On March 23 2020, Boris Johnson, gave his speech to implement a national lockdown – where we were all told to stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.
Since then, the UK’s official death toll has risen from 364 to 126,172 and a total of 4.2million cases.
Today a minute’s silence will be held at midday as part of a day of reflection.
People are also being encouraged to stand on their doorsteps at 8pm with phones, candles and torches to signify a “beacon of remembrance” – an event organised by end-of-life charity Marie Curie.
More than 300 organisations are taking part in the day including bereaved families, politicians, celebrities, emergency services, schools, charities, businesses, institutions, community groups and faith leaders.
People can also join an online Moment of Reflection from 11.35am hosted by Marie Curie.
Restrictions, social distancing and lockdown measures have hit grieving people particularly hard during the last 12 months, with many not able to grieve as they normally would.
A recent survey for Marie Curie found the majority of those bereaved reported they had “not had a chance to fully process” loss, as they normally would, due to the pandemic (56%) and almost half (47%) believe the public “will not be able to fully understand” the emotional impact of the pandemic until it is over. There have been 698,734 deaths from all causes since the end of March 2020 and an estimated 6.2 million people grieving.
The charity is urging everyone to take a moment to reflect on our collective loss and reach out to someone who is grieving today.
Free online talks featuring celebrities, expert panels, bereaved families will also be held throughout the afternoon for anyone to join.
Marie Curie Executive Director, Meredith Niles, said: “We hope that the National Day of Reflection provides a moment in time for everyone to reflect on our collective loss and show support for those who are grieving.
“Grief and bereavement can be isolating, and social distancing has kept us apart when we most need connection. Just a small gesture of support can provide such a boost. There are many ways people can get involved on the day and remind someone who is grieving that they are not alone.”
If you’re struggling with grief or need support, you can find free bereavement resources, and a list of organisations that can help, on the National Day of Reflection webpage: http://mariecurie.org.uk/bereavement-resources and you can call the Marie Curie Support Line on 0800 090 2309 for ongoing support from a trained bereavement volunteer.