Schoolgirl makes her mark on Covid-19 memorial
A schoolgirl has spoken of her pride after learning that her drawing is going to feature on a Covid-19 memorial stone at three crematoria in Scotland.
Westerleigh Group, the UK’s largest independent owner and operator of cemeteries and crematoria, announced last year it planned to create Covid-19 memorial gardens at most of its sites in England, Scotland and Wales.
Westerleigh issued an open invitation for people of all ages and backgrounds to submit ideas for a design to be etched onto a stone obelisk which will form the centre-piece of each garden.
Poppy Lunn, aged 12, from Galashiels in the Scottish Borders, said she was “totally shocked” when she found out her design had been chosen as the winner for Westerleigh’s Scotland region.
Westerleigh Group is choosing six designs overall, one for each of its regions, so designers had an opportunity – if they wished – to incorporate something relevant to their region in their entries.
Poppy said: “Although I like art, I don’t think I’m very good at it, so I was so happy when I found out I had won. I know it means a lot to my family, especially my Nana.”
While Poppy may not have been convinced about her own artistic abilities, it’s definitely in her blood, as her Nana, Domenica Lunn, is an artist.
Poppy said: “I am so proud, and I can’t wait to see it and for my family to see it. It is amazing that I have drawn something that will be around forever and that I can show my children.
“A family friend had Covid, so I entered the competition for him. I also know a few people who work at the local hospital (Borders General Hospital) so I also wanted to show how much I appreciated everything they have been doing.
“I have drawn three thistles. The middle one has a rainbow which represents the NHS and all they have done for us. The other thistles on each side are protecting the NHS, just like we have tried to do.
“I wanted something that would be easily duplicated onto stone, that would also stand out and would represent Scotland and how I feel about where I live and how we have all tried so hard to beat Covid.”
She added: “I did it all by myself but my Mum and Dad knew what my idea was and thought it was good. My dad drew his own thistle but it wasn’t as good as mine.
“I was just going to do one thistle to start with but I thought it would be good to have the NHS thistle protected and supported by the other two.”
Roger Mclaughlan, Chief Executive Officer of Westerleigh Group, said: “We would like the memorial gardens to provide permanent, tranquil places for people to visit to remember loved ones who lost their lives during the pandemic and also to remember and reflect on those who have sacrificed so much to help others during the coronavirus crisis.
“We decided early on that we wanted local people to help shape how the gardens would look, so that each of them would become something of real significance to our local communities.
“We were overwhelmed by the creativity shown by the many people who submitted their imaginative designs and the judging process was a moving experience as it was clear that a lot of heartfelt thought had been put into each entry.
“I would like to congratulate Poppy for her winning design and am looking forward to seeing how it looks in the memorial gardens at our crematoria in Scotland.”
Poppy’s design will be etched onto the black polished granite stone monuments which will be placed in the memorial gardens at Westerleigh Group’s crematoria at Borders, West Lothian and Stirlingshire.
Westerleigh Group hopes to install the Covid-19 memorials at all its sites during June, ready to open for the public to visit in July.