Millions of people turned out across the UK to join NHS and other key workers in saying a massive thank you to all those in the community who have come together to help the country through the Covid-19 pandemic.
At 5pm on Sunday 5th July, the birthday of the NHS, there was applause outside NHS hospitals, in public squares, railway stations and streets in towns and villages across Britain.
British Future is proud to be a founding member of the Together coalition, which helped organise the events alongside the NHS.
Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds and Chair of Together trustees, paid tribute to all those who had come out on Sunday and urged everyone to maintain these social connections in the months and years ahead:
“Thank you Together brought millions out on their streets and doorsteps this weekend to share time with neighbours and say a massive thank you to everyone who is helping us get through the Covid crisis.
“It shows just how much we all value the support of others. And it shows our need for social connection, too – especially in these last few difficult months when that’s been harder to find.
“Sunday was just the start for the Together Coalition. We want to build on this renewed sense of community that has emerged from the tragedies of coronavirus. And we hope to help narrow some of the divides of our recent past.
“Together aims to help build a kinder, closer and more connected society. We want to make the 2020s a Decade of Reconnection.”
— Crewe Fire Station (@CreweFireStn) July 6, 2020
In April, The Queen thanked @NHSuk & healthcare workers for their “selfless commitment & diligence” and spoke of how their dedication to service “in these most challenging of circumstances, is an example to us all.”#ThankYouTogether pic.twitter.com/3CbNULafoQ
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) July 5, 2020
— Sanctuary Care UK (@SanctuaryCareUK) July 6, 2020
Thank you to all who came today
We love you NHS
— Captain Tom Moore (@captaintommoore) July 5, 2020
Annemarie Plas, who started Clap for Our Carers, appeared outside No 10 with Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 5pm. She said:
“This weekend’s events were about more than just saying thank-you to the NHS and other key workers. They were about celebrating the community spirit that got us this far through this crisis – and pledging to maintain it. So, this may have been the last clap for a while but I hope we can all maintain those community connections that show the best of us.”
The covid-19 crisis is causing immense hardship and suffering and has come at a time when our society was already struggling with rising loneliness, profound inequality and divisive political debates. But this in many ways the crisis has shown people at their best – volunteering, helping neighbours, protecting those at greatest risk, pulling together as communities to support one another.
New attitudes research by You Gov for More in Common, conducted in June, shows the scale of the upsurge in community feeling. It found that:
- Over 60% felt supported by others;
- 57% feel part of a community;
- 63% said Covid has shown people in the UK care about each other;
- 58% feel they have become more aware of others’ circumstances;
- Two thirds agreed that Covid 19 had shown “no matter how divisive the debate around Brexit was, as a society we can pull together.”
/Together is a coalition that everyone is invited to join, from community groups across the country to some of the UK’s best-known organisations. 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. Its aim is to bring people together and bridge divides, to help build a kinder, closer and more connected society. More information at www.together.org.uk