Landmarks across Sunderland will be lit yellow on Tuesday 23 March as the city joins in a national day to remember all those have died during the Covid pandemic and show support for everyone who has been bereaved.
Sunderland City Council is supporting the national day of reflection by lighting National Trust owned Penshaw Monument, Northern Spire bridge, Hylton Castle, Fulwell Mill and Keel Square, the white lighthouse at Seaburn, Market Square and High Street West. The Beacon of Light will be lit yellow too.
The council is also urging residents to take part in a minute's silence at 12 noon the same day, to reflect on all those who have died during the pandemic and take a moment to connect with someone who has been bereaved.
Spearheaded by end of life charity Marie Curie, the day is set to take place on the anniversary of the first national lockdown and is being supported by organisations across the UK. 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 to grieve.
The National Day of Reflection will give the nation and communities a moment to remember, grieve and celebrate the lives of everyone who has died during this time and show support for families, friends and colleagues who are grieving.
Marie Curie is also urging people to stand on their doorstep at 8pm on Tuesday with a light to show support for those going through a bereavement.
Councillor Graeme Miller leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "This last year has been truly devastating for many families across our city who have lost a loved one to Covid and it’s entirely right that we remember all those who have sadly died and join with their families in grieving for their loss.
"It's also important that we reflect on the impact this pandemic has had on everyone in our city during this incredibly hard year. There have been huge impacts for our businesses and our economy and we have all seen life change in ways that would have seemed unimaginable 12 months ago.
"But we have also seen our city’s tremendous strength of community spirit shining through these darkest of times with countless acts of kindness and heroic selflessness.
"Sunderland is known as a city where people look out for each other, and that has never been more true than it has these last 12 months. Despite the massive toll Covid has taken on our families, our businesses and our communities, we have pulled together and stuck to the rules.
"Day after day, we have seen our NHS colleagues, health and social care staff and key workers working tirelessly to protect our communities and deliver critical services.
"Our community and voluntary sector partners have been invaluable in helping us provide support to our city’s most vulnerable, while our residents have shown the true meaning of community by watching out for each other throughout the pandemic.
"It’s important that we don’t lose sight of any of this as we look forward to the future and I would encourage everyone across our city join in the day of reflection by observing the minute's silence to remember all those who have tragically died and reaching out to anyone who has lost a loved one. Covid will be with us for a long time to come so we also need to continue to do everything we can to keep the virus under control by following the guidance in place to keep us all safe."
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 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