Residents invited to take part in a national day of reflection

The council offices at Time Square will be lit up yellow tomorrow evening (Tuesday, 23 March) to join in with a UK national day of reflection that marks the one-year anniversary since we entered the first COVID-19 lockdown.

The national day of reflection is a time for us to remember those who have tragically died during the pandemic, and where lives have changed forever because of COVID-19. The national event, which is being led by end of life charity Marie Curie, hopes to bring the whole of the UK together virtually to reflect on our collective loss and support those who have been bereaved.

The day of reflection also signifies a time of hope for better days to come, as the Government restrictions start to ease on the roadmap out of the COVID-19 lockdown. Time Square joins other prominent buildings and landmarks in lighting up yellow to signify remembrance and hope for a brighter future.

Residents will have the opportunity to join in a one minute’s silence which takes place at noon, and a national doorstep vigil in the evening. At 8pm people are encouraged to stand on their doorstep with phones, candles and torches to signify a ’beacon of remembrance’. Memorials for the lives that have been tragically lost are available in St Paul’s Cathedral online memorial, ‘Remember Me’, where the public can also post one of their own.

There will be other various virtual and home-based events taking place across the country, in the day of reflection that has the support of more than 100 care organisations, charities, businesses, emergency services, public sector bodies, politicians and community groups.

Cllr Paul Bettison OBE, Leader of Bracknell Forest Council, said:

“The UK national day of reflection is a time for us to pay tribute to those who have died during the pandemic. It is a day of reflection for everyone who has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, such as losing a beloved family member, experiencing financial hardship, struggling with their mental health, or living with the long-term after effects of having had COVID-19 (long COVID).

“It gives us an opportunity to stand still and reflect for a short while in what has been a very unusual and challenging time for us all. The last year has seen several periods of national restrictions and updated guidance to limit the spread of the virus, which has required residents to adjust their way of life to accommodate these changes.

“It is also an important time for thanks and to remember how our communities have pulled together. Thanks to our residents who have followed the national guidance to keep yourselves, your loved ones and your communities as safe as possible. We know it hasn’t always been easy, but the part you’ve all played, and continue to play, is making a big difference. A huge thanks to our incredible key workers, such as our health and social care staff, teachers and school staff, shop workers, public transport staff and delivery drivers who have worked exceptionally hard in the toughest of circumstances. The Bracknell Forest Community Response staff and volunteers have also provided vital support to our vulnerable residents during the pandemic. This includes help with tasks such as shopping for essential items and delivering prescriptions, to general advice and dog walking.

“As COVID-19 restrictions start to lift and the Government’s four-step roadmap offers a route back to a more normal life, now is not the time to get complacent, particularly when new strains of the virus are still prevalent. Please continue to follow the national guidance, which currently is to stay at home, and only leave your home for essential reasons.”

Since the first national lockdown began on Monday, 23 March 2020, there have been three periods of national lockdown, as well as the introduction of tiers of restrictions in all four nations.