Coronavirus: Ellesmere man encourages people to put out a chair to remember loved ones
An Ellesmere man is encouraging people to “put out a chair” to remember loved ones during the Coronavirus lock-down.
Retired civil servant Jeremy Stretton, president of the town’s Probus Club, hopes his idea will be taken up in time for next Tuesday’s planned one minute’s silence in memory of healthcare and other key workers who have lost their lives in the fight against Covid-19.
“I’ve already placed a garden chair in my front garden and I hope others will follow suit,” he said. “My idea is that we pay tribute to those brave NHS staff and others who have died during the pandemic, and also take the opportunity to invite those who can’t be with us to join us in spirit.
“I think putting a chair in the garden, or on a balcony, is a poignant and symbolic way to remember those who’ve passed away, and to connect with family and friends from whom we’re physically separated because of the lockdown.
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"It’s a difficult time for so many people who’re missing loved ones for whatever reason and I hope this will bring some comfort.
“My stepbrother, who lives in Hamburg, has already taken up the idea over there and I’ve spread the word through family and friends in South Wales, Scotland, Liverpool and elsewhere. BBC Radio Shropshire has also given it some publicity and I’d like to see it snowball.
"Some people might think it’s a bit potty, but I sincerely hope it will help to relieve some of the stress. worry and huge sense of loss that many people are facing.”
Jeremy’s son, Daniel is a paramedic and senior manager with West Midlands Ambulance Service and his partner, Natalie, is matron at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital’s A&E unit.
“Both are massively involved in the current Covid-19 response,” he said.
“Sometimes the families of our front line medical teams can only look on with awe, pride, love and thanks, while feeling a little helpless. But all will be well eventually, I’m sure.”
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