I was recently asked why The Herald began the campaign to create a memorial to the lives lost during the Covid pandemic.

During our coverage - now almost three years ago - we recognised a need for people to be able to come together to share their experiences.

Some had been cut off from loved ones at a time when they needed them most and also had to endure funerals for just a handful of people.

Read more: National Covid Memorial: Minute's silence to remember those lost

As we saw during the first few months of the pandemic community spirit was important to get people through dark days.

So how could we help build a community through our campaign? For a news title this wasn't a campaign that set out to seek a victory or to change laws, and therefore slightly unusual. But these were not normal times.

HeraldScotland: A minute's silence will be held at Scotland's Covid Memorial on March 23A minute's silence will be held at Scotland's Covid Memorial on March 23

However, perhaps building a community wasn’t such the leap into the unknown we thought it was. In fact, as the Herald marks its 240th anniversary this year, our connection with our readers through the decades has created a community.

Through our ever-changing coverage, and platforms which people digest their news, we have been there with you as part of your daily lives.

And the pandemic was no different - we were there. Part of our role is to know when to step in to help, when to hold back and to make some noise when we see an injustice.

Read more: Scottish restaurants: Isle of Skye venue crowned best in Scotland

We couldn’t simply stand by and see people feel unsupported or unheard when they called for answers as to why their loved ones died, why they couldn’t be there to hold a loved one's hand in their final hours. And when they didn’t know how they were meant to come to terms with their grief when they couldn’t hold the funerals their loved ones deserved, we knew we had to do something.

It led to the Herald setting up and leading the campaign to create what has now become I remember: Scotland’s Covid Memorial.

HeraldScotland: Dozens gathered at the memorial in March 2022Dozens gathered at the memorial in March 2022 (Image: Newsquest)

A public fund and support from Glasgow  City Council saw the memorial become a reality.

Created by artist Alec Finlay, work on a series of oak tree supports in Glasgow’s Pollok Country Park is now complete.

On Thursday a community, who found one another during the most difficult of times, will come together as a minute’s silence is held on the national day of reflection – three years on from the first national lockdown.

What started out as a way to bring people together has developed into a community supporting one another and knowing when to step in.

The Pollok Country Park memorial is a place to remember to heal but also offer a hand of friendship  - we will continue to offer our helping hand to make a difference when it matters most.