Memorial set to be unveiled to coronavirus victims in Chapeltown Park, Sheffield

It may be two years since Sheffield saw its first death from the coronavirus.

Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 2:25 pm

But the city has not forgotten those it has lost to Covid 19.

And already work is moving ahead on memorials to the victims of the pandemic which has claimed over 1,600 lives in the city since Leonard Gibson, from Oughtibridge, became its first victim on March 17, 2020.

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Sculptor Andrew Vickers of Stoneface Creative, is working on the Chapeltown Park pandemic memorial.

What is thought to be the first memorial in the city is planned to be put in place on Saturday, April 9, in Chapeltown Park, Chapeltown.

It follows an 18 month fundraising campaign in that area which raised around £16,000 towards the cost of the monument, which is due to be located just behind the outdoor gym in the park. The money was raised both by crowd funding on a website, and through collections at local events.

Friends of Chapeltown Park, a community group which has been closely involved in the project, along with organisations such as Chapeltown Parish Council, say the plan is to cut a string of garland flowers instead of a ribbon, to be environmentally friendly.

Sculptor Andrew Vickers of Stoneface Creative, is working on the monument.

When it is completed, it will have an arch, fixed onto a base stone, which will be surrounded by a semi-circular stone bench.

Friends of Chapeltown Park secretary Doris Denton said: “We are so thrilled with the design so far. The stone carvings to be done round the monument have been inspired by the winners of the design competition we held in local schools just before Christmas.

“Lovely stone pebbles done by the kids will also be incorporated in the monument and the wall. There will be commemorative plaques, also with pebbles, in all the surrounding parks.

“The monument will be fantastic. You will be able to sit on the bench and look down into Chapeltown through the middle opening. Also there will be small holes carved into the opening for floral tributes. We think it is so important to have somewhere to sit and have a quiet time to remember those we have lost during this pandemic.”