Minute's silence held outside Leeds Vaccination Centre at Elland Road for National Day of Reflection

Staff, volunteers and members of the public fell silent at the Elland Road vaccination centre to remember those who have lost their lives during the Covid pandemic.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 4:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 5:04 pm

A minute’s silence was held across the UK at lunchtime today (Tuesday), a year on from the country first entering lockdown.

Penny McSorley, director of nursing for the Leeds Covid-19 vaccination programme, said: “It was important for us to take a moment to reflect on the past year and to take part in the one minute's silence.

"This has been an incredibly difficult year for everyone, we have all lost loved ones and colleagues, and the work of the vaccination centre and the wider vaccination programme has collectively given us a purpose and hope.

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A moment of reflection at the Leeds Vaccination Centre, Elland Road (photo: Tony Johnson).

“I would like to thank all the staff from our health and social care partners across Leeds for their hard work and dedication in the rollout of the vaccine programme in Leeds.

"They have worked tirelessly to ensure that we deliver vaccine to as many citizens as we can in the city.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered his “sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones” and praised the “great spirit” displayed ahead of the nation pausing in remembrance.

At 8pm the charity Marie Curie is encouraging the country to hold a second minute's silence and “come together to light up the night”.

A moment of reflection at the Leeds Vaccination Centre, Elland Road (photo: Tony Johnson).

In Leeds, people are being encouraged to stand on their doorsteps or at their windows and 'light up the night', shining phones, candles or torches to remember someone who has died.

Civic buildings will be lit up in yellow throughout the evening to show support to people going through bereavement.

Leeds Bereavement Forum also ran a virtual death café between 11am and 12.15pm to provide a dedicated space to encourage discussion about death and bereavement.

Council leader Councillor James Lewis said: “There’s absolutely no doubt that Covid-19 has had an enormous impact on all our lives. There are still tough times ahead, as the death toll continues to rise.

“This annual day will give us all time to pause and think about this unprecedented loss we’re facing, and support each other through grief in the days ahead. I’d encourage everyone to play their part and find time to pause and reflect for a while.”

Leeds is also to get a memorial woodland for Covid victims, Coun Lewis said yesterday.

What time is the beacon of remembrance?

At 8pm Marie Curie is encouraging the country to hold a second minute's silence and “come together to light up the night”.

The charity is encouraging people to stand outside with a light – a candle, a torch, or a phone - to remember those who have passed away while showing support for those going through bereavement.

Alternatively you can shine a light in your window for everyone to see.

Share what you do on social media using #DayOfReflection.

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