The Forest of Memories is delighted to announce that Councillor Iftikhar ‘Ifti’ Chaudhri will become an ambassador of the Forest of Memories project, working to create an eco-network of Covid-19 Memorial Forests right across the UK. We believe this will become an extremely strong relationship that will help the Forest of Memories reach the goal of highlighting and remembering societal issues faced during this pandemic, as well as planting essential trees that fight climate change and memorise the lives of those loved lost because of Covid-19.
About Ifti Chaudhri
Ifti Chaudhri is a devoted member of local government, acting as a councillor in Runnymede since 2012, where he is still an active member of the Ottershaw electoral ward. He was elected and given the esteemed role of Mayor of Runnymede from 2017, become one of only a few ethnic minorities to hold such a prestigious venture.
Ifti has “always had a passion for charity” and this position gave him the opportunity to influence change and bring many different communities in the area together on many charity schemes. One that he is particularly proud of being involved in was the Charity Walk for Peace. Over 4,500 participants convened on the grounds of Windsor Great Park in 2018 to show their support for the annual Charity Walk for Peace. The 28th annual walk was held in association with Runnymede Borough Council and Iftikhar Chaudhri, Mayor of Runnymede, witnessed over 138 charities represented, Mayors, community groups, schools, civic leaders and members of the public all walking and running with the common goal to raise £1 million for British charities.
It is Ifti’s drive to influence and desire to challenge the status quo that makes him a perfect fit in the Forest of Memories project, to act and join us in making the goal to provide a real difference and leave a lasting legacy for future generations a reality. It has been the hard work of the team at Runnymede Borough Council and his direct influence that has found the first forest location within one of the most beautiful and historic settings in the country.
It would be extremely fitting for the first landmark that commemorates and centres around those people lost during and because of Covid-19, and have it in at the birthplace of Democracy and where the Magna Carta was sealed over 800 years ago.
About the Forest of Memories project
During this Pandemic, the focus has been on how people are protected physically from harm from Covid-19, and how the economy is protected, however with the promise of a vaccine on the horizon now is the time to consider our society’s emotional and mental wellbeing as well.
The vision for the Forest of Memories is that they will be a place of remembrance and a symbol of national recovery when the first one is opened in 2021. But, whilst the short-term goal is one of remembrance, a longer-term goal is that the Forest of Memories will become an educational and cultural resource for communities. That they will continue to provide tranquil places of reflection and healing for future generations long after the pandemic is a memory.
International Memorial Day
On the 1st January 2021, an international period of remembrance will be held to remember all of the loved ones around the world that have been lost because of Covid-19. Please support this initiative. We will give full details on how you can do that in the next week, but you can also follow this campaign on Twitter.