IDEAS for a COVID memorial in the Borders are set to be displayed at a showcase event.

Over recent months the Remembering Together project has been working with individuals and communities on how best to capture stories from the region.

Participants in the first phase of the Borders initiative, led by artists Alister Lownie and Katherina Radeva, included people who became first-time parents in the pandemic, people with dementia, and families with children with additional needs.

Alister said: "We’ve heard about many different kinds of experiences. As you’d expect, there were stories of isolation and grief, mental and physical hardships, but also an extraordinary sense of determination and independence, set against a recognition of the ways in which communities came together.

"The overwhelming majority of people we met wanted to share their pandemic stories, and liked the idea of a Borders memorial, but neither a celebration of survival, nor a tribute to those lost.

"For many people, there are still unwelcome impacts on mental health, relationships, and work.

"The chance to acknowledge these issues through discussing the positive nature of the Remembering Together project was valuable to many."

Katherina said: "It was striking how so many people wanted a COVID memorial which isn’t in a fixed location, rather something they could make their own, something which could become part of local events, and hold personal significance at the same time."

A key theme identified in phase one was a desire for a memorial to highlight the farming and industrial heritage of the Borders.

Now the ideas created in phase one will be showcased at an event at Borders General Hospital (BGH) this week.

The event tomorrow (Tuesday, March 28) at the chaplaincy centre at BGH will showcase the memorial ideas.

Borders Care Voice is one of the supporting organisations working to bring the project to the Borders.

Jenny Smith, Borders Care Voice chief officer, said: "Although everyone in the Scottish Borders has been impacted by the pandemic, certain groups and individuals have been more adversely affected.

"The Remembering Together project has offered many of those still affected the chance to share stories and influence how our region will remember the impact of COVID-19.

"We are inspired by the ideas which have come out of phase one of the project.

"We are looking forward to the showcase event which lays out the next steps of creating a Borders memorial.”

The event will also include a performance by supporters, the Health in Harmony Choir.

The group, founded in 2017 to support the wellbeing of health and social care staff in the Borders, will be performing a rendition of Follow the Heron by Karine Polwart.

Alister added: "The development of a Borders COVID memorial has taken a similar co-creational approach.

"The voices, stories, and ideas of those we have met over recent months have inspired plans for a memorial which reflects the beauty, resilience, and culture of the Scottish Borders."

Remembering Together is a nationwide project created by Greenspace Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.

The Remembering Together event at 6.45pm on Tuesday is free to join, but places must be reserved in advance by emailing:

Refreshments will be provided.