation

• £4290 donation from Lauren McAdam’s Three Peaks Challenge in memory of her father Bryce who died from the virus

• £3200 donation from Herald memorial garden Kiltwalk heroes team and topped up by the Hunter Foundation

• Herald Readers pledged several thousand pounds through our GoFundMe site and by cheque

• Scottish jeweller Caitlin Hegney donated £400 from the proceeds of her rainbow-inspired collection

• And Annette Allen donated £500 from proceeds of Yellow Heart pin badges

As the months progressed, the public support for the campaign grew. We held a successful workshop in October with a number of groups including Friends of Pollok Park, the National Trust for Scotland and Creative Scotland.

The feedback was extremely positive and the view held was that we are doing the right thing at the right time in Scotland.

We have been overwhelmed by your support and generous donations that we believe we will be able to create a fitting memorial to those who have lost their lives to coronavirus.

To donate go to: 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. If you can help email

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