TWO of Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs have announced their support for The Herald’s Covid memorial campaign.
In what is a massive boost to the campaign to create the national Covid memorial, Sir Tom Hunter and Lord Willie Haughey are backing our campaign drive and today have donated the fantastic sum of £25,000 each.
The significant donation of £50,000 has catapulted our funds raised so far over the half way mark.
Thanks to their pledges we have now raised £136,000 towards our £233,500 target.
The Herald is campaigning to raise £233,500 to create I remember: Scotland’s Covid Memorial – an idea which we initiated last year.
And as the country finds itself gripped by the virus again, we wanted to give hope to bereaved families that their loved ones will be remembered.
Just days after we revealed the design of the memorial which will be located in Glasgow’s Pollok Country Park, we received support from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and a pledge of a further £25,000 from the Scottish Government after their initial donation of just over £16,000 last year.
Now the donations from Sir Tom and Lord Haughey have come as an early Christmas present for the campaign.
Sir Tom, founder of The Hunter Foundation, said: “The I remember: Scotland’s Covid Memorial will provide a lasting tribute to those taken by this awful virus, but I hope also remind us how we came together to fight it.
“We have all been affected by this awful thing and it’s important we remember both the horror of it, but also the human kindness it inspired as neighbours and communities rallied to support those most in need – I truly hope we don’t lose that spirit, it’s perhaps the only good thing that has come from this.”
Lord Haughey, owner of City Facilities Management, said: “I think the creation of a memorial in Pollok Park is a wonderful idea – I am delighted to be involved with The Herald in this initiative.”
Sir Tom has previously shown his support for the campaign through his connection with the Kiltwalk events. Our staff and supporters took part in virtual Kiltwalk events over the past year.
Our fundraising total was topped up by The Hunter Foundation, helping us to further boost our funds.
Revealed just days ago, our artist’s impression shows what will become one of the main sites in Pollok Country Park, the riverside grove.
Glasgow City Council generously stepped in to offer the park as the location of the proposed memorial, shortly after we launched the campaign last year.
Our memorial artist Alec Finlay has come up with a concept which would involve significant memorial sites in Pollok Country Park – the Riverside Grove, Beech Grove, Hillside Grove and Birch Grove.
It would involve 50 oak tree supports which will offer the idea of a memorial walk in the park.
We reached out to people over the past few months using the idea of I remember prompts. These heartfelt passages have captured a moment in time and our hope is that audio of the I remember passages will be accessed through QR codes on the supports.
The key message of the memorial – I remember – will be displayed in several languages.
We also want to invite those affected to become involved in memorial planting at dedicated sites and to help the memorial evolve to have a satellite concept across Scotland.
Earlier this week, we revealed how the Scottish Government was pledging a further £25,000 with the First Minister saying: “The I remember campaign will ensure fitting and lasting tributes to every life lost to Covid-19 and other illnesses during the pandemic.
“I send my condolences to every person who has lost a loved one – nothing can ever replace them.”
Glasgow’s Lord Provost Philip Braat, who has given the memorial his full backing, said: “From what I have seen of the proposals, this special place in Pollok Country Park will become a living memorial that will grow and develop into an oasis of contemplation, but it must also deliver an appropriate and powerful tribute to those no longer with us.”
Donald Martin, editor of The Herald, said: “It is fantastic that within in days of launching the latest fundraising drive, we have broken through the halfway point in our target to reach £233,500.
“We are grateful to Sir Tom Hunter, Lord Haughey and the Scottish Government for their significant donations.”