A small gathering was held at the main entrance to the Royal to coincide with Marie Curie’s National Day of Reflection on Wednesday, March 23 – two years since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the first UK-wide lockdown.
Open to colleagues across the trust and those visiting at the time, the event acted to commemorate those who have died during the Covid crisis and support those who are still grieving the loss of a loved one.
It was led by Reverend Martyn Jinks, head of pastoral care for the Trust, and featured short readings from Helen Phillips, chair of the Trust; Angie Smithson, chief executive; and Nicola Mousley, who sadly lost her husband Ian due to Covid in March last year.
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A socially distanced ‘act of remembrance’ was also held on the Intensive Care Unit (ITU) corridor, with colleagues invited to take part in a one-minute silence to remember the victims of Covid-19.
Speaking at the event, Ms Phillips said: “It’s been a really nice opportunity to come together to remember the worst of times, but the worst of times that has really brought out the best of people and the best in people.
"It has been a privelege to be part of that reflection and celebration this morning.”
Last year, the first National Day of Reflection connected the nation in grief in the first event of its kind led by end-of-life charity Marie Curie.
On Wednesday, the UK fell silent at midday to commemorate those who have died and landmarks including the Gherkin in the City of London, the Senedd in Cardiff, Glasgow Central Station and Belfast City Hall were illuminated in yellow in an act of remembrance.
Prime Minister Boris Johnon marked the day with a tribute to the “heroic efforts” of NHS staff and said those who died would "never be out of our hearts and minds".
A total of 188,078 deaths have occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, according to data published on Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).