Posted on: 24 May 2021

Today, Monday 24 May, London Blossom Garden at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will open as a living memorial to the impact of COVID-19 on London. 

The public garden symbolises how London is mourning, individually and collectively, with loss and death impacting so many families, friends, partners, colleagues and frontline staff. A total of 33 blossoming trees have been planted to create the new public garden to represent all London boroughs and the City of London.  

Many Londoners have experienced very sudden and traumatic loss during the pandemic. As we begin to recover, for many people across London life has changed and there will be no ‘return to normal’.

CNWL is supporting a new public awareness campaign, In loving memory of Londoners lost. The campaign aims to get London talking about grief and bereavementreflect upon the scale of loss felt across our city during the pandemic, remember those we have lost, and support loved ones left behind. 

More than 19,000 people have died in London as a direct result of COVID-19. For every death, around five people are closely affected, meaning nearly 100,000 Londoners are grieving the recent loss of someone close to them to COVID-19. 

This number doesn’t include Londoners grieving someone who died elsewhere, or of other causes, but whose bereavement has equally been disrupted. Londoners are mourning huge loss from the pandemic, with some communities and areas of London experiencing this even more acutely. 

Bereavement can be lonely. As a society, we do not talk openly about death, making it harder for people to access support. And it can be difficult to know how to comfort somebody who is grieving. The campaign is a chance to remember loved Londoners lost, and show we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those who mourn them. 

Find out more about the campaign and available support from Thrive LDN’s website:

If you are bereaved and want to talk to someone, the Trust runs Talking Therapies Services in London and Milton Keynes. You can find out more about them and the support we offer on the Talking Therapies website 

CNWL also runs wellbeing services for health and care staff in North West London and all key workers in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. Find out more on the Keeping Well Service websites for London and BLMK