A £200,000 memorial dedicated to the victims of abuse within Jersey’s care system is to be erected at the Weighbridge.
The memorial was requested by the Citizens’ Panel – a group of care-experienced individuals now working to honour the legacy of the Jersey Care Inquiry report, which exposed serious failings in the childcare and fostering system from the 1940s to 2010s.
Pictured: The "preferred" spot for the care memorial was taken off the table due to heritage constraints.
It’s now been announced that Weighbridge Place has been selected as the memorial’s new location, with two areas currently under consideration.
Designers, architects and engineers are now being invited to submit their ideas for how the public art piece should look.
Although they’ll have free rein – and £200,000 from the Care Inquiry budget – to work with, the chosen design will have to fit with standards set by the Citizens’ Panel in 2018.
Outlined in a report, the criteria includes a demand for the piece to be “highly visible” so it “cannot be ignored”, as well as including “a transparent and clear acknowledgment of what happened."
Explaining the significance of creating a memorial at the time, one of the panel members said: “We are the lucky ones, we survived, we will carry the physical and mental scars with us for the rest of our lives, but we survived. This memorial will help us in part to remember those who didn't, those for whom the pain was too much and took their own lives.”
Pictured: The Citizens Panel - involving care-experienced individuals - was tasked with considering how the island should remember Jersey's care victims.
Another added: “A lot of wrong was done and it needs to be put right. A lot of people out there are still suffering and in silence. Many did not give their evidence because they didn’t want to, this could be a chance to move on. The memorial might show those that didn’t come forward that there is something for us.”
Children’s Minister Senator Sam Mézec said that he welcomed today’s memorial announcement, adding: “This Government is fully committed to safeguarding children by acknowledging the past and looking ahead to a brighter future where children in Jersey are cared for, protected and celebrated.”
The project will be coordinated in partnership with the Government of Jersey and local public art consultancy firm Private and Public.
Designs must be submitted by Thursday, 30 April and a public exhibition of shortlisted designs will be held in June to gather feedback from islanders before a final decision is made.
Pictured: The Minister for Children, Senator Sam Mézec.
The winning design is due to be announced on 3 July 2020 – the three-year anniversary of the publication of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, which has now been designated ‘Jersey Children’s Day’.
Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.