Families remember lost loved ones as Covid memorial is unveiled
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Families who have lost loved ones to coronavirus came together for the unveiling of a touching new memorial.
A memorial plum tree with accompanying plaque was presented for the first time at Loch Neaton in Watton.
Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman and the mayor of Watton, Jane Fountain, were among those to pay their respects on Monday morning.
The idea for a lasting tribute stemmed from Thorp House care home in Griston, where four residents have died throughout the pandemic following battles with Covid.
With the backing of Kingsley Healthcare, local councils and the loch's committee, they were able to secure a fitting site for the planting of the 'tree of hope and perseverance'.
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For the family of Pat Reynolds, who lived at Thorp House prior to her death, Monday's gathering was an important moment in giving them closure.
Her daughter, Michelle Parrott, said: "Since mum's death, everything has pretty much been put on hold.
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"This enables us to move forward a bit now, and remember her properly.
"Everyone at Thorp House is part of our family. They were always there for mum, keeping her calm during her final days."
Mark Reynolds, Mrs Reynolds' son, added: "This is a really fitting tribute.
"With Covid it has been so hard to say goodbye to loved ones. I couldn't even hold my mum's hand, but knowing there was a carer with her was so reassuring."
As the memorial was revealed, Marcia Hughes, wellbeing coordinator at Thorp House, paid homage to each of the four residents to lose their lives to the virus.
In addition to Mrs Reynolds, they were Ella Lister, Frank Rixson and John Meecham.
The tree was also planted to commemorate the selfless dedication of key workers throughout the past 18 months.
"This is a reminder that, for all the national emergency of the pandemic, the care, love and community support came here on the ground," said Mr Freeman.
"It's really special to celebrate the lives of four people who died, but also the entire care community across the country.
"What a lot of elderly people need at the end of their lives is love and personal care, and we must not lose sight of that."