University plant trees in Luton and Bedford in memory of Covid victims

Services were held at the University of Bedfordshire

By Lynn Hughes
Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 11:21 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 11:24 pm

Students and staff have attended tree-planting ceremonies at the University of Bedfordshire to remember those lost during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Two silver birch trees have been planted in living memory of members of the university’s community who have lost their lives to the disease.

Planting ceremonies were attended by students, staff and special guests at the Luton and Bedford campuses, who all joined together to pay their respects. Welcomed by Professor Rebecca Bunting, Vice Chancellor, the memorials included speeches, a minute of silence and unveiling of the tree’s plaque.

The planting ceremony at the university

Professor Rebecca Bunting said the tree planting was a poignant tribute.

“Our community has lost wonderful people as a result of the pandemic and we want to remember them and celebrate their lives. The trees on our Luton and Bedford campuses will serve as a living memorial dedicated to their lives and to our loss.

“I hope the trees will bring peace and an opportunity for reflection to our staff and students who pass by them.”

The commemorative trees have been planted outside the university’s Campus Centre and St Mary’s Church in Luton and outside the Gateway Building at the Bedford campus.

The multi-stem silver birch trees were chosen as a representation of hope and new beginnings. Wording on the commemorative plaques read: ‘This tree was planted in memory of the staff and students of the University of Bedfordshire who lost their lives to Covid-19. Rest In Peace.’

The Vice Chancellor was joined by members of the Beds SU Exec Team and local representatives, including Councillor Mahmood Hussain, Mayor of Luton, Vinod Tailor MBE Deputy Lieutenant of Bedfordshire and Simon Yun-Farmbrough, Chair of Governors at the university.