Grŵp Llandrillo Menai is proud to be supporting the 'light up Wales' campaign to honour and remember those in Wales who have tragically lost their lives to COVID-19 over the past year.

Families and friends personally affected by the coronavirus have started a pan-Wales online campaign, encouraging people to take time out to reflect and remember those who have lost their lives during the pandemic. The remembrance day is on March 23 - the 12-month anniversary of the beginning of the first UK-wide lockdown.

Members of the 'covid19 families-wales' Facebook group are urging residents across the country to 'light up Wales' to remember. People are being encouraged to take part in a number of activities on the day, which include: drawing and placing a 'yellow heart' in the window; placing yellow fairy lights in windows; tying a yellow ribbon to a tree or fencing within a garden, and checking-in on someone who has lost a loved one during the pandemic (adhering to current restrictions while doing so).

As well as encouraging individuals and families to get involved, businesses are being urged to light up their buildings yellow in memory of the lives taken too soon. In-conjunction with the 'light up', the group will be hosting two-minute silences on the day: 12 noon and 8pm. The initiative will be held in conjunction with the Marie Curie charity who will hold a 'Day of Reflection' on the same date.

Over the past twelve months, staff and students from Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai and Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor have been at the heart of their communities, unstintingly supporting NHS and frontline key workers, as well as their local communities, coming up with a wide range of initiatives: from using college equipment to produce PPE, through supporting local food banks, to crocheting dozens of ear savers for local hospital staff!

One member of staff who contracted the virus shortly after the first lockdown began and was immediately admitted to hospital, wrote a book about her experiences which was subsequently put forward for 'Wales Book of the Year'. Gina Maddison's book 'Ward Nine Coronavirus - One Woman's Story', is a heartfelt love-letter to NHS Wales, reflecting on the day-to-day happenings and what it is like to be a COVID-19 sufferer in hospital.

In addition, an online training package developed by college Health and Social Care tutors was used to induct thirty new Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board members of staff who have begun working in various healthcare settings. Grŵp Llandrillo Menai has also shared this resource with other colleges across Wales. 

College campuses were used to deliver induction training for North Wales Police and to host blood bank donation services across North West Wales.

As well as sourcing and donating a range of equipment from the college's own departments, using its state-of-the-art technology, Engineering staff constructed NHS-approved visor parts. After receiving guidance and instruction, staff utilised the Grŵp's six state-of-the-art 3D printers to produce headbands for the masks, which are then sent to a hub to be assembled into much-needed equipment.

Extensive food supplies from the college's Hospitality and Catering departments and student canteens were also given to local food banks to support families. 

In summation, Dafydd Evans, chief executive officer of Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, said: "Grŵp Llandrillo Menai will continue to find ways we can support our local communities. Whether it is to provide training to frontline staff, use of our facilities, or to utilise our technology and expertise, we will endeavour to continue to support frontline public services."