National Day of Reflection

23rd March 2021

A time to pause, remember and look forward to better times ahead 

Today, residents and staff at Whiteley Village came together to support the first National Day of Reflection, organised by the charity Marie Curie to mark one year since the UK first went into lockdown.

The Trust and its residents reflected on the past year and the loss of loved ones who have sadly passed away for various reasons including Covid. Events were held in our charity’s care homes where residents were given bunches of daffodils and took part with staff in the National Minute’s Silence.

In our extra-care centre, Huntley House, residents created a Memory Tree with cut outs of their handprints onto which they wrote messages, remembering friends or looking ahead to brighter times.

Staff and members of the Leadership Team handed out bunches of daffodils in the morning to villagers along with tea lights – both donated by local company Verisk – so they can join Marie Curie’s Shine a Light event at 8pm. Residents were delighted by the gifts and many said what a moving day it had been. One commented: “It was lovely – such a thoughtful idea. Thank you so much for the daffodils and candle – they will be used this evening at 8.00 pm.”

Chief Executive, Rachel Hill said: “This has been an incredibly sad and difficult year for our residents and staff. Whiteley has miraculously had very few Covid infections, and a small number of deaths but we have also lost many for other reasons as well.

“Grieving is an incredibly important part of the healing process and many people, often cut off from friends and family, haven’t had the opportunity to do that properly, so we wanted to encourage everyone to take time to pause, reflect and talk if they want to. We hope people found the various events that were organised around Whiteley Village today helpful and we’re hugely grateful to Verisk for their support to our charity.”

Whiteley villager Sue Kirby, came up with the idea for a Remembrance Photo Board outside the Village Shop to celebrate friends and family from Whiteley that residents had lost over the last year. Supported by her friend Pauline Simpson, they invited fellow villagers to contribute photos of lost loved ones for the board, which has proved very popular.

“It’s been such a sad time” said Sue, “and we’ve lost so many. I realised the other day that half our Mah Jong group had died. These were our friends and neighbours – people we met for coffee and had BBQs and fun with.

“We’ve all found it difficult to grieve as we’ve not been able to go to their funerals or wakes and say a proper goodbye. We didn’t want the photo board to be sad though, so we asked everyone to contribute happy pictures – times when our loved ones were having fun, as that’s how you want to remember them.

“Pauline and I were delighted with the response we’ve had – it’s been incredible! At least 40 or 50 villagers have commented on how much they love it and I’m so pleased it’s meant so much to everyone at this terrible time”, she said.

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