Every year in November, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust’s chaplaincy and spiritual care service offers a memorial event for the remembrance of loved ones. This year, because of the Covid-19 restrictions, it is not going to be possible to offer an event where people gather in large numbers. However, alternative plans for the hospital and the community to remember loved ones are in place.
Trust Chaplain Martin Abrams explains: “During the early months of the pandemic the rainbow became a symbol of solidarity and support for the NHS. At its most simple, colourful pictures were put in windows to cheer people up. But rainbows are also a symbol of peace and hope as they often appear with the sun after a heavy rainfall.
“During October we are inviting you to bring a piece of colourful ribbon and a bulb, and tie the ribbon and plant a bulb, in memory of a loved one. This does not have to relate to Covid-19, or even a loss in the last year. It can be about any loss at any time.
“We hope this autumn the ribbons will be a spectacle of colour, and in spring the bulbs will look amazing.”
At the end of October a memorial event will be recorded and broadcast from the Trust’s website and social media channels. There will be input from some professional musicians, a local choir, the hospital chaplains, Dr Karen Groves (consultant in palliative medicine) and Dr Dominic Bray (consultant clinical health psychologist) who will be reflecting on grief in a pandemic.
If I want to plant a bulb or tie a ribbon, where do I come?
At Southport, this will be anywhere on the main ‘rainbow’ fence between the main entrance of the hospital and Queenscourt Hospice, and at Ormskirk, by the rainbow banner, on the left as you approach the entrance to the hospital.
When can I tie my ribbon and plant my bulb?
You can come and tie a ribbon and plant a bulb anytime. If you would like somebody from the hospital staff to accompany you while you do it, we are planning to have people available on the weekdays around 11am, but this must be booked in advance to avoid too many people being around at one time. To arrange this please contact the chaplaincy and spiritual care on 01704 704639, soh-tr.Chaplains@nhs.net
Do I do this on my own?
Where possible, do this in family or friendship groups, while abiding by current government guidance, and of course social distancing.
What do I need to bring?
Bring a piece of ribbon, some bulbs to plant and the equipment to plant a bulb.
How do I watch the memorial service?
The service will be at 11am on Sunday 1 November, and it will be recorded and shared afterwards. Links to view it will be shared via our website and social media channels, or you will be able to find it by searching for Southport and Ormskirk Hospital on YouTube. Alternatively, contact the Chaplaincy team nearer to the time requesting a link.