The impact of the pandemic and lockdown has meant that we have had to find different ways to say goodbye to the people we love as we grieve for our loss.
Championed by Marie Curie Cancer Care and supported by the National Care Forum (NCF) – the leading member association for not-for-profit care providers – Tuesday 23rd March is set aside for a National Day of Reflection, as people from across the country join together in a minute’s silence at 12noon to reflect on those who have died and show support to the millions of people who are bereaved.
Vic Rayner, CEO of the National Care Forum said:
“Sorrow lays heavy on us all as we head to this anniversary of a year since the first national lockdown; a year where so many have lost loved ones, friends, colleagues and valued members of their communities; a year when so many have not been able to enjoy the very human connections – of touch, kiss, love, hugs and affection; a year when so many have had to stay away from community – whilst shielding or protecting and caring for others more vulnerable than themselves; a year when a virus that we can’t see has seemingly taken control of almost every aspect of our lives, bringing our community, and those of others across the globe, to a standstill.
“In amongst all of this the country has turned its focus to social care – often because that is where the epicentre of impact of this deadly virus has hit home. It has been care workers who have borne the brunt of supporting people in homes and communities – day in day out – seven days a week. It has been care providers who have had to change and flex the way that they provide care to cope with the ever-changing understanding of how to provide care in a COVID-19 environment. Critically, it has been people living in care homes who have lost so much – so many of whom have tragically lost their lives to COVID, while huge numbers have been unable to see loved ones throughout this terrible year.
“In the glare of this sudden spotlight of attention, something amazing has happened – something that should give us all hope for a better and brighter year ahead. In each and every one of these communities that have been hit so hard, there has been fantastic leadership, community and care, demonstrating just what incredible value social care brings to the people and families that it serves. As we reflect and remember, let us also take a moment to reflect on light and hope in a time dominated by sorrow and darkness.”
The day will be commemorated with a programme of free online talks and conversations produced by the Good Grief Festival. Vic Rayner will be on the panel discussion at the event ‘Are we really in this together? Tackling Inequalities in Health and Social Care’ at 3pm on 23rd March.