October A Time to Remember 

An invitation to remember loved ones


The last months have been particularly difficult for the NHS and many members of the community. Every year in November the hospital chaplaincy and spiritual care service offers a memorial event for the remembrance of loved ones. This year, because of the Covid-19 restrictions, it is not going to be possible to plan an event where people gather in large numbers. However, we have some big plans for the hospital and the community to remember loved ones. 

During the early months of the pandemic the rainbow became a symbol of solidarity and support for the NHS. At its most simple, colourful pictures were put in windows to cheer people up. But rainbows are also a symbol of peace and hope as they often appear with the sun after a heavy rainfall. 

Tying Ribbons and Planting Bulbs 

During October we are inviting you to bring a piece of colourful ribbon and a bulb, and tie the ribbon and plant a bulb, in memory of a loved one. 

Please be sure that this does not have to relate to Covid-19, or even a loss in the last year. It can be about any loss at any time. 

A Memorial Event / Service 

October, a time to remember, will finish with a memorial event / service that will be broadcast on the hospital YouTube channel and the Methodist Church channel, which can be accessed via the hospital website. There will be input from some professional musicians, a local choir, the hospital chaplains, Dr Karen Groves (Consultant in Palliative Medicine) and Dr. Dominic Bray (Consultant Clinical Health Psychologist) who will be reflecting on grief in a pandemic.

We have listed some questions and answers below which you may find helpful 

If I want to Plant a Bulb or Tie A Ribbon Where Do I Come? 

At Southport, this will be anywhere on the main “rainbow” fence between the main entrance of the hospital and Queenscourt Hospice, and at Ormskirk, by the rainbow banner, on the left as you approach the entrance to the hospital. We hope this autumn the ribbons will be a spectacle of colour, and in spring the bulbs will look amazing. 

When Can I Tie My Ribbon and Plant my Bulb? 

You can come and tie a ribbon and plant a bulb anytime. If you would like somebody from the hospital staff to accompany you while you do it, we are planning to have people available on the weekdays around 11am, but this must be booked in advance to avoid too many people being around at one time. To arrange this please contact the chaplaincy and spiritual care office (details are at the end of this booklet). 

Do I Do This On My Own? 

We would suggest, where possible, doing this in family or friendship groups, while abiding by current guidance for numbers gathering and of course social distancing. 

What Do I Need to Bring? 

Please bring with you a piece of ribbon, some bulbs to plant and the equipment to plant a bulb.

How Do I Access the Memorial Event / Service? 

You can find the service by searching for Southport and Ormskirk Hospital on YouTube, or follow the link from the hospital website. Alternatively, if you contact us, we will send a link to you nearer the 

time via e-mail. This will be pre-recorded but broadcast at 11am on Sunday 1st November. It will be available for some months after that. 

Preparing for the Memorial Event / Service 

Again we would suggest, where possible and in line with current guidelines on gatherings, the service is watched in family / friendship groups. 

Part of the service will involve an invitation to tie a ribbon and plant a bulb within your home environment, so please have these ready if you would like to take part in this way. 

Photographic Record 

We will be taking photographs of the fence being transformed during October, and using some of the photos during the singing of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” as part of the memorial event / service. 

If you would like a photo of you placing a ribbon or planting a bulb to be included, please e-mail to the address below by mid October. 

Contact Details 

For more details, or to arrange for someone to be with you when you plant your bulb or tie your ribbon, please contact the hospital chaplaincy and spiritual care office – 01704 704639 or soh-tr.Chaplains@nhs.net

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