Safe and Sensitive Removal of Memorial

It is the sad unfortunate truth that sometimes when working on highways contractors come across sensitive tributes and memorials left by someone’s family or loved ones at a spot where they unfortunately lost their life. This is a situation that needs to be managed sensitively. The community relations team on this project in the North East were faced with this challenge when they realised a memorial would need to be removed to allow works to continue in the verge.

The team handled this in a compassionate way and tried to prevent significant upset and distress for the family, but were also mindful that the memorial needed to be removed quickly, to prevent any delays to planned works in the area.

The team explained that the memorial would need to be removed, but wanted to involve the family in helping to create a safe place for them to remember their relative and for any memorial items to be relocated. They offered to plant a tree in their relative’s memory, either in their garden, or, with permission from Newcastle City Council, a local park. The correspondence sent to the family was open, considerate and compassionate and ensured they were fully involved in key decisions regarding the memorial’s removal.

Once the removal of the memorial had been agreed, they invited a member of the family to visit the site and watch the removal of the items from the overbridge. Whilst this offer was not taken up, it was well received and showed respect and compassion towards the family.

A memory box was also purchased which the memorial items were placed into and returned to the family. The family thanked the team for their kind gesture and sympathy during a difficult time.

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Entry submitted by Costain Limited

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