Simple ways to show thanks to our NHS heroes – the incredible staff on the front lines of Britain’s battle against coronavirus
The surgeons, the nurses, the physios, the GPs, the midwives, the paramedics, and so many more – our NHS heroes put the nation’s health before their own each and every day. But, never do we appreciate this more than at times of crisis; when we’re at our most vulnerable.
Here are some easy ways to show your appreciation for our healthcare system and all of the wonderful people who hold the NHS together.
Clap for our carers
On Thursday 26 March at 8pm (GMT), we are being invited to come together – separately, in our own homes – to clap for our carers.
The Clap For Our Carers campaign will see people across the UK applaud NHS workers, to say thank you for all of their hard work. Similar events have already been held in countries including Spain, France and the Netherlands.
The campaign poster reads: “During these unprecedented times they need to know that we are grateful.
“Please join us on 26th March at 8pm for a big applause (from front doors, garden, balcony, windows, living rooms, etc) to show all nurses, doctors, GPs and carers our appreciation for their ongoing hard work and fight against the virus.
“Please share this message, so we can make sure the word spreads and reaches all to join!”
Those joining in should applaud from their front doors, windows, gardens and balconies, making sure to keep a safe distance from other people. If you do take part, it is encouraged to live stream your participation on social media, using the hashtag #ClapForOurCarers.
Become an NHS Volunteer Responder
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that the government is ‘rallying the troops’ for the war on coronavirus, asking volunteers to help keep vulnerable people safe and well at home. The new NHS Volunteer Responders scheme is now looking for up to 250,000 volunteers to help up to 1.5 million people who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions.
Members of the public can sign up to volunteer at GoodSam and can be called on to do simple but vital tasks such as:
- Delivering medicines from pharmacies
- Driving patients to appointments
- Bringing patients home from hospital
- Making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home
Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, midwives, social care staff and NHS 111 advisers will all be able to request help for their at-risk patients via a call centre run by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS). The RVS will then match people who need help, with volunteers who live near to them. The scheme is not intended to replace local groups helping their vulnerable neighbours but is an additional service provided by the NHS.
Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and NHS Director of Primary Care, said: “Coronavirus is the biggest challenge we have ever faced, which is why we’re rallying the troops and telling the public: your NHS needs you.
“Across the country people are playing their part in the fight against the virus by staying home for the next 12 weeks, to protect themselves, others and the NHS. But many of those shielding will need our support to do that, and by signing up to be an NHS Volunteer Responder, people who are well can do their bit too.
“This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments where a single action from one person can be the difference between life and death for another, and simple acts of kindness are going to make all the difference in keeping some of the most vulnerable people well and out of hospital.
“NHS staff are pulling out all the stops to ensure those who need care receive it, and creating a bank of helpers that they can call upon to support their most vulnerable patients through this difficult time is going to be invaluable, so I would urge anyone who can to sign up as an NHS Volunteer Responder today.”
Volunteers joining the NHS scheme will need to undertake background checks that are appropriate to the roles that they sign up for. All volunteers registering on the app will need to upload identity documents, driving license (for any driving related tasks), confirmation that they have insurance (if applicable) and any other role-related information.
Stay at home
Perhaps the simplest of all ways to show gratitude, but undoubtedly the most effective. It’s a difficult and confusing time but the advice is clear and simple – to keep our distance and stay at home, to avoid spreading infection and to prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed.
And, if you listen to no one else about what the NHS is facing, listen to Dr Jack, who spoke to Tom Swarbrick on LBC.
“It is beyond me why people don’t see what they are creating by just continuing to go out. We’re treating the people who got infected two weeks ago and we’re getting full.
“The only way this virus stops is if we stop touching each other, keep two metres away from each other, wash our hands and just not touch anybody.
“We’re a generation of people who have strived to make our lives so that we can basically function from a sofa. You can sit and watch Netflix, sit and watch Sky, order everything on Amazon, order anything on Ocado, you don’t need to go out.
“You know, when we were at war, people were lying about their ages, lying about their health so that they could go into battle and fight and die for our country. All we are asking is for you to go and sit on your sofa. That’s what people are being asked to do, that’s it.”
And, when you put it like that, it really is quite simple.
So, stay at home: join the nation in clapping for our carers on 26 March and consider becoming a volunteer responder for the NHS. Otherwise, sit on your sofa, keep your distance from others and help to keep our NHS heroes as safe as possible.
We want to thank all the amazing NHS staff helping us through this difficult time. If you work for the NHS, we are offering free back copies of Happiful magazine for you and your team. Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to claim yours.