IT was launched with the hope that Scotland would have a place to remember those who lost their lives to coronavirus.

The Herald memorial garden campaign has been taken to people’s hearts and now nine months on since the initial proposal was revealed, sadly many more lives have been lost to the cruel virus.

Families have mourned the loss of wives, husbands, mothers and fathers all while trying to cope with living through a global pandemic.

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Now as the country approaches the first anniversary of lockdown, our campaign recognises it is more important than ever to mark these unprecedented times.

Today we can reveal that the memorial garden campaign is to take a major step forward and we are looking to commission an artist to work on the project. Part of their role will be to engage with people who have been affected.

It will allow us to take the project forward, gauging opinion on what people would like to see as we move forward to the design stage.

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We are appealing to Scotland’s artistic community to become involved in the next stage of our aim to create a fitting memorial which will be located in Glasgow's Pollok Country Park.

Donald Martin, Editor-in-Chief of The Herald and Herald on Sunday, said: “We have reached an important stage in our bid to take the memorial garden project forward. We are delighted to announce that we have begun the process to commission an artist to work with us on an engagement process to create a fitting memorial to those who have lost their lives to coronavirus. We are looking forward to hearing from interested artists and listening to their ideas on how we can develop the project.”

Just days after the campaign launched last May we were offered a site in the stunning grounds of Pollok Country Park by Glasgow City Council leaders Lord Provost Philip Braat and Council Leader Susan Aitken.

We also launched a public fund to help create the memorial and so far have raised more than £42,000 with a recent donation of £10,000 made by the Freemasons of Glasgow who are supporting our campaign. It was kick-started with an initial £5000 from the Hillington-based Harry Clarke Group of companies. One of their senior directors lost a close friend, Jim Russell, 51, to the virus last May.

Jim Russell, 51, from Glasgow, died from the virus in May 2020. He was due to marry fiancee Connie McCready, pictured.

Jim Russell, 51, from Glasgow, died from the virus in May 2020. He was due to marry fiancee Connie McCready, pictured.

We have been working with charity Greenspace Scotland, through our campaign steering group, to bring an artist on board who will be able to help us identify the mood and feelings of people who have suffered a loss during the pandemic, but also the mood of a nation.

Scotland’s role and journey in the pandemic, from families who have been bereaved to those working tirelessly in our hospital wards, to those offering care in our communities, their journey and bravery is something we feel is important to highlight as we take the memorial garden project forward.

Including the thoughts and feelings of people who have been affected during these past few months could help form ideas which could be incorporated into the completed memorial.

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 and reflect on the significant date and we would like to hear from you.

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.

For more information on how to get involved in the artistic engagement project go to

If you are interested in the role please email with an expression of interest by Friday, March 19.

To read more about the campaign go to

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