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Surprise performance takes place at Cardiff Castle for Marie Curie’s Day of Reflection

A surprise choir performance hosted by End-of-life care charity Marie Curie at Cardiff Castle. Photo credit: Alistair Heap/PA Wire

The public was treated to a surprise choir performance against the backdrop of Cardiff Castle yesterday to mark Marie Curie’s Day of Reflection this weekend. A day which will bring people together to remember those who died during the pandemic, and to show support to those who were bereaved.

On-lookers were stopped in their tracks during the poignant performance by Cor Glanaethwy Choir, who sang a series of songs associated with loss and grief, urging people to take a moment to pause and reflect.

The surprise performance at Cardiff Castle is one of several to take place this week across the UK ahead of the Day of Reflection. Organised by the UK’s leading end of life charity, Marie Curie will lead the nation in the fourth annual Day of Reflection this Sunday 3rd March, where people are being urged to pause again at midday and observe a minute’s silence.

In a recent poll, 50% of UK adults experienced the bereavement of a close friend, family member or acquaintance during the pandemic. Almost half of which said they are still very much coming to terms with their grief (47%). Over half (51%) of respondents who experienced a bereavement during the pandemic agree  that bringing the nation together to remember the people who died, and show support to those who were bereaved, will help with their grief.

During the first wave of the pandemic, Marie Curie scaled up its bereavement support in response to the increased need it saw across the UK. The charity cares for people with any illness they are likely to die from. This includes dementia, motor neurone disease and advanced cancer, and its hospice and hospice care at home staff cared for people with Covid-19.

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive, Marie Curie said: “With our fourth Day of Reflection just days away, Marie Curie is urging the nation to take a moment to remember all the people who died during the pandemic and to show support for those who are bereaved. New data has confirmed what we are seeing on the ground. The pandemic endures in the minds of people who were bereaved, and huge swathes of the public are still grieving. Please show your support for them this Sunday, and if you need help with your grief, know that Marie Curie is here for you and ready to talk.”

Marie Curie has published a range of resources to support individuals and organisations wanting to observe the day, including:

  • An events map at dayofreflection.org.uk to find local events and register your own
  • A downloadable petal to share the name of someone you’re remembering on social media, tagging @mariecurieuk
  • Bereavement support for anyone who needs it, available from the charity’s free support line (0800 090 2309)
  • A special radio programme Sound Not Silence, hosted by Gaby Roslin, which will focus on the importance of music in grief and will be available to all radio stations on Sunday 3 March and at  dayofreflection.org.uk following the midday silence.

The anniversary of the first UK lockdown, March 23, marked the inaugural Day of Reflection in 2021. This year it moves to the new date of March 3, in line with the UK Commission on Covid Commemoration’s recommendation. The day is held each year to remember the people who died during the pandemic, and to show support for those who were bereaved.