Mayor supports Christmas initiative to remember those who have died

MAYOR of Derry City and Strabane District Council, councillor Brian Tierney, has donated two Christmas trees to an initiative set up to remember those who have passed away this year.

The initiative known as 'Those Loved and Lost 2020' was organised by the Brighter Days group in order to mark the difficult journey of loss that many local families have suffered during this year.

The loss of a loved one is difficult no matter when it happens, however, local families have had extra burdens and hardships that they had to bear due to restrictions placed on them as a result of the current pandemic.

The initiative will involve the creation of a personalised bauble with details of the lost loved one which will be placed symbolically on the Christmas tree to mark their loss and their life.

The family will then receive a small version of the bauble to keep for themselves which we hope will be a lasting legacy at Christmas time.

North West Regional College are also partnering in the initiative by designing and producing the keepsake baubles for local families which will be distributed via Brighter Days.

Mayor Brian Tierney has supported the event by donating one Christmas tree which has been set up in the Peace Garden on Foyle Street in the city, and one which has been set up in the Alley Theatre courtyard in Strabane.

He said that Christmas time will be a particularly difficult period for those who have lost loved ones this year, but that he hoped this initiative would provide them with some comfort.

"Christmas is never an easy time for anyone who has recently lost a loved one, but this year I know it will be incredibly difficult given everything that has happened over the course of 2020.

"Nothing can take the pain or the grief away, but I think this is a really special and thoughtful initiative set up by Brighter Days to show that there is a brighter future ahead, and also to show that those who have passed on haven't been, and will never be, forgotten," he said.

Mayor Tierney continued: "This is an opportunity to celebrate the life of those who are no longer with us, to be grateful for the time we spent with them, and to share them with others in the community.

‘Donate’

"I am happy to donate two Christmas trees to the initiative and I would like to thank Brighter Days for setting this up and for the work they have done this year in helping people through their grief, and North West Regional College for assisting with this initiative also.

"My thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones as we near the Christmas season, and I hope this will provide some comfort for the weeks and months ahead."

Chairperson of Brighter Days, Francine Moran, commented: "This is a particularly poignant project of me personally after suffering the sudden loss of my own mother during lockdown and I and Brighter Days want to reach out to every family that has had to endure similar experiences to let them know that they are not alone and that there is support available to them.

"I am delighted that the Mayor has supported kindly supported this project and I would also like to thank our other partner North West Regional College for their valuable contribution."

For more information on the initiative, email brighter.days.derry@gmail.com or visit the group's Facebook page.

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