ARTISTIC residents are turning their care home grounds into a sea of yellow in a show of love for the thousands of people in Wales who have died with Covid-19.
Large bright yellow hearts are adorning the entrances to Pendine Park’s two sites in Wrexham to mark the first anniversary of Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing the United Kingdom would be entering lockdown.
Each of Pendine Park’s seven homes in Wrexham will see their windows decorated with smaller yellow hearts, complete with fairy lights.
In a further commemoration, the trees in the grounds of the two complexes on Hillbury Road and Summerhill Road are being festooned with yellow ribbons.
They will each act as a poignant reminder of the events of the past year and an expression of love to all affected by coronavirus, with Pendine Park having accepted an invitation to take part in the Light up Wales to Remember event on Tuesday (March 23).
A small group of residents have been working tirelessly to create the striking hearts in time for the day of remembrance, under the guidance of artist in residence Sarah Edwards.
“When we were approached about taking part in Light up Wales to Remember we thought it was a lovely idea,” said Sarah.
“Creating the hearts seemed a fitting commemoration to remember all who have died.
“Although it is a sad occasion, we hope the use of yellow will symbolise there are brighter times ahead.”
The large hearts will be visible as visitors arrive at the two sites, with each created using MDF.
They are expected to remain on view for about a week.
Sarah praised the diligent art class members from the Bryn Bella and Penybryn homes on Summerhill Road, who have spent time ensuring the hearts are ready to go on display.
“The residents have enjoyed being involved and having a positive role in creating something that remembers those who have lost their lives,” she said.
“Everybody has done an amazing job in getting them ready. I wish to thank them for all their hard work.”
In a nod to the classic old song Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree, a colourful series of yellow ribbons will adorn the trees in Pendine Park’s grounds for the anniversary.
Along with the rest of the nation, the homes will be falling silent at noon and 9pm on Tuesday in honour of all who have died from Covid.
The past year has seen residents unable to mix with those from other homes at the sites, due to the stringent lockdown restrictions in place to help prevent the virus spreading.
“There is a great deal of sadness about what has happened in the past year,” said Sarah, who has worked for Pendine since 1995.
“It is going to be a very poignant day on Tuesday. It will be a day for reflection and for thinking of everyone who is no longer with us.
“If this does become an annual event then we would happily do things to help mark it again in the future.”
About 5,500 people have died in Wales after testing positive for Covid-19 in the past 12 months.
They include 72-year-old Trevor Crossan, from Pentre Broughton, who died in January.
His step-daughter Suzanne Hulmes approached Pendine Park about whether the organisation would like to participate in Light up Wales to Remember.
She has voiced her gratitude for the proactive approach taken in ensuring the homes will be lit up for the occasion.
“It is very nice to see Pendine Park wishes to support the event and I would like to thank them for their efforts,” said Suzanne, of Bradley in Wrexham.
“Coronavirus has had a huge impact on nursing homes and care homes across Wales.
“I have tremendous sympathy with the families of residents, who have been unable to go into the homes.
“The carers have done all they can, but it will have been very difficult for the families not to have the usual access to their relatives in the homes.”
Suzanne is a member of the Facebook group covid-19 families-wales, which is helping to organise the commemorations and acts as a support group for bereaved relatives of Covid victims in Wales.
People across Wales are being encouraged to help light up the country on Tuesday, such as by lighting a candle or displaying yellow fairy lights in their windows.
“This will be a day for thinking about everyone who has been affected by Covid,” said Suzanne.
“The minute’s silence will provide an opportunity for everybody to stop and think about all we have lost, as well as all those who are still recovering and fighting to get well again.
“It is also a time for thinking of all of the people who are indirectly affected by Covid, such as those who are unable to see those close to them in homes and in hospitals.
“The past year has been very difficult for so many people. Our grief is still very raw but a positive to come out of this situation is the people I’ve got to know through the Facebook group, as well as what we are trying to do with the Light up Wales to Remember event.”