Over 16 million Brits are planning to take part in the country’s first ever national thank you day on Sunday the 4th of July.

According to new polling by ICM Unlimited 16.3 million Brits would expect to join in events where they happen in their local communities. This would make the day the biggest mass participation event since the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

The idea of Thank You Day came from a grassroots campaign to hold the country’s biggest ever thank you party  in our local communities as a way of thanking each other and of building on the community spirit that so many felt during lock down.

From the idea being launched just a month ago the campaign has won huge support from hundreds of organisations ranging from the NHS to the Scouts and from high profile individuals including Gary Lineker, Michael Sheen, Dame Judi Dench, Raheem Sterling and many more. All events will be in line with current government guidance.

May Parsons, the NHS nurse who gave the first Covid vaccination and who was one of the original proposers of the day said:

“We knew people wanted a chance to get together in a socially distanced and responsible way, so we can all say thank you, and the scale of the public’s response has blown us all away.

“This is going to be an important national moment and we want everyone to join us – safely, and in line with government guidance – in the country’s biggest ever thank you party.” 

Gavin McKenna, founder of Reach Every Generation (a youth work project) and another of the original proposers of the day said:

“Having survived violence, crime, trauma and growing up in women’s refuges, now I am married with three gorgeous children – so I have a lot to be thankful for. Thank You Day provides a great opportunity to express gratitude, which is especially important with everything we’ve all been through. The NHS staff and frontline workers have been incredible but there’s been so much work on a grassroots level that didn’t get clapped for. On thank you day I want to thank that one person who was doing shopping for their neighbour and no one else knows about and the young people for being so resilient and cooperative in such hard times.”

Members of the public are being encouraged to mark the days in numerous different ways from picnics to BBQs, outdoor parties to drinks , while of course sticking to Covid guidelines.

Organisations are also putting on events through-out the day including:

Today we are announcing a further element of the day. At 3pm that afternoon –  led by Together with Music – individuals, choirs, bands and music groups, are invited to get together and sing or play Christine McVie’s (Fleetwood Mac) classic “Don’t Stop”.

Hundreds of community choirs and schools plan to sing together outside care homes and hospitals to thank residents, patients and staff for everything they have given over the past year.

Simon Cowell said:

“‘Don’t Stop’ is a great song choice for the Thank You Day on July 4th and I hope everyone has a fantastic day. This day obviously is about saying thank you, and on a personal note, I would like to say thank you to all of the healthcare workers for an incredible job.”

Bazil Meade, Founder and Principle of the London Community Gospel Choir, in partnership with Together with Music said:

“The 4th of July is going to be a huge day of national thanksgiving using the amazing gift of creative arts, especially singing and playing instruments to unite and encourage a more caring way to live in our communities. I look forward to London Community Gospel Choir being involved”

Having started as a grassroots campaign the day now has a host of high level supporters:

Ross Kemp who has joined Royal Voluntary Service to support ‘Cheers for Volunteers’ at 5pm, said:

“I’m going to be taking part in Cheers for Volunteers in my local that weekend. We’ve all been through a grim 18-months but our community spirit is one of the things that has kept us going. I’m going to raise a glass to everyone who has helped our communities get this far.”

Over 3,000 pubs and breweries have already pledged to serve a Cheers for Volunteers at locals across the UK and the campaign is supported by the British Beer and Pub Association and the Society of British Breweries. Locals are being asked to sign up at www.thegoodbeerco.co.uk to receive pump clips, posters and more and the campaign will be asking people to nominate their local pub or brewery to get involved.

TV personality and Big Lunch ambassador Ainsley Harriott said

“We couldn’t have got through this past year without each other so let’s not forget that as we start to venture back out into the world again.  It is so important that we take a moment to thank one another.   That’s why I’m encouraging communities to join in the first ever National Thank You Day on July 4.  It’s a chance to celebrate the support that got us through the last year, and that continues to help us as we ease out of lockdown.  We all have different people to thank, from family members to key workers, good neighbours and volunteers . So please join us with your friends, neighbours and communities in building the country’s first ever national thank you celebration and let’s have a socially-safe Big Lunch to say thank you together.”

Levi Roots who together with the Scouts and the National Citizens service is the driving force behind what he hopes will be the country’s biggest ever BBQ said:

“This BB-Thank-Q is a chance to reconnect with our friends, neighbours and community over hot coals and gorgeous food. What better way to say thank you to each other than to share some of your best recipes?”  

Chris Packham is one of those supporting the Power Hour litter pick:

“On the 4th of July we’ll all be saying thank you to those who have helped us through the last year. I hope we’ll also take just an hour in the day to say thank you to our parks and green spaces that helped keep us calm and fit during lock down.”

Julia Bradbury, a Keep Britain Tidy ambassador said:

“Since Covid hit, our local communities have become more important than ever. We have relied on our parks and green spaces for so much: They’ve been places to escape to, to exercise in and to take a break from the daily round of virtual meetings.  The kids have run off steam in our treasured parks and they’ve become our escape when we need somewhere to simply sit quietly. As part of national thank you day we’re asking the country to join forces at 11am for an hour at the start of the day, to clean up our green spaces and parks as a way of saying thank you to them and to our local communities.”

The day has secured huge backing from the sporting world including the Football Association, Wimbledon, the English Cricket Board and Rugby League and Union.

Harry Kane, England Captain said

“As a squad we have a big summer ahead but we wanted to be part of saying thank you to everyone who has got us through the past 18 months. We all have people to be grateful for and the national ‘Thank You Day’ is a moment we’re proud to be a part of. Whoever you’re thanking, join your neighbours and communities and say thank you together.”

School children are joining in the day by filling in a huge national thank you card designed by author and illustrator Charlie Mackesy. The card will be unveiled at Wimbledon Tennis Championships on the morning of the opening day and afterwards will be on display at the People’s History Museum in Manchester.

Charlie Mackesy said:

“The past eighteen months have been hard for so many people. One of the few positives is that it has brought many of our communities closer together. I hope Thank You Day provides us all a chance to get together and thank those who made the pandemic bearable.” 

Virgin Media O2 are supporting 500 local groups to take part in the day as part of a £500,000 Together Fund created to supercharge charities who are championing the community spirit we’ve experienced throughout the pandemic.

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