Memorial garden remembering those lost during Covid opens in Hadleigh

The memorial garden at Hadleigh Nursing Home has been opened to remember all those who were lost as a result of Covid

The memorial garden at Hadleigh Nursing Home has been opened to remember all those who were lost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic - Credit: Kinglsey Healthcare

A memorial garden that pays tribute to the people of Hadleigh who died during the coronavirus pandemic has opened at at nursing home. 

Data has shown that Hadleigh has been one of the worst hit communities in the country for Covid-19 deaths, and its care homes were badly affected. 

Jo Sheldrake, a supermarket worker, led a campaign for a memorial garden in the town following the death of her father Eric Mee to the disease.

Mrs Sheldrake was also asked to unveil the new garden plaque.

“I am sure the garden will be very much appreciated. People will love the setting and the peace and quiet," Mrs Sheldrake, said.

Jo Sheldrake was invited to unveil the plaque of the new garden after she campaigned for a memorial garden in the town

Jo Sheldrake was invited to unveil the plaque of the new garden after she campaigned for a memorial garden in the town - Credit: Kingsley Healthcare


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The picturesque garden at the Hadleigh Nursing Home has pergola, with seating and tables as the central feature as well as trellis panels at the sides which will allow roses and jasmine plants to climb and create a fragrant arch. 

From the pergola, people can look out over a rockery and stone water feature.

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Major of Hadleigh Frank Minns, said the garden was an important symbol of renewal after the pandemic.

"It is so important for older people to be able to get back to the simple everyday pleasures that made life fulfilling," Mr Minns said.

Hadleigh town major Frank Minns spoke at the memorial garden opening

Hadleigh town major Frank Minns spoke at the memorial garden opening - Credit: Kingsley Healthcare

In attendance to the grand opening were invited guests from the local community and families connected to Hadleigh Nursing Home. Other local care homes were also among the invitees.

Operations director, Debbie McGovern, said: "The Covid pandemic has taken a terrible toll on Hadleigh, especially on its older population living in care homes.

“But the team here at Hadleigh Nursing Home has emerged from the darkest days stronger and more united. And I am sure the same goes for the town as a whole.

The garden will be enjoyed for generations to come, as a place where people can come and reflect and remember 

The garden will be enjoyed for generations to come, as a place where people can come and reflect and remember - Credit: Kingsley Healthcare

“That is why, in developing this garden, we wanted to honour those who lost their lives across the whole community, not just in our nursing home.”

There are now plans to hold an annual memorial day in Hadleigh to remember those who died and to take a look back on one of the most challenging times the country has been through in recent years.

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