Clap for Carers: why we should all take time to show our support for NHS workers in the battle against coronavirus at 8pm tonight

17:35pm, Thu 26 Mar 2020
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A national salute has been organised to thank and honour NHS staff working to fight the coronavirus outbreak in Britain. 

The "Clap for Carers" campaign is planned for 8pm tonight with people across the country being invited to join a mass round of applause from their balconies, windows and doorsteps in order to comply with social distancing rules.

It was launched by Annemarie Plas to thank the doctors, nurses, and NHS staff in the frontline, looking after those affected by coronavirus and was inspired by action in Spain, Italy and France who all held similar displays of thanks by applauding from their windows and balconies during their strict lockdowns.

Ms Plas told Sky News: "It made me feel really warm inside that I wasn't the only one that felt like that.

"It's such a simple message and we take so many things for granted, and now all these freedoms and options are taken away from us, we start to realise [what we have]. It's a good time to show how thankful we are."

Wembley shows appreciation for NHS staff (Wembley stadium)

The campaign has quickly gained momentum with celebrities, including David and Victoria Beckham, radio presenter Chris Moyles and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas pledging their support.

Victoria Beckham wrote on Instagram: "Words can't describe how thankful we are for all the bravery and hard work of the healthcare workers during this uncertain time. Let's all join together next week on March 26 to show our gratitude and solidarity with those on the frontline."

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Chris Moyles rallied his listeners to 'make some noise for the thousands and thousands of people [in the NHS] that we'll probably never meet, just to say thank-you for everything they are doing for us".

Landmarks across England, including the Principality Stadium, Lincoln Cathedral and the Royal Albert Hall are also to be illuminated in blue during the nationwide salute, joining the Wembley Arch which has been lighting up on a nightly basis.

This is part of a #lightblue campaign organised by members and organisers in both the events and entertainment industry.

Staff in Paris were extremely appreciative of the demonstrations of thanks (PA Images)

Joint founders of the #lightitblue campaign - Chuck Crampton and Gary White - assured environmentalists that all venues will use pre-existing LED technology to display flash of blue on facades and screens.

In a statement, they said: "The events and entertainment industry finds itself in an unprecedented state of enforced inaction.

"The best thing we can do - apart from staying at home - is to use our skills and networks to say thank you to everyone who is supporting the NHS and risking their own health to help others during this pandemic."

"Clap for Carers" takes place on Thursday at 8pm (Twitter: @StMungos)