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Rising Strong Memorial

Members of the Ardrossan Community Development Trust were invited to the unveiling of "Rising Strong"

The Rising Strong memorial and well-being initiative was unveiled by Patricia Gibson MP and Kenneth Gibson MSP on Friday 3rd Sep, in the Second World War Garden of Remembrance on Glasgow Street, Ardrossan.

Rising Strong takes the form of a COVID memorial and was produced by Journey of Hope. Journey of Hope seeks to use creativity and the arts for social transformation across the three towns. The project was funded from the Three Towns Locality PB Fund. The funds this year were allocated from North Ayrshire Council and North Ayrshire Health and Social Care partnership.

We’ve been through a lot. We all need to take a moment, take a breath. We’ve all lost something: education, jobs, social contact, certainty. Some of us have lost friends and family.

Members of the Ardrossan Community Development Trust were invited to go to the unveiling of the artwork in the Ardrossan Gardens of Remembrance to mark all those lost during covid and the on going loss lives, social interaction, jobs, family life, freedom.

The unveiling was also attended by the artist who started the ball rolling Ish Lennox, who now lives in Glasgow but originally hails from Saltcoats, where she plans to be retiring back to.

Rising Strong takes the form of a COVID memorial and was produced by Journey of Hope. Journey of Hope seeks to use creativity and the arts for social transformation across the three towns. The project was funded from the Three Towns Locality PB Fund. The funds this year were allocated from North Ayrshire Council and North Ayrshire Health and Social Care partnership. The Rising Strong art work highlights how COVID has impacted every generation and the well-being resource has something for everyone. The well-being resource is accessed via a QR code on the memorial.

Students from Ardrossan Academy and St Matthews Academy were accompanied by their head teachers and participated in the launch. It is hoped that the artwork will be used as a resource for Youth Mental Health day. Members from the Royal British Legion worked closely with Journey of Hope to make sure that the garden looked it’s best for the day. Ardrossan Community Development Trust and Friends of Stevenston partnered with Journey of Hope at the launch in recognition of the impact of COVID across the three towns.

What The Artwork Represents

The art work shows the stages of life, bottom represents childhood (lego brick), next was two dots which represented partnership around age 20 years old (husband, wife, etc), next was four dots different sizes representing family 30 to 40 years old, next a question mark (50+ age group and taking stock of your life and where it is going), next one dot and a hole going all the way through the wood (representing loss of partner) 60 on, next two up streached hands (the artists thoughts are to move to a better life with god) on the top a cemicircle with the word hope and shaped protusions representing the sun.

Rising Strong

Pictured Front Row Kneeling (L-R) are representatives of ACDT: Michael Mcculloch, Christine Powell, Viki Powell and June Strang.
Picture courtesy of charliegilmourphotography.com

Rising Strong

We’ve been through a lot. We all need to take a moment, take a breath. We’ve all lost something: education, jobs, social contact, certainty. Some of us have lost friends and family. And there hasn’t been the time or space to take stock of our losses.

Thus this memorial, “Rising Strong”. A place where we can all pause and remember. Rising Strong also links us to resources that will help us deal with loss and care for ourselves through breathing, mindfulness and resilience exercises. This idea is a place of both remembrance and encouragement, a place to take a breath.

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