New Covid memorial Blossom Garden at Olympic Park opened by Sadiq Khan

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan opens the new Blossom Garden in Stratford's Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan opens the new Blossom Garden in Stratford's Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park Credit: Caroline Teo - Credit: Greater London Authority/Caroline Teo

A new section of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was opened by Sadiq Khan as a “living memorial” to Londoners who have died from Covid-19.

The Mayor of London was in Stratford yesterday to launch the London Blossom Garden, which features 33 blossom trees to represent the 32 boroughs and the city.

Newly-re-elected Khan also announced the launch of a bereavement support programme that will direct Londoners to advice and support and that will begin with a public awareness campaign.

He said: “This new public garden is a lasting living memorial in recognition of the impact that Covid has had, and continues to have, on our city. 

“It is a place to join together to remember that more than 19,000 Londoners have tragically died, and to reflect on our own experiences of the pandemic, to highlight how this virus has disproportionately impacted many of our communities, and to pay tribute to the ongoing efforts of our key workers.

“It continues to be an incredibly difficult time for Londoners as we battle the virus, and I want all those who have experienced loss to know that there is support available to them. Nothing will make losing someone you love any easier, but we want Londoners to know they are not alone. We are here for you, as a city.”

Details of the “In loving memory of Londoners lost” campaign, as well as links to advice and support can be found on the Thrive LDN website.

The garden was born from a partnership with the National Trust, whose director Hilary McGrady added: “It’s wonderful to have seen this garden come to life in just a few months, with the help of local communities. It will be a beautiful, lasting tribute.”
The garden is the second memorial to Covid-19 victims to be located in London, joining the National Covid Memorial Wall near Westminster that commemorates all those who have died in the UK from the virus.

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There is also currently a campaign to have a permanent memorial to Covid-19 victims inside St Paul’s Cathedral, while the London Assembly unanimously voted earlier this year in favour of supporting an emergency services cenotaph in London to pay tribute to NHS and emergency service workers.