How it started – the personalize a plaque campaign launched during lockdown
At the start of lockdown the York Civic Trust launched a campaign on social media involving personalised blue plaques, inviting the public to nominate an unsung hero who was making a positive difference to people’s lives during the pandemic and deserved public recognition and commemoration.
These virtual plaques were then shared across social media and posted on the Civic Trust website. The campaign had universally positive feedback and received lots of engagement from the public on social media. Representatives from St Leonard’s Hospice said of their digital plaque, “That’s amazing – we’re proud to be a part of this.”
The 22 individualised plaques that were created feature an eclectic mix of subjects and represented a wide snapshot of society, from carers to bus drivers to post office workers.
Other nominations ranged from free food delivery groups Supper Collective and Kitchen for Everyone, to North Yorkshire Police Control Room, to individuals who had gone the extra mile in their communities such as Justine Whitelam, who built up a community food bank and delivered food parcels to those in need. A special rainbow plaque was made to say thank you to staff at York Hospital for their amazing efforts fighting on the frontline.
Commemorating the campaign – York’s Lockdown Heroes plaque wall
To commemorate the success of campaign, York Civic Trust has created a York’s Lockdown Heroes blue plaque mural displayed in the Fairfax House courtyard, behind Coppergate, along with opportunities for the public to participate and spread positivity by nominating their own lockdown hero on an interactive wall.
Megan McKenna, Communications Officer at York Civic Trust who created the plaques remarked, “It was heart-warming to see the wall quickly fast with comments from the public over the opening weekend. The Hero Wall and interactive boards went up on Yorkshire Day and are available to view throughout August as part of York’s wider Key Worker Celebrations.”
Lockdown Heroes Plaque Reception
To say thank you to the amazing individuals and groups that were represented in the campaign, York Civic Trust are creating physical blue plaques for all of the nominees to keep as a special memento of their amazing contribution to help others in difficult situations as a result of Covid-19.
As well as a drinks reception and photographs with their plaque in the Fairfax House courtyard, there will be opportunities to hear first-hand from the nominees about their contributions during lockdown. They will be running as four separate events with limited numbers throughout August to ensure safety and adhere to government guidelines. To safeguard the safety and wellbeing of the public, while ensuring they don’t miss out, we will be uploading video content of each plaque reception on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and on our website on the day of each event.