The Mall Blackburn is supporting a Burnley woman who is part of a nationwide group that is working to ensure the victims of Covid-19 are remembered.
Helen Price contacted management at the shopping centre to ask them to display a yellow heart after she became part of the Yellow Hearts to Remember Covid-19 Facebook support group for bereaved families.
Helen’s mum, Joan, tragically passed away on 18th April in Royal Blackburn Hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 and spending almost three weeks on a ventilator.
The 73-year-old, who had mild asthma, was active and healthy prior to contracting the virus and leaves behind daughter Helen, son Alec and his partner Lena as well as grandson Erik.
Following her mum’s death, Helen joined the social media group where fellow members share memories and support each other in grief.
Hannah Gompertz set up the ‘Yellow Hearts to Remember- Covid 19’ group, which has nearly 6000 members, after her Grandmother, Sheila, died of coronavirus.
The group is based on her Grandfather’s idea that those who have lost a loved one to coronavirus should place a yellow heart in their window to show that coronavirus is around, and is having a massive effect on people around us.
Helen said: “We all see the numbers released on a daily basis and it is easy to forget that behind every single number is a person who had a life and a family that loved them.
“The Yellow Hearts to Remember Covid-19 group has been a huge support for me as I grieve.
“Losing my mum is hard enough, but for it to happen in such horrific circumstances where we couldn’t be with her or speak to her is absolutely devastating.
“The staff at the Royal Blackburn Hospital were amazing, they really are angels. They made sure that mum wasn’t alone and kept us up to date with everything that was happening.
“In the weeks following my mum’s passing I found and joined the group, which encourages people that have lost someone to the pandemic to display a yellow heart in their window to show that behind every number is a person that was loved and will be missed.
“It is comforting to be part of a community that can, in some way, understand the grief.”
Helen saw that a shopping centre in Bromley had shown its support for the group by displaying a huge yellow heart along with #Loveforthelost and she decided to approach The Mall to see if they could help.
Jason Cothliff, Acting Marketing Manager, loved the idea and agreed to help. He said: “When we received Helen’s request we didn’t hesitate to say yes.
“We hope it will help to raise awareness of the Yellow Hearts to Remember Covid-19 Facebook support group so people who have lost loved ones can join and get support.
“Helen’s heart-breaking story is one of more than 43,500 in the UK and highlights that these people are not statistics, not numbers to be added to daily totals, but real people who will be missed dearly.”
Helen concluded: “It is so kind of The Mall to paint a huge yellow heart to remember those that have lost their lived to Covid-19.
“If you don’t know someone who has had the virus then it is so easy to forget there are faces behind the statistics.
“I hope it raises awareness of this wonderful group so that other people who are struggling with grief can get the support they need.”
Pictures show: Jason Cothliff from The Mall with the yellow heart that has been painted.