A popular Suffolk remembrance event will go ahead despite the current challenges presented by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Following government advice, provided at the beginning of May, St Elizabeth Hospice’s memoriam event, Suffolk Remembers will this year be held virtually to ensure everyone remains safe during this time.
The annual event, sponsored by the East of England Co-op Funeral Services, usually sees 5,000 candles displayed along Felixstowe seafront on Suffolk Day as hundreds of people gather to remember their loved ones.
This year however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Suffolk Remembers is scheduled for Sunday 21st June and will now be broadcast as an online video for those who have dedicated a candle to a loved one to view.
Pauline Donkin, Individual Support Manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “We’re devastated to have to transform Suffolk Remembers in to a virtual event, but after many discussions over the last few weeks, we feel that this is the safest way to remember our loved ones at this time.”
As with every year, the candles will be displayed across the large Suffolk Remembers letter boards, with the first letter S dedicated to those who have been lost to COVID-19 in Suffolk and relatives are welcome to share the names of their loved one which will then be added to a candle in dedication.
The online broadcast will also include the traditional musical accompaniment of Pop Chorus and the Martlesham Brass Band, as well as readings and poems from nurses at St Elizabeth Hospice.
Pauline added: “It was really important to us to reserve a space for those who have lost loved ones in the pandemic. This event, although run by the hospice, is for everyone and not only those who have used the services of the hospice. It allows everyone in Suffolk a moment to reflect and remember a lost loved one and to know they are not alone.
“Each year, our goal is to light 5,000 candles in memory of those who are no longer with us. These dedications and donations help us to continue looking after our patients in the hospice and the wider community, particularly during this difficult time where a lot of our events have been cancelled and our charity shops are closed which affects our fundraising efforts.”
The letters will be displayed at The Corn Exchange in Ipswich Town Centre for filming purposes with the video published on the hospice’s Facebook and YouTube channels on Sunday 21st June from 2pm.