A support group for families affected by Covid-19 is taking part in City Hospice’s Forever Flowers for a second consecutive year.

Forever Flowers is an award-winning campaign which provides the public with an opportunity to unite and remember cherished family members, friends and loved ones. A unique and lasting tribute, supporters are invited to purchase a limited-edition flower which will feature in a striking display at Cardiff Castle from Saturday July 30 to Sunday August 14.

Covid-19 families-Wales is a branch of a UK group, which aims to actively support and assist those in Wales who have lost someone to Covid-19 and be a safe space to share experiences and grief.

Andrea Williams, one of the admins of the virtual group which now has over 1500 members, sadly lost her husband Mark, a fit and healthy 58-year-old, to Covid-19 during the first wave of the pandemic.

Speaking about her husband, Andrea said: “Mark was absolutely everything to me. We did so much together and we had so much more we wanted to do.

“He loved kayaking, cycling and his motorbike. He was a strong, fit, healthy guy; he wasn’t what they were saying to us in the media at the time which was that you had to be older or have underlying health conditions to be vulnerable to Covid-19.”

Following a media campaign with the BBC in 2020, in which the group called for greater bereavement support, Andrea was contacted by City Hospice who offered free counselling support to the group’s members.

Andrea said: “We were so grateful to City Hospice for getting in touch with the group to offer this invaluable support. Although our family members were not cared for by City Hospice, the charity has been incredibly generous by providing the group with the opportunity to access bereavement counselling and speak about our grief with them.”

In addition to bereavement support, Forever Flowers also allowed the group to mark a milestone.

Andrea added: “Until restrictions eased around the time of Forever Flowers last year, our Covid-19 families-Wales group had only been able to connect virtually. Forever Flowers enabled us to meet in person for the first time.

“It was so special to congregate at Cardiff Castle, to collect our flowers and share the occasion to remember the loved ones we have lost to this awful disease as we looked at the beautiful display. We are looking forward to meeting up again at the castle at this year’s event.”

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