Scottish covid support group in plea to illuminate landmarks on lockdown anniversary as a tribute to lives lost

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IT has become a colour which has joined families together who have lost loved ones to coronavirus in the past 10 months.

A sense of connection, from yellow hearts to badges, it quickly stood as a colourful symbol to remember people.

Now a Scottish support group is hoping to light up the country on March 23, the first anniversary of lockdown in 2020, with a sea of yellow as an act of remembrance.

Connie McCready, who lost her fiancé Jim Russell to covid last May, is leading an appeal to illuminate Scotland’s landmarks and key buildings as a way to remember Scots who have died from coronavirus.

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Ms McCready, who co-ordinates Covid-19 Support Group Scotland, said: “We will be contacting all Scottish local authorities asking them to help us with our hope to light up buildings or landmarks in towns or cities across Scotland in yellow.

“It is a colour which has become a link among families affected by coronavirus and we think this will be a lovely way to remember people on March 23 – one year on since lockdown.”

Ms McCready will not only be making contact with local authorities, she is also looking to get in touch with the owners of prominent buildings in case they can offer their help.

“It could be something very special to see the buildings lit up and I would also like to hear from anyone who can help or is offering to become involved in the project.”

Connie McCready has shared her memories of fiance Jim Russell who died from the virus last May

Recently Ms McCready, who is supporting The ’s campaign to create a memorial to Scots who have lost their lives to covid, paid her own tribute to her fiancé Jim on national TV.

Mr Russell died at the age of 51 after contracting the virus in March. He and McCready had been due to get married in June, but sadly he lost his fight with the virus on May 4, 2020.

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“It was difficult to describe Jim in just 20 seconds but I wanted to get across that he was fit and healthy and that hopefully it might make some people think twice about taking chances,” added Ms McCready.

“I have been living in a kind of bubble due to covid restrictions after losing Jim and I don’t think I have grieved yet. Perhaps when we begin to live some kind of normal life and I start to do things without him or hug or meet people for the first time since losing him, it will hit me.”

Ms McCready says more families have joined her facebook support group in the past few weeks which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/571384280475871

“People are still losing their lives and I think because we are approaching the anniversary of lockdown we are seeing more people reach out and join our group. We have also linked in with the UK support group which is currently fundraising to help support families bereaved by covid.”

Ms McCready supported The ‘s memorial garden campaign just days after it launched and hopes it will be a place where she can go to reflect and remember her fiance. She also took part in The memorial garden Kiltwalk team which raised more than £3000 for the project.

Our campaign has raised more than £42,000 so far and was boosted by a donation in December.

The Freemasons of Glasgow described our campaign as “a thoughtful initiative” and donated £10,000 towards the campaign.

Connie McCready and Richard Clarke photographed at Pollok Park. Connie lost her partner to Covid, while Richard Clarke’s Harry Clarke Group, based in Hillington, has donated £5000 to the project.

Just days after our campaign launched, the leaders of Glasgow City Council Lord Provost Philip Bratt and Council leader, Councillor Susan Aitken, offered us a site in the stunning grounds of Pollok Country Park. Since then we have set up a steering group to take the project and have seen the public generously support the campaign.

Our high profile supporters include actor and Trainspotting start Robert Carlyle and Scots DJ Edith Bowman.

As the months progressed, the public support for the campaign grew. We held a successful workshop in October with a number of groups including Friends of Pollok Park, the National Trust for Scotland and Creative Scotland.

To donate go to: gofundme.com/ herald-garden-of-remembrance. You can also send donations via post to The Garden of Remembrance Campaign, & Times, 125 Fullarton Drive, Glasgow, G32 8FG. If you can help email [email protected] Keep up to date with the latest news at www.heraldscotland.com/campaigns/memorial-garden/

If you can help Covid-19 Support Group Scotland with their illumination idea email [email protected]

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