Everyday Heroes & the Dr George Rice Community Garden
The Pandemic: We asked ourselves, "How might we commemorate and honour all the hard work and sacrifices made during this crisis?" After much discussion, we were inspired to ask the community to help create ceramic murals that will be displayed in public spaces. Since the project started in May 2019 we collected hundreds of hearts and permanently installed murals in London and Lincolnshire: at the Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton Women's Centre, West Norwood (private properties) and Great Carlton Social Club.
GREAT NEWS: Thanks to the untiring efforts of Jeff Richards and colleagues at Suttonfx the plan for the Dr George Rice Community Garden has become a reality and thanks once again to Jeff, it will be the location of three memorial panels. The panels will be unveiled on the 23rd of March, 2023, which is is the 3rd National Day of Reflection and is the anniversary of the start of the COVID lockdown in the UK. Photos show the dedication of the Garden in 2022, since then work on the garden has been non-stop!
The memorial will be made of 3 heart-shaped panels that house dozens of ceramic hearts made by Sutton residents that commemorate their experience of being key workers, the loss of loved ones in the pandemic and expressions of thankfulness for health workers and other 'everyday heroes'. The installation of the memorial has been funded by Greenholm School whose students use the community garden as the site for work-based learning.
The Dr George Rice Community Garden, named in honour of a Victorian pioneer of vaccination in Sutton, stands opposite the Library/Civic Centre car park that was the site of the central PCR testing station for Sutton during the pandemic.
The Archdeacon of Reigate, The Venerable Moira Astin will attend and we would like her to be joined by representatives of other faiths and religious traditions who will also be able to share prayers for the people of Sutton.
The pandemic impacted everyone in our community and we would like everyone to feel represented at the unveiling of the memorial that marks our collective experience.
Join us on the 23rd of March! We'll keep you updated.
We want to thank Sutton Community Fund, Potclays, Mayco Glazes, and Greenholm School for their very generous support.