A raft of MPs and celebrities are backing a charity campaign for a ‘national day of reflection’ to remember those who have died during the Covid-19 pandemic
The campaign is being spearheaded by Marie Curie to hold the day of commemoration on 23 March, 2021, to mark the first anniversary of the UK going into lockdown.
The campaign has been backed by 50 MPs, including former Labour’s former Shadow Chancellor Jon McDonnell and ex-Conservative cabinet ministers Esther McVey and Stephen Cragg.
Former Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron and Sheffield City mayor Dan Jarvis are among other politicians to support the campaign.
Celebrities supporters include Alison Steadman, Greg Wise and Chris Kamara.
We have an important message for Prime Minister, @BorisJohnson. We need a National Day to remember and celebrate those who have died since lockdown began.— Marie Curie (@mariecurieuk) September 23, 2020
You can help by sharing Jenny’s message and signing our #UniteInMemory petition: https://t.co/iBvish0041 pic.twitter.com/kwYK0lxmOX
The aim is to create a day for “communities to come together and remember, grieve and celebrate everyone who has died, from coronavirus or another cause”, said Marie Curie.
Matthew Reed, Marie Curie chief executive, added: “The support we’ve had so far shows we cannot simply stand by and not recognise the huge effect the coronavirus and lockdown restrictions have had on people who have been bereaved.
“In six month’s time the nation needs to take a moment to come together, to remember, to grieve and to celebrate the lives of everyone who has died in this time.
“As the nation faces the potential of further lockdown measures, we mustn’t forget the thousands and thousands of people who have, and continue to be, bereaved in very difficult circumstances, be that from coronavirus or other causes.”
Bereavement support is seen as a key area of funding for the National Emergencies Trust. Among those to receive a share of its £12m fund to support at risk groups is Cruse Bereavement Care. The money is being used to support its National Helpline.