Call for designs for Westerleigh Group’s Covid-19 memorials

An artist's impression of the new Westerleigh Memorial.

An artist's impression of the new Westerleigh Memorial. - Credit: Archant

Aspiring artists, school children, retired people and creative folk of all ages in the East are being given a chance to have their names etched in history.

Design ideas are being invited to appear on the stone centre-piece obelisks of new COVID-19 memorial gardens which are being created at Cam Valley in Great Chesterford, Basildon, Forest Park at Hainault, West Suffolk near Bury St Edmunds, Cromer, Barham near Canterbury and Charing near Ashford in Kent crematoria.

The crematoria are run by Westerleigh Group, the UK’s largest independent owner of crematoria and cemeteries, who are building memorials in tranquil gardens at more than 30 sites across the UK with members of the public invited to contribute to their design.

The memorial gardens will be a permanent tranquil place for people to visit and remember loved ones who died during the pandemic and pay tribute to those who sacrificed so much to help others who were sick, isolated or vulnerable.

A competition has been launched with people of all ages invited to create a suitable design which can be etched onto the stone obelisk, which will be the focal point of each memorial garden.

Each polished black granite monument will be set in a rainbow-coloured floral bed.

Regional manager Astrud Matanle said: “Our sites have close links to their local communities and are places where people go to say goodbye to their loved ones and reflect on life.

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“Everyone has been affected by the pandemic this year and we wanted to create permanent and lasting memorials in each of those communities. We wanted to enable people to get involved and help us with the design.”

Designs should be no bigger than A4 in size and must be submitted by Saturday, October 31. After the closing date, a shortlist of final entries for each region will be drawn up and winners will be chosen.

Work is expected to start on the stone memorials later this year, with garden landscaping taking place in early Spring 2021, before opening shortly afterwards. Entries can be emailed to: or posted to: Design Competition, Westerleigh Group, Chapel View, Westerleigh Road, Westerleigh, Bristol BS37 8QP. Entrants should include their name, address and a telephone number so that they can easily be contacted if their design is chosen.

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