The pathway, which is an integral part of the newly-rejuvenated gardens, gives everyone the opportunity to create a lasting tribute to their own hero by purchasing a stone.
Profits from each stone purchased are being donated to support the work of Warrington Wolves Foundation and St Rocco’s Hospice. The sale of the first batch of stones means the charities have now received £420 each to support their work.
The Heroes Pathway is being delivered in partnership with The National Veteran’s Walk, an organisation which aims to create permanent tributes to all who have served or are still serving in our Regular and Reserve Armed Forces. For the first time, the organisation has expanded the project to allow people to purchase a stone honouring public services workers.
It is hoped that, over time, the path will continue to grow, providing a stunning centrepiece for the gardens, while raising vital funds for charitable causes.
Warrington people who would like to pay tribute to a loved one who has served, or is still serving, in the armed forces or a public services worker - including Emergency services, NHS and health staff who have worked bravely in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic - are being invited to purchase their own granite stone to take its proud place on the pathway.
You can purchase a stone for the pathway by visiting nationalveteranswalk.co.uk. Each stone costs £249.
James Howes, Deputy Director at Warrington Wolves Foundation, said: “The Heroes Pathway is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the unsung people of our community who have inspired others through their actions. It is a real honour for the Warrington Wolves Foundation to be nominated as one of the beneficiaries of the project because the funds raised will help us to help more men who are struggling with their mental fitness during these challenging times.
“Everyone has someone in their life has someone who has or continues to inspire them to become the best version of themselves, and by purchasing a stone, their legacy can be recognised forever.”
Karen Rutherford, Fundraising assistant at St Rocco’s Hospice, said: “St. Rocco's is known for celebrating life and we welcome this opportunity to be part of the wonderful community project at Marshall Gardens, celebrating the people's heroes.”
Lisa Billing added: “It’s wonderful to see Marshall Gardens shining once more as a haven of peace, where anyone can come to reflect and remember. The Heroes Pathway is a hugely important part of the rejuvenated gardens, giving everyone the opportunity to honour someone who has been a hero in their life.
“I’m delighted that vital funds have now been donated to Wolves Foundation and St Rocco’s through the sale of the initial stones, and I’m looking forward to the path continuing to grow in the future. Please consider purchasing a stone of your own, to pay tribute to your own hero while supporting some really worthwhile causes.”
The Heroes Pathway project was launched in 2016, with the first stones laid in Mowbray Park in Sunderland to honour all personnel who have served their country in any way. The Sunderland project has been a huge success, with close to 1,000 stones laid by 2021.
The granite plaques are 350mm x 250mm in size and will carry the individual name, rank and badge of the serving force, start/end dates and similar details for emergency and other public service personnel. They will make a lasting memory for family or friends and could be an ideal gift at special events such as birthdays, Christmas or other significant anniversaries.
For more information about the Heroes Pathway project and to purchase a stone, please visit nationalveteranswalk.co.uk.
Notes to editors
• Marshall Gardens sits opposite the cenotaph on Bridgefoot. The project to breathe new life into the site completed in March, transforming it into a beautiful memorial garden for the whole community to enjoy.
• The Marshall Gardens project has revitalised an important town centre green space, transforming it into beautiful community garden and an ideal place for peace, reflection and remembrance.
• The project began in summer 2020, following an idea brought forward by Lisa Billing, who spent several years researching and developing the project. Lisa’s son, Private Daniel Wade, from Latchford, was tragically killed fighting in Afghanistan in 2012, alongside five of his comrades – The Warrior Six.
• Lisa worked with Warrington Borough Council, Minds At War, community groups and volunteers to make the project a reality.