Dacorum Borough Council has opened a new Memorial Garden in Gadebridge Park to remember those who lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The community joined together at a tree blessing ceremony on Saturday, July 16.
The focal point of the garden is the remembrance tree which was planted in October, with the council installing four benches, wildflower planting and a new path.
Hemel Hempstead resident Margaret Sharp worked with the Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning MP to raise funds in the community and from local businesses to pay for the tree which, was provided at cost by Majestic Trees, in Flamstead.
Margaret attended the event and said how moved she was to see the garden open and grateful to all those who had supported it.
She said: “The garden is a beautiful space for people to remember loved ones and reflect on the past few years which have affected so many. I’m grateful to everyone involved who has made this happen. This is now a lovely place for people to reflect and remember those we’ve lost and I’m sure people will draw comfort from the garden.”
One of the benches is dedicated to Dacorum resident Betty Harris, and her family attended the ceremony to pay tribute.
Sir Mike Penning MP, Gagan Mohindra MP, Mayor of Dacorum Cllr John Birnie, Leader of the Council Cllr Andrew Williams, councillors and representatives from community organisations attended the event. Rev Canon John Williams from St Mary’s Church in Hemel Hempstead carried out the tree blessing ceremony.
Cllr Williams said: “COVID-19 impacted so many and we felt it was important to create a memorial garden in remembrance of all those who were affected. The garden is a quiet community space for people to remember and a wonderful new addition to Gadebridge Park.”