Clap for carers returns this afternoon for final time in 2020

Clap for Carers will return for one final time in 2020 at 5pm today.

The NHS has been working with the Together coalition to encourage people across the UK to applaud the heroes of the pandemic on the 72nd anniversary of the NHS, which takes place tonight (July 5).

The nation will be asked to join in with the clap at 5pm, standing on their doorsteps as usual.

Together ’s website says: “On Sunday July 5 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.

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"And make a promise to each other to get through the months and years ahead, together!"

Public buildings such as St George's Hall, Blackpool Tower, Royal Albert Hall and the Shard will all be lit up in blue.

Clap for Carers was started by Annemarie Plas on the first week of nationwide lockdown, on 25 March 2020 and soon became a weekly tradition, bringing people to their doorsteps and driveways on Thursday evenings to show support for health workers.

Across Merseyside, many health workers joined in outside hospitals, as well as people at the end of their driveways, from their front door or from flat windows.

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But it ended after ten weeks when Ms Plas said it had served its purpose and expressed her wish for the clap to become an annual event.

The nationwide clap set for July 5 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.

NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens 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."

Annemarie Plas added: "I hope we can make July 5 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 acknowledgement that we all need each other is something we need now more than ever."