A crowd of more than 70 people gathered for a ceremony to commend a new Eastbourne memorial in Elm Grove Park. 

The Tree of Reflection, set among Sukura Cherry Trees donated by the Sakura Cherry Tree Project, is designed as a place to reflect on personal experiences during the pandemic. 

The Commendation Ceremony on Saturday (June 18), hosted by the Deputy Lieutenant, Mrs Deborah Bedford, and the Mayor of Eastbourne, Councillor Pat Rodohan, included speeches by Councillor Jim Murray, who represents Hampden Park ward; Louise Neter, designer of the memorial; Caroline Ansell, the MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon; Councillor David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council; and Father Danny Pegg, associate vicar of Hampden Park and Willingdon. 

Councillor Murray, who was charged with organising the project by Councillor Steve Wallis when he was Mayor of Eastbourne, said: “It was a moving ceremony that captured the grief many of us have experienced losing loved ones together with heart-warming messages of how our community rallied to help those in need during this difficult time. 

“With the darkest days of the pandemic thankfully behind us, I hope people take the opportunity to visit this wonderful memorial to think about their own reality of living through Covid and remember those we have lost.” 

Elm Grove Park is located at the rear of Park Practice, Broadwater Way, Eastbourne, BN22 9PQ.