Nicola Sturgeon is today backing our campaign drive to create Scotland’s Covid Memorial which has also been boosted by a major donation.

The First Minister said the memorial campaign and plans will ensure fitting and lasting tributes to every life lost to COVID-19 and other illnesses during the pandemic.

She also revealed that the Scottish Government was contributing a further £25,000 towards our fundraising target of £233,500.

Read more: Scotland's Covid Memorial first look as funds target is announced

The Herald revealed the first images of what will become I remember: Scotland’s Covid Memorial last Saturday. The design has been brought together by our dedicated artist Alec Finlay and our partners at Glasgow City Council who offered to host the memorial. The Herald also brought in the expertise of greenspace scotland, a charity and social enterprise which promotes green networks and spaces.

 

Artist impression of what will become The Herald covid memorial in Pollok Country Park.

Artist impression of what will become The Herald covid memorial in Pollok Country Park.

 

Since launching the Covid Memorial campaign last year, the project has brought people together and we have had tremendous support.

 

HeraldScotland:

Last year Ms Sturgeon offered her support to The Herald covid memorial campaign with the Scottish Government pledging just over £16,000 to the project which was still in the early research and development stage.

 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is backing The Herald covid memorial campaign

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is backing The Herald covid memorial campaign

 

However, since we launched the latest phase of the campaign, at a time when covid had once again gripped the lives of the nation, the First Minister offered her backing and urged people to do what they can to support the fundraising drive. It takes our new fundraising total to more than £86,000 just days after revealing the memorial design to the public.

Ms Sturgeon, who is due to give an update on covid restrictions today, said: “The I Remember campaign will ensure fitting and lasting tributes to every life lost to COVID-19 and other illnesses during the pandemic. I send my condolences to every person who has lost a loved one – nothing can ever replace them.

“I hope the national memorial garden and plans for satellite projects across Scotland will provide some comfort for the family and friends of those we have lost, and those who experienced change, loss and isolation in other ways.

“The Scottish Government is contributing a further £25,000 towards the fundraising target, and I would urge anyone who is able to donate to do so, to help us mark all that has been lost to this dreadful virus.”

Read more: Scotland's Covid memorial will become an oasis of contemplation, says Glasgow's Lord Provost

The memorial’s figures represent supports and are formed by people conveying emotion and feelings at a moment in time. Designed and created by our artist Alec Finlay, the series of wooden structures will be created in the grounds of the stunning park.

 

Artist Alec Finlay pictured at what will become the Riverside Grove, part of Scotlands Covid Memorial at Pollok Country Park. Photograph by Colin Mearns.

Artist Alec Finlay pictured at what will become the Riverside Grove, part of Scotland's Covid Memorial at Pollok Country Park. Photograph by Colin Mearns.

 

The main focal points will be linked to create the idea of a memorial walk while offering families of those who lost loves ones in the pandemic a place to go to remember and a place to heal.

In the past few days we have also received donations from members of the public who have once again shown their support for the memorial campaign.

In the past few months Mr Finlay reached out to people using the I remember form, a single sentence which reflects how a person thinks or feels, and we received hundreds of responses. Some of these will be incorporated into the memorial.

Our aim is to:

• Create significant memorial sites in Pollok Country Park – the Riverside Grove, Beech Grove, Hillside Grove and Birch Grove.

• Link 50 oak tree supports to offer the idea of a memorial walk in the park.

• Provide I remember audio accessed through QR codes on supports. The key message of the memorial, I remember, will be displayed in several languages.

• Invite those affected to become involved in memorial planting at dedicated sites.

• Help the memorial evolve to have a satellite concept across Scotland.

 

I Remember: Scotlands Covid Memorial

I Remember: Scotland's Covid Memorial

 

Just days after the campaign was launched by The Herald last year, Glasgow City Council stepped forward with the offer of hosting the memorial in the grounds of Pollok Country Park and we have been greatly supported by Glasgow’s Lord Provost Philip Braat.

 

The Herald is campaigning to create I remember: Scotlands Covid Memorial

The Herald is campaigning to create I remember: Scotland's Covid Memorial

 

The Lord Provost said he was confident will bring solace to those who have lost loved ones and have endured many personal tribulations during this pandemic.

He added: “All of us have felt the impact of this pandemic in one way or another, and some have paid a very heavy price, including the loss of a loved one. Therefore, the memorial will serve as a place of quiet reflection, as well as a much-needed place of remembrance, marking one of the most challenging periods in modern times."

It is our hope that we will be able to complete the first phase of the project, the Riverside Grove location, next Spring.