A new memorial postbox has been installed at St Helens Cemetery enabling residents to send letters to lost loved ones and friends.
The owl motif postbox has been provided by the Friends of St Helens Cemetery, funded by kind donations received from the community and fundraising activities by the Friends group.
A Peace Garden around it will be developed further next year by the Friends group and it is hoped that this will be a calming space where visitors can sit and reflect.
Marlene Downey, group treasurer of the Friends of St Helens Cemetery, said:
“We chose the Miss Fair-Isle Owl Postbox as it is specially designed to help children express their feelings around grief and bereavement. Children can really struggle to show their understanding and emotion when dealing with bereavement and can find it easier to write down their feelings and help them come to terms with their loss. The owl postbox will be a child friendly character for children to visit and post their own messages to the person they have lost.
“2020 and Covid-19 has changed the world for everyone, particularly those who have recently lost loved ones, family or friends and everyone is welcome to post into this beautiful hand carved granite memorial postbox. We welcome all to this lovely corner of the cemetery and hope that the surroundings help people find peace and a chance for thought and reflection.
“We are very grateful for all those who generously donated to our fundraising appeal and those people who attended our events and activities and supported us by making donations. The donations came from the local community as well as supporters from far and wide. We thank them all.”
Councillor Andy Bowden, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “This year has been an incredibly stressful one for everyone, but especially those who have lost loved ones, family and friends during lockdown. Our dedicated bereavement team has continued to provide meaningful and dignified funeral ceremonies, for example by setting up a webcasting service available to all, but we appreciate that the necessary Covid-19 restrictions may have meant that local people, children and adults may not have been able to mourn their loss, or pay their respects in the way they would want to.
“The memorial postbox is a fantastic idea, enabling residents to write letters to those they’ve lost, and hopefully find some peace. We’re extremely grateful to the Friends group for their work on this project and all the local people who donated and made this possible, thank you so much.”