Tree draped with yellow hearts and ribbons in Derbyshire to remember lives lost to Covid

A memorial event has been held in a Derbyshire town to remember those who have died with Covid.

Friday, 25th March 2022, 2:38 pm

It took place at the Arc in Clowne on Wednesday, which was a National Day of Reflection to mark the second anniversary of the start of the first lockdown.

As part of the event, a tree was dressed with yellow hearts and ribbons, the recognised colour for Covid loss.

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April Johnson, of the Community Unity Project, with Phoebe Mousley, Sandra Mousley, Oliver Mousley and Nicola Mousley dressed a tree with yellow hearts and ribbons at the Arc in Clowne to remember lives lost to Covid-19. Picture by Brian Eyre.

Among those who attended were family of Ian Mousley, who lost his life to the virus aged 51 at Chesterfield Royal Hospital last March.

They had previously been at Chesterfield Royal Hospital for a remembrance event there.

Ian’s widow, Nicola, said: “It was a difficult day for myself and my family.

“It’s a reminder of what we have lost.

“It has only been just over a year since our beloved Ian lost his fight.

“But I was invited by Chesterfield Royal Hospital to speak about how Covid has affected us as a family.

“I was honoured but I was nervous as this was only the second time I had attended there since losing Ian – I don’t know how I managed to speak without crying.

“It was emotional to talk about him and I cried buckets afterwards.

“We then continued the reflection on the ITU corridor where a minute’s silence was held in memory of all those who passed from Covid, their loved ones and the amazing staff there.

“Following this, we went to the Arc in Clowne where we attached yellow hearts and ribbons to a designated tree there with permission from Bolsover District Council.

“Yellow hearts are now the nationally recognised symbol for Covid.

“Each heart and dedication represents someone who fought and lost against this horrendous virus, and their families.

“After putting an appeal on social media, many people sent me the details of their loved ones.

“It was heartbreaking reading all their stories and dedications, knowing that each one would likely still be with us had Covid not hit.

“Myself and my two children, Phoebe and Oliver, Community Unit Project co-founder and friend April Johnson, my friend Jody Winter and my mother-in-law Sandra Mousley painstakingly attached individual hearts to the ribbons.

“It took us all afternoon, but it was worth it.

“It was lovely but bittersweet to see them floating in the wind.

“There were more than 50 hearts, which is only a small proportion of the 160,000+ people we have lost to Covid.

“We are hopeful that with the help of the public, we will be able to make this an annual event.

“Since my post, I have had other people wishing their relatives to be added which I am hoping to do over the weekend.

“The tree should remain in place for a couple of weeks.”

Nicola added: “Covid hasn’t gone anywhere – but we do have to live with it.

“We still need to be cautious and mindful of the vulnerable.

“Be kind to each other, respect each other and their opinions – but most of all, stay safe.”

Nicola added that a new support group has been set up in Ian’s name to help family and friends who have lost loved ones to Covid.

It is called ‘IAN It's A New Normal (Covid Bereavement Support)’ and more information can be found at www.facebook.com/groups/ian.covidbereavement

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