SHE knows only too well the impact and devastation covid can bring having lost a friend to the virus and watched another family friend suffer from the long term effects of it.

It is the reason why this month Mary Graham has put her walking boots on and is attempting to complete 280,000 steps in February to raise funds for The Herald memorial garden campaign.

Hoping to cover around 10,000 steps a day, Mrs Graham regularly walks in Glasgow’s Pollok Country Park, the site of the proposed memorial, and she is planning to complete her challenge by Sunday, February 28.

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Mrs Graham lost her friend Lorraine Healy, 60, to the virus leaving behind her husband Bryan, son Sean, daughter Bridie and young grandson Aaron.

She said: "Her death was so sudden and a great shock to all. She was such a happy contented person."

Through her Pollok Park walk she hopes to raise awareness and funds for the memorial garden.

Mary Graham pictured in Pollok Country Park, Glasgow. Mary is doing 280,000 steps in February to raise money for The Heralds memorial garden campaign. Photograph by Colin Mearns.

Mary Graham pictured in Pollok Country Park, Glasgow. Mary is doing 280,000 steps in February to raise money for The Herald's memorial garden campaign. Photograph by Colin Mearns.

Mrs Graham said: “I am attempting to complete the 280,000 steps in February opening up sponsors to the Go Fund Me page to help towards the target for The Herald memorial garden in Pollok Country Park.

“Due to adverse weather conditions I only managed 100,000 steps in the early part of the month, but I am now on way to the target and have now completed more than 90 kilometres. Hopefully people will support me and go to the donation page.

“I was inspired to help towards this fund as I have very fond memories of a dear friend who sadly died from Covid and a close friend of my brother who is still suffering effects of “Long Covid”.

During lockdown Mrs Graham, 68, has been enjoying walks around Pollok Park and was pleased to learn it will be the location for a memorial garden to Scots who have lost their lives to coronavirus.

She added: “I have lived in the area for many years so having this memorial garden on my doorstep would be a great honour. I think it is will be very welcome for many people to be able to go to remember.”

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Just days after the campaign launched, Glasgow City Council offered us a site in the grounds of the stunning Pollok Country Park with the project gaining widespread support. A public fund has so far raised more than £42,000 towards the project.

A dedicated steering group set up to drive the campaign forward has reached out to groups working in areas such as the arts and communities to look at how the idea of a memorial garden can spread to throughout Scotland.

To mark the anniversary of lockdown we are planning to pay tribute to Scots who have died from coronavirus through our coverage on Tuesday, March 23. We would like people to have the opportunity to remember on the significant date.A Scottish support group is also planning a tribute and is appealing to councils up and down the country to help them light up landmarks in yellow.

Connie McCready, who lost her fiancé Jim Russell to covid last May, is leading the appeal to illuminate Scotland’s landmarks and key buildings as a way to remember Scots who have died from coronavirus. Stirling Council has offered to light up the Wallace Monument and it is hoped The Kelpies, near Falkirk, will also be involved.

Connie McCready, in Pollok Park, hopes to light up Scotland yellow

Ms McCready, who co-ordinates Covid-19 Support Group Scotland, said: “We have been contacting all Scottish local authorities asking them to help us with our hope to light up buildings or landmarks in towns or cities across Scotland in yellow. We have had a good response so far.

“It is a colour which has become a link among families affected by coronavirus and we think this will be a lovely way to remember people on March 23 – one year on since lockdown.”

At the beginning of the campaign Hillington-based Harry Clarke Group of companies made a £5000 donation to The Herald campaign just days after it launched. One of their senior directors was a close friend of Ms McCready’s fiancé Jim.

If you would like your loved one to be remembered in our lockdown anniversary coverage, please email with a photo, their name, age, where they were from and when they died.

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. Keep up to date with the latest news at