A National Day of Reflection will see a minute’s silence held at noon on March 23 as the UK marks one year since the first national lockdown.
People are also being encouraged to stand on their doorsteps with phones, candles and torches to signify a “beacon of remembrance” at 8pm – as buildings across the country light up in yellow to show support for the millions left bereaved during the pandemic.
Spearheaded by end of life charity Marie Curie, the National Day of Reflection is being described as an event that will “give us a time to unite and reflect on this tragic loss of life and our collective grief as a nation.”
Marie Curie Chief Executive Matthew Reed said: “We need to mark the huge amount of loss we’ve seen this year and show support for everyone who has been bereaved in the most challenging of circumstances.
“We cannot simply stand by and not recognise the effects the pandemic has had on the bereaved. We know people are in shock, confused, upset, angry and unable to process what has happened.
“The National Day of Reflection on 23 March gives us a moment to reflect, remember and celebrate the lives of everyone that has died, as well as show our support to family, friends and colleagues who are bereaved during these challenging times – from Covid and other causes.”
Marie Curie estimates that over three million people have been bereaved since the pandemic began – with many unable to properly say goodbye.
The charity said that without the right support, the devastation that the pandemic has caused will impact the lives of people for generations.
More than 250 organisations have pledged their support to the National Day of Reflection.
Over 126,000 people in the UK have died with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, with 4.3 million national cases recorded since January 2020.