On Tuesday, 23 March, the anniversary of the first UK lockdown, Tewkesbury Borough Council is encouraging residents from across the borough to join the whole country for a National Day of Reflection to acknowledge the millions of people who have been affected.

Since the start of the pandemic, the UK has tragically seen over 100,000 deaths, with 137 in Tewkesbury Borough losing their lives. Behind the statistics, every death has been devastating for the people left behind, with many unable to say goodbye properly to their loved ones, or comfort one another when they most needed to. On Tuesday, people throughout the UK will reflect on personal and collective loss, support those who have been bereaved, and hope for a better future.

As a mark of respect, Tewkesbury Borough Council will lower the flag outside its council offices to half-mast and ask officers to take part in a minute’s silence at 12 noon.

Should residents wish to, they can also take part in the nationwide ‘beacon of remembrance’ from their doorsteps by beaming phones, candles and torches into the night sky at 8pm.

Councillor Rob Bird, Leader of Tewkesbury Borough Council, said: “A nationwide day of reflection gives us the opportunity to come together in paying our respects not only to those who have tragically lost their lives, but also to all who have lost family members or close friends. Even those who have not been directly affected by bereavement may have suffered from being isolated from family and friends for a long time.

“It is important to take this time to reflect on what we have lost, but it also offers us the chance to act together, to offer comfort to one another, and to move forward into what will hopefully be a brighter future.”