South Tyneside Council to unveil memorials honouring those who lost their lives to Coronavirus
The council is also considering bestowing the Freedom of the Borough on NHS staff, carers and key workers for their service to the community throughout the pandemic.
South Tyneside Council has announced plans to pay permanent tribute to those who lost their lives to Coronavirus.
Six memorials will be constructed to honour the nearly 700 people who died with covid in the area.
The council also wants to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of the local community during the pandemic.
Councillor Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “When covid hit in 2020 and so many people were losing their lives, we said we wanted to create a meaningful and lasting memorial and provide a special place for people to remember their loved ones.
"Our communities also united to provide much needed support and comfort to the many people suffering loss, helping them through those dark and difficult times.
"Therefore, these memorials not only honour those who died, they recognise the enormous sacrifices made by volunteers and key workers who came together to provide care and support to our most vulnerable residents and ensured the continued delivery of essential services.”
The memorials will be unveiled at 11 am on Sunday 12 March at locations across the area with a short service including prayers, poems, readings and music.
The sites which will be honoured with the 5ft granite plinths include: South Marine Park, South Shields; West Park, Jarrow; Fountains Park, Hebburn; Cornthwaite Park, Whitburn; Front Street, Cleadon and Boldon Colliery.
“These memorial stones acknowledge the impact of the pandemic on the people of South Tyneside while acting as a lasting tribute to the amazing resilience of our communities. They also mark this significant and challenging event in our world history,” Councillor Dixon concluded.
Alongside the memorials, the council are set to bestow the Freedom of the Borough to the local NHS, care services and key workers at an Extraordinary Meeting of Borough Council for their contribution to keeping local people safe and ensuring the delivery of essential services during the pandemic.
The formal decision will be made on Thursday 9 March.