National day to say thanks to our heroes

Wiganers are being urged to say “thank you” to the people who have made a difference to their lives.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 7:00 am
Residents on Winstanley Road, Pemberton, taking part in the clap for carers during the first national lockdown

A campaign is under way for a National Thank You Day to be held on Sunday, July 4.

It will be a chance for people to come together, raise a glass and recognise the people who have helped them over the last 12 months.

That could be their loved ones offering support, healthcare staff who have worked tirelessly to care for patients, supermarket workers keeping food on the shelves and teachers who overcame the challenges of teaching remotely.

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The idea has been proposed by May Parsons, a matron at University Hospital Coventry, who said: “Basically, I think we just do not say thank you enough.”

On December 8, she became the first person in the world to administer a coronavirus vaccination to a patient outside clinical trials.

She told BBC Breakfast: “I think it is important that we show appreciation to our colleagues who have turned up and stopped whatever they are doing just to help us.

“I think it is quite important and this is something I am passionate about as well.”

Kwame Kwei-Armah, artistic director of the Young Vic theatre, said he is backing the campaign because it “just felt beautiful”.

He told the programme: “This is a moment where we can say thank you to anyone who has helped, particularly over these last four years, I would say, where we have gone from one body blow to another.

“I think that, by the time we get to the end of this phase of the lockdown, we are desperately going to want to be close to people and say thank you.”

He added that he wanted to thank everyone who has supported theatre and the arts for “just keeping the faith”.

Actor Michael Sheen, adventurer Bear Grylls and Olympic rowing champion Dame Katherine Grainger are among others who are backing the campaign.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, people have been keen to show their support and appreciation for people who have made a difference.

People across Wigan, as well as around the country, took to their doorsteps every Thursday evening during the first national lockdown to give a round of applause to NHS staff and key workers.

Pictures of rainbows were put on display in people’s windows and fund-raisers were organised for good causes.

The National Thank You Day would be the day before the anniversary of the NHS, which was also celebrated widely last year.

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