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Remembering Together, one year on…

As 2022 draws to a close, so does Phase 1 of ‘Remembering Together’, Scotland’s national Covid-19 community memorial programme.

Funded by the Scottish Government in partnership with Greenspace Scotland, the project has invited North Ayrshire residents (and all over Scotland) over the last year, to contribute their lived-experience of the pandemic via a series of engaging community workshops and online sessions.

Led by North Ayrshire’s creative practitioner, icecream architecture, we caught up with the team to find out what has happened so far and learn more about what is happening next…

Our Community Events officer Lindsay Robbins shares: “The Remembering Together project is now well underway.

“The team at icecream have been doing a fantastic job out in our communities, encouraging our residents to get involved. With over 200 stories shared so far, over the phone, face-to-face, and on the online map of memories, we are pleased to report that the first phase of Remembering Together has been really well-received.

“Now, as we all start to get back to a sense of normality again since the challenges of the last few years, it has been fantastic to meet face-to-face with residents across North Ayrshire alongside the icecream team and local artist Mathew Donnelly.

“The sessions have allowed us to find out how our residents’ experiences both positive and negative of the pandemic and its lockdowns. It has also given those taking part some time to escape from the current stresses of the Cost-Of-Living crisis and feel the benefits of connecting with others in their communities.

“Everyone who has participated so far has really embraced the chance to be part of this unique moment in history. Members of staff have contributed too and I would like to take the chance to sincerely thank everyone in NAC and the Health and Social Care Partnership who have taken the time too to share their own reflections. 2023 is set to be an exciting year as we progress into the design phase of what our memorial for North Ayrshire could look like!”

Over the last few months Lindsay with the help of a host of North Ayrshire community venues has teamed up with icecream’s project team to help them coordinate a series of guided walks and creative workshops throughout the region.

“Knowledge is key to the success of the project, therefore as ever, we want to continue to collect memories, thoughts and ideas about the pandemic so that we can gather as much information ahead of 2023 when we embark upon the design phase of the process.”

Harnessing the power of community reflection

All 32 local authorities are taking part, each with their own approaches and memorials, the project is now beyond the halfway point of the community consultation in North Ayrshire.

Project Manager at icecream architecture, Rachel Kelley, reflected: “We are truly touched by the stories that have been shared and want to thank everyone who has shared them.

“We have already gained an in-depth knowledge of the key themes people have felt and experienced both during and after the pandemic (see our infographic). Knowledge is key to the success of the project, therefore as ever, we want to continue to collect memories, thoughts and ideas about the pandemic so that we can gather as much information ahead of 2023 when we embark upon the design phase of the process.”

So far, the team have delivered four memory-sharing workshops in Beith, Irvine, Fairlie and Ardrossan, two drop-in sessions at Barrmill Community Centre and the Argyle Community Centre in Saltcoats and three guided walks in Beith, Kilwinning and Stevenson.

The team are still collecting responses online* with an aim to understand what the communities of North Ayrshire want for their Covid community memorial.

Rachel added: “A memorial in a traditional sense, is a structure or statue, but we want to take the time to acknowledge that it might look completely different to commemorate the community of North Ayrshire’s Covid experience.

“We asked people what for them was worth remembering, where was their happy place, and what a memorial could look like…

“The sensory activities we delivered at the workshops and on the guided walks have also been really well-received by those taking part. These focused on how colours, sounds, and places can evoke different feelings.

“We have also spoken about the many different ways commemoration can happen, with lots of conversations emphasising that a memorial can be a place or many places. Some of discussions we had about memorials have identified personal objects that host memories for specific people, but others describe shared, natural places where many people can enjoy moments of reflection together. These distinct needs of the communities will inform our brief for phase 2 so a viable and representative memorial can be created for North Ayrshire.”

*The team are so grateful for the many people who already shared their stories via the online Map of Memories. You can read them on the website and still add your own memories, publicly or privately here:

If you would prefer to call and discuss your experience over the phone, you can also get in touch with Rachael at 0141 548 1170 or email

Stay tuned to how the project is progressing by following icecream architecture on Facebook @icecreamarch and Twitter @icecreamarch and for more on the Remembering Together programme and what is happening across Scotland, visit the national Covid-19 memorial programme website.

And remember, there’s still time to contribute your own story, reflection or memory via the Map of Memories website.

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