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Cornwall Care will be marking the National Day of Reflection on Tuesday 23 March with events and activities involving staff and residents.

The charity, which employs around 1500 people, runs sixteen homes and a community outreach service. Adult social care has been particularly hard hit by the Covid crisis and the idea of commemorating the many lives lost during the pandemic, whilst also looking forward to brighter times ahead, is being enthusiastically supported across the organisation.

“It’s important to remember those who have sadly died and those who are grieving,” said Cornwall Care CEO Anne Thomas. “The last year has been incredibly difficult for all of us and taking time out to reflect on that exactly one year after the first lockdown seems absolutely right.

“Everyone has been affected in one way or the other and recognising that deep sense of loss is a vital part of the healing process. We will all be taking part in the minute silence at midday and many of us will be shining a light at 8pm to collectively remember.

“Tuesday isn’t all about mourning, however. The vaccine, testing and rigorous infection control measures are making a big difference and we will be celebrating that renewed sense of optimism too in a variety of ways. Many of our homes will be holding tea parties and planting trees or flowers to symbolise growth and the coming of spring.”

Sue Aldridge is manager of Penberthy care home in Newquay. Having lost both her mother and brother to the Covid virus during the first lockdown last year, she knows only too well how terrible this pandemic has been.

“As well as taking time out to remember, we want the 23 March 2021 to be a happy, positive day,” she said. “That’s why we’ve organised an activity at Penberthy that’s about filling our garden pots with flowers for the summer.”

Other Cornwall Care activities include fun games for residents, creating a collage of photos, placing in memoriam tributes around a magnolia tree and staff recording short video clips about their experience of working in care over the last twelve months.