|Where in the world?||UK|
|How did it start?||Many lost loved ones due to COVID.|
|How were they suffering?||Difficulties dealing with bereavement.|
|What did they do?||The initiative set up gardens of remembrance where people could have trees planted connected to both an online platform and an actual garden.|
|How did it turn out?||The trees native broadleaf trees, increase bio-diversity and clean the air. Some 15, 000 people have engaged so far, with one garden established and more planned.|
People struggled to cope with the sudden grief of losing their loved ones to COVID-19 and they felt isolated, helpless and singled out.
This affected their mental health, behaviours and social interactions as they have had difficulty coming to terms with their bereavement.
Our Heroes CIC was motivated by the pandemic to plant trees for souls lost to COVID-19 in the UK. This birthed the Forest of Memories with a vision to help people and the planet by improving air quality.
Each Memory Tree in the forest represents a loved one and has an associated digital profile with content on the good they did in the world, who they were and what they stood for. This is aided by an app that helps a user see, hear and experience these stories.
Memory Trees are native broadleaf trees planted with careful consideration to increase biodiversity in the local area and the forest is inclusive and accessible by wheel chair.
Groves of Reflection within the forest represent the journey of life and societal issues, which arose due to the pandemic as well as charities working on those issues.
The forest of memories has directly impacted 15,000 people with over 2,000 memory trees planted and 6,000 active users of these trees. The initiative has created a safe space for reflection whilst offsetting 150,000 tons of carbon.
The forest has provided green spaces for local housing developments, curated a historical record through the Memory Trees and created new jobs locally that generate income for land owners and local councils.
Photography By Veronika Ward
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