A commemorative bench has been revealed at Memorial Gardens in Shaw that is dedicated to NHS staff and key workers for their work during the pandemic.

On the bench is a rainbow, along with a message thanking the NHS and key workers.

The bench was organised by the Shaw and Crompton Parish Council and along with the bench, an oak tree was planted, with a plaque honouring those who have worked on the frontline during the pandemic.

Ward sister Rachel Diskin and ward clerk Alyson Hopkinson, who both treated Covid patients at Royal Oldham Hospital throughout the pandemic and continue to do so, were in attendance and were the first two people to sit on the bench, which faces the planted tree and plaque.

Sister Diskin, who returned to work from maternity leave just one month before the UK entered lockdown, said: "Through the pandemic, we had days where at times we couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but as a team we supported each other and got through it together.

"We were extremely lucky to be supported by the public with donations and well wishes.

"Alyson was pivotal during the pandemic at supporting the unit movements, as due to the vast amount of Covid patients, we had to move ward and open new units due to patient demand and patient safety."

The motion for the bench in the memorial park in Shaw town centre was approved in December 2020 and the bench was unveiled on November 22.

Cllr Susan Moore said: "I was very pleased to support Councillor Richard Marbrow in devising a motion for Shaw and Crompton Parish Council to propose the installation of this bench, the planting of this tree and this event.

"We felt the acute sadness of those who had lost loved ones as a result of the virus, and we were driven to help those people feel a little less lonely by providing a public place in which to remember and reflect.

"We hope this place serves as a place to come and decompress if needed, when needed."