A National Clap for Carers Day will take place this Sunday - here’s what will happen

By Stephanie Rendall
Monday, 29th June 2020, 9:15 am
Updated Friday, 3rd July 2020, 12:07 pm
Clap for carers was created by Dutch-born Londoner Annemarie Plas and soon became a weekly tradition during lockdown (Credit: Getty)
Clap for carers was created by Dutch-born Londoner Annemarie Plas and soon became a weekly tradition during lockdown (Credit: Getty)

A final, nationwide Clap for Carers has been announced for 5 July 2020, as part of a new annual tradition across the country.

The NHS has been working with the newly founded Together coalition to encourage people across the UK to applaud the heroes of the pandemic on the 72nd anniversary of the NHS.

When will the National Clap for Carers happen happen?

The nation will be asked to join in with the clap at 5pm on Sunday 5 July, standing on the doorsteps or balconies of their homes.

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    On the evening of Saturday 4 July, the night before the clap, people will be asked to display a light in their windows in remembrance of the lives lost to the virus.

    On Together’s website a statement about the event reads, “On Sunday 5th July mark the birthday of the NHS by joining together to say a big “thank you” to everyone who is helping us through these difficult times, from carers and helpers, to friends and family. And make a promise to each other to get through the months and years ahead, together!”

    What else is being done to mark the occasion?

    During the moment, many broadcasters will pause their programmes to mark the occasion.

    Meanwhile, across the nation, public buildings such as the Blackpool Tower, Royal Albert Hall, Wembley Arch and the Shard will all be illuminated in blue lights for the movement.

    When did the Clap for Carers start?

    The Clap for Carers initiative started on the first week of nationwide lockdown, on 25 March 2020.

    It was created by Dutch-born Londoner Annemarie Plas and soon became a weekly tradition, bringing people to their doorsteps and driveways on Thursday evenings to show support for health workers.

    The tradition came to an end on its 10th week at the decision of Ms Plas, however she expressed her wish for the clap to one day become an annual event.

    The nationwide clap set for the 5 July was organised after a letter from the Together coalition was sent to the NHS asking for the event to take place, signed by dozens of influential figures and groups.

    ‘Heartfelt thank you’

    NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said the new anniversary will be a way for the nation to "say a heartfelt thank you" to the hospital staff who worked through the pandemic.

    He said, "This year has been the most challenging in NHS history, with staff displaying extraordinary dedication, skill and compassion to care for the 100,000 patients with Covid-19 who needed specialist hospital treatment and many others besides.

    "During this testing time our nurses, doctors, physios, pharmacists and countless more colleagues were sustained by the support of the public, not least through the weekly applause for key workers."

    Additionally, Annemarie Plas shared her hopes for the event, saying, “I hope we can make the 5th July a day which unites us in a countrywide ‘Thank You’ and that shifting the moment to earlier in the day will mean those kids who go to bed before 8pm can really take part.

    “Uniting, coming together and the acknowledgment that we all need each other is something we need now more than ever.”