Everybody across the country is being encouraged to come together on the birthday of the NHS, Sunday July 5, to thank not only NHS staff but all key workers, good neighbours and all those helping others through the coronavirus pandemic.

The NHS has been working with the newly founded /Together coalition to build a national moment to thank everyone who has helped them – and one that aims to reinforce the social connections we will need to get through the next stage of the crisis.

In a joint letter published today (Wednesday June 10) dozens of individuals and groups have voiced their support for making Sunday July 5 a day to bring people together to connect with neighbours and their communities, to say thank you to all those who are helping us through the Covid-19 crisis.

Supporters of the initiative include grassroots community leaders, carers, emergency workers, sportspeople, religious leaders, celebrities and organisations including the CBI, trades unions, the Scouts and Guides. Among those supporting the day are:

  • NHS England Chief Executive, Sir Simon Stevens
  • Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England
  • Most Rev. Justin Welby, chair of Together Steering Group
  • Annemarie Plas, founder of ‘Clap for Carers’
  • Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair of UK Sport
  • Baroness Doreen Lawrence
  • Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director, Young Vic Theatre
  • Gary Lineker
  • Tim Peake

The two key moments during the weekend will be:

  • A minute’s silence on the evening of July 4 when people will be asked to light a candle in their window in remembrance of all who have died during this time
  • A moment of thanks and connection on July 5 when we take part in one last country-wide clap of thanks and then stay out to raise a glass or have a cup of tea with our neighbours

“So as we mark the NHS’s birthday we want to say a huge thank you on behalf of the whole NHS to all those who have played their part in tackling this horrible coronavirus pandemic. To the teachers, care staff, transport and shop workers, as well as the armed forces, volunteers and local authorities. And in particular, thanks to the public whose support has meant so much – from the children who put rainbows and NHS signs in their windows, to all those who saved lives by staying at home to slow the spread of this terrible virus.”

Annemarie Plas, founder of the Thursday night #ClapForOurCarers, said: “Over the last ten weeks millions of people came out to clap those who went to work so we could safely stay indoors. Now is the time to expand this gratitude and acknowledge everyone whom has and is still helping us through this crisis.

Please support the NHS and Key Workers for the final time, this Sunday 5th July at 5pm.

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