Event details

Covid Memorial Tree Planting

Where are the memorials for those who died during the Pandemic? There is yet to be any national initiative to create one beyond the one begun by Bereaved Families for Justice along the Embankment in London. Oxford City Council in association with Kicking the Bucket Festival is supporting the planting of a tree in one of the Oxford Parks along with a bench and plaque as a focal place for people to come at different times. Close to the John Radcliffe hospital and the location of the spontaneously created snake of painted stones during the Pandemic in support of medical staff it seems the perfect place for Oxford to remember its losses. From 2pm onwards come with an empty jam jar to create a memorial lantern you can take home and plant a bulb in memory of someone. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Lubna Arshad, will come to officially open the site at 3pm.
We will also play a recording of a poem written in response to lockdown by acclaimed local multidisciplinary artist, Rawz, When She Waved Through the Window.
Please contact us if you want to know more about this event or register interest on behalf of yourself or a community or faith group.  We hope there will be wide representation from many different people in and around Oxford who have all been affected by Covid. 

Covid Memorial Tree Planting

Date & Time:  Sunday 5th November 2023

Location of Event:  Bury Knowle Park, London Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 9ED
Please make your way to the Main Gate on London Road, and you will be directed to the area of tree-planting. 

Wheelchair Accessible:  Yes

Lubna Arshad

Lubna Arshad was born and raised in Oxford. She achieved a BSC(Hons) in Computer Network Technologies from Manchester and has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry. Lubna's passion for equality and fairness led her to be elected as a City Councillor in 2018, representing Cowley Marsh initially, and later, due to electoral boundary changes, serving Temple Cowley. Lubna Arshad is a former MEP Candidate for the SE Region and has stood on various committees including Scrutiny Panel and the Planning and Housing Panels.

Lubna Arshad has made history as the first woman of colour, first Muslim woman of intersectional background, and the youngest Lord Mayor representing the City. Her achievement is ground breaking and represents significant progress towards diversity, inclusivity, and representation in leadership roles.

As a trailblazer for equal representation, Lubna is known for making a difference and advocating for ambitious initiatives to close the gender pay gap and protect religious freedom. She is particularly passionate about supporting young people and eradicating poverty. Her dedication to humanitarian projects and pursuit of justice resonates strongly; she serves as an aspiring role model for fearless change, ensuring that all voices are heard. She believes in love for all, hatred for none.

Clare Davis

Clare is a textile and mixed media artist and facilitator. She is joining us at the Covid Memorial Tree Planting to offer people the chance to make a decorative lantern - just make sure to bring your jamjar along!

Liz Rothschild

Liz Rothschild set up the Kicking the Bucket Festival in 2012 as it became clear to her through working as a celebrant and burial ground manager that it was essential to talk with people before a bereavement in order for people to feel able to ask for what they really need.

A performer and writer, she regularly performs her show Outside the Box – A Live show about Death. Her book Outside the Box was published by PCCS in 2020 – drawing on a cornucopia of stories sad, inspiring, informative and uplifting alongside expert commentaries and resources. Her second book Weathering the Storm: Stories of love, loss and discovery during Covid 19 was published in February 2023.

She passionately believes that life gets better when we admit our own mortality.




Rawz is a Multidisciplinary Artist from Oxford. His practice centres around words and music, and is rooted in social justice and the exploration and understanding of our interconnected worlds.
Rawz’ story is one of extreme contrast, determination, and triumph against the odds, themes that he expertly explores in all aspects of his work. From leaving school with no GCSEs, to becoming Resident Sound Artist at one of the world’s most prestigious learning institutions, his personal journey stands as testament to his resilient character, and strong work ethic.
Rawz started out as an MC and Poet. Growing up in one of the UK’s most underserved areas, Northfield Brook (known locally as Greater Leys) in Oxford, he first discovered lyric writing in his early teens. It was an essential way to channel his emotions and organise his thoughts. A self guided therapy. Since then, Rawz has performed his craft all over Europe, both as a solo artist, and with the Inner Peace Records collective which he helped to form, and manages alongside other artists from Oxford and London’s Hip Hop scenes. As a lyricist, Rawz has collaborated with musicians from all over the world and shared stages with some of his childhood heroes.
Rawz always found comfort and sanctuary through drawing and making, as his practice as a Poet and Musician developed, he began to return to visual art as a means of expression; experimenting with a range of mediums including collage, sculpture, video, photography and more, combining these skills with his poetry and music, he has created several conceptual mixed media projects.
Through Art, Rawz shares his exploration of interconnection and interdependence, of the human experience. His responses
promote outer change and advancement through inner reflection, and positive action. Often inspired by juxtaposition, and looking at the common ground shared by elements that are usually considered to be unrelated or opposed to one another, Rawz presents cohesive comparisons and connections regarding aspects of life that can conventionally be viewed as disparate.
An experienced Youth Worker and Teacher, swiftly becoming an expert in the fields of Decolonisation and Public
Engagement within a range of academic disciplines; Rawz set up The Urban Music Foundation in 2009. Under this banner
he delivers a wide range of creative activities in a variety of settings.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/rawz_official

Please note that Rawz himself will not be attending this event, and we are grateful for his kind involvement through his recording.