Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (FT) is supporting a national day of reflection on 23 March to remember people who have died during the pandemic, and all those who have been bereaved.
The ‘National Day of Reflection’ is led by end of life charity Marie Curie and takes place on Tuesday 23 March – the anniversary of the UK going into the first national lockdown.
Marie Curie estimates that over three million people have been bereaved since the pandemic began, yet many have been unable to properly say goodbye to loved ones or grieve.
The ‘National Day of Reflection’ will give the nation and communities a moment to remember, grieve and celebrate everyone who has died during this time and show support for our families, friends and colleagues who are grieving.
What they are doing at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
Somerset FT is planning to honour all those who have died during the pandemic, regardless of their cause of death.
A minute silence will be held at 12 noon on 23 March and there will be a memorial tree at Musgrove Park Hospital’s chapel, which will hold the names of people who have died under their care throughout the last year.
In addition every Thursday their chaplaincy team continues to host a 15 minute pause for reflection, followed by a 30 minute virtual coffee break. For more details go to their public website: https://www.somersetft.nhs.uk/chaplaincy-and-spiritual/chaplaincy-and-spiritual-care/community-chaplaincy-and-spiritual-care/
Helen Gilliland, Somerset FT’s lead bereavement and medical examiner’s officer, said:
“The National Day of Reflection is an opportunity for everyone to pay our respects to those who have died throughout the pandemic and for those who are grieving the death of a loved one.
It is so important that we reach out and not only give families the opportunity for their relatives name to be heard but to also show that we have not forgotten the sacrifices that families and key workers have made through very difficult times. It is a chance for us all to come together as one.”
Colin Drummond, Somerset FT’s chairman, said:
“There has been so much loss and suffering over the past year. We want in this National Day of Reflection to commemorate each individual who has passed away or been severely affected through the pandemic, and to express our deepest sympathy to their families and friends. At the same time we want to mark our appreciation for everyone who has helped us through the past year, be they key workers, carers, charities or individuals.”
How you can get involved
Somerset FT’s bereavement and chaplaincy teams invite families whose loved ones died in our care during the last 12 months, to send the name of the person who has died to its patient experience team. You can do this by emailing email@example.com and using ‘National Day of Reflection’ as the subject heading. The person’s name will be written onto a yellow leaf, read out and hung on the tree. Should any family wish to have the leaf afterwards, please include a postal address in the body of the email and it can be sent to them to keep.
More about the National Day of Reflection
Marie Curie warns that without the right support for people who have been bereaved, the devastation that the pandemic has caused will impact the lives of people for generations.
Marie Curie Chief Executive Matthew Reed said: “We need to mark the huge amount of loss we’ve seen this year and show support for everyone who has been bereaved in the most challenging of circumstances. We cannot simply stand by and not recognise the effects the pandemic has had on the bereaved. We know people are in shock, confused, upset, angry and unable to process what has happened.
“The National Day of Reflection on 23 March gives us a moment to reflect, remember and celebrate the lives of everyone that has died, as well as show our support to family, friends and colleagues who are bereaved during these challenging times – from COVID-19 and other causes.”
To find out more about the National Day of Reflection and how to get involved visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/dayofreflection. #DayofReflection