Sunday 5th of July is the NHS’s birthday. This year we want to invite everyone to come together to say the biggest thank you possible to all those who are helping to get us through a difficult time, in the NHS and beyond.
We all owe a debt of gratitude to the nurses, doctors, physios, porters, cleaners, and countless others who have delivered for patients and their families along with all those in the care sector. But we are also hugely grateful to the shop workers, transport staff, delivery drivers, teachers, refuse collectors, farmers, armed service personnel and other key workers who have kept the country going.
And we want to thank all those who have stayed home even when the sun shone, the people who volunteered who helped their neighbours with the shopping or washed their hands more often. We are getting through this by staying physically apart, but also by sticking together. People have responded positively to the most trying of circumstances. Community spirit has undoubtedly become stronger through the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the NHS’s birthday we should come together and kickstart a concerted effort to maintain and build on this – ‘Together’.
Throughout its history the NHS has brought people together, treating everyone regardless of the ability to pay. That has never been more true than in the last weeks and months when neighbours and friends have been briefly reunited on doorsteps as we have come together to applaud all our key workers.
We are not through this yet and will need to keep pulling together in the months and years ahead.
So we are asking everyone to return to their doorsteps on the 5th of July as people did every Thursday, not just to show their appreciation for NHS and key workers but also to show that we are all still there for each other, now and in the coming months.
Hopefully this time, after the applause has faded, we can stay a little longer; to have a drink, a cuppa or some food; and to spend some time together (at a safe distance, of course) with your friends, family or neighbours.
So please join us to say thank you, together and for everyone. And please make sure the 5th of July is in your diary.
Lord Victor Adebowale, NHS Confederation;
Qari Asim, MINAB;
Dawn Austwick, National Lottery Community Fund;
Geoff Barton, Association of School and College Leaders;
Sir Peter Bazalgette, ITV;
Elizabeth Carnelly, Near Neighbours;
Darren Childs, Premiership Rugby;
Greg Clarke, FA;
General The Lord Dannatt, National Emergencies Trust;
Jeremy Darroch, Sky;
Kezia Dugdale, John Smith Centre;
Dame Caroline Fairburn, CBI;
Dame Katherine Grainger, UK Sport;
Melissa Green, National Federation of Women’s Institutes;
Dr Zubaida Haque, Runnymede Trust;
Tom Harrison, ECB;
Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England;
Matt Hyde, Scouts;
Catherine Johnstone, Royal Voluntary Service;
Sunder Katwala, British Future;
Harun Khan, MCB;
Donna Kinnair, Royal College of Nursing;
Kwame Kwei-Armah, Young Vic;
Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon;
Mark Lever, Helpforce;
Richard Masters, Premier League;
Ruth May, NHS England;
Dame Helena Morrissey, 30% Club;
Ellie Orton, NHS Charities Together;
Major Timothy Peake;
Annemarie Plas, Clap for Carers;
Paul Reddish, Volunteering Matters;
Sir Hugh Robertson, British Olympics Association;
Angela Salt, Girl Guiding;
Mike Sharrock, British Paralympic Association;
Jasvir Singh, City Sikhs;
Sir Tim Smit, The Eden Project;
The Right Honourable Jacqui Smith, Jo Cox Foundation;
Sir Simon Stevens, NHS;
Bill Sweeney, RFU;
Maurice Tulloch, Aviva Foundation;
The Right Honourable and Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury;
Paul Whiteman, National Association of Headteachers;
Sabir Zazai, Scottish Refugee Council.
NHS Executive Group:
Sir Simon Stevens
Professor Stephen Powis
Sir David Sloman