Channel 1 Los Angeles
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today opened the London Blossom Garden as a lasting living memorial to the impact of COVID-19 on our capital, as he also announced the first phase of a new bereavement support programme to help grieving Londoners.
The Mayor was joined by Hilary McGrady, Director General of the National Trust, and key workers and their representatives from the NHS, TfL and other frontline roles in a ceremony to open the new public garden at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The ceremony was hosted by Gardeners’ World presenter Arit Anderson, and featured poetry by Jay Bernard and a performance by the London International Gospel Choir as they remembered the more than 19,000 Londoners who have died from COVID-19.
In partnership with the National Trust and with support from Bloomberg, a total of 33 blossoming trees have been planted to create the new garden. It has been designed to be a place to contemplate and reflect on the impact of the pandemic, honour the vital efforts of key workers and remember those who have died.
The 33 trees represent all London boroughs and the City of London, with eight spring blossoming tree species chosen as the blossom season coincided with the first national lockdown last year. The garden is the first and flagship site in a series of National Trust blossom plantings in towns and cities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Mayor also today announced the first phase of a new bereavement support programme to help those experiencing loss and grief in London. The Recovery Bereavement Programme will develop a range of support for Londoners with partners, and begins with a public awareness campaign led by Thrive LDN. ‘In loving memory of Londoners lost’ will help direct Londoners to information, advice and support to cope with their grief.