#clapforourcarers: how you can thank NHS workers during the coronavirus crisis

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09 Apr 2020
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Here’s everything you need to know about the #clapforourcarers movement, which takes place every Thursday to thank our NHS workers during the coronavirus pandemic. 

It’s hard to think of a point in history when we’ve been more grateful to our brilliant NHS than right now, during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Every Thursday at 8pm, millions of people across the UK have been uniting in a nationwide round of applause for key workers battling to save lives and protect us all.


Tonight marks the third Clap For Our Carers event, which began on Thursday 26 March as the brainchild of Dutch Londoner Annemarie Plas. She introduced the idea on social media, after seeing a similar tribute to healthcare workers take off in her homeland of the Netherlands.

“Everybody either knows someone who is working on the frontline or you’ve seen the images of the nurses who have these marks from wearing the facemasks, so it resonated with a lot of people,” Plas told Creative Review.

“And it’s not just the NHS workers, it’s everybody that is still out there keeping our world indoors going.”

At a time when the majority of us are staying at home and social distancing, the mass-scale clapping is a great way of coming together and expressing gratitude – in feeling, if not in person.

Each new week has seen more people emerge to join the minutes-long round of applause, in a moving show of appreciation and community spirit. Some bang pots, others sing and dance, and still more cheer in unison from their front doors, city balconies or remote village gardens. 


Key workers themselves, including supermarket staff and NHS teams, have also paused to take part in the clapping.

And high-profile names have given their support, too: Victoria and David Beckham, Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig and younger members of the royal family are just a few famous names to have joined the #clapforourcarers event in recent weeks.

Last month, nearly 5,000 retired doctors and nurses signed up to rejoin the NHS in just 48 hours. We’ve all seen the video updates from frontline NHS staff showing the realities of coronavirus

A growing number of NHS workers in the UK have already lost their lives after being exposed to the virus while treating patients. And a shortage of hospital ventilators means that healthcare professionals on the frontline face some truly horrible decisions ahead. 


For most of us, this all sounds like an unimaginable way of working. But it’s exactly what NHS staff must deal with every day for the foreseeable future.

The Clap For Our Carers movement is a great way of showing these brilliant professionals exactly how valued they are.

It’s something people in countries including the US, Spain and Italy have been doing for a while now, to show their appreciation for frontline workers.

Of course, the same appreciation we feel for the NHS also needs to be shown to other key workers out there, like the supermarket workers who are making sure we have food, and the teachers who are doing everything they can to make sure their pupils are fully supported.

It’s easy to feel pretty helpless right now, but saying thank you to those on the frontline might just be the most powerful thing many of us can do in this crisis. And, while it’s only a small gesture, many key workers have spoken out to say how happy and proud it makes them feel.

It seems that as long as coronavirus is around, #ThankYouThursday is here to stay.

So get set with your saucepan, a banjo or whatever you have handy to cheer your heart out, tonight and every Thursday at 8pm.

You can keep up to date with Stylist’s news, advice and personal stories on coronavirus right here.

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Images: Getty


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Hollie Richardson

Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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