Final Clap for Carers: Public urged to make it “the best yet”.
The nation has been urged to help end tonight’s final Clap for Carers event ‘on a high’ on week 10.
This evening (Thursday) will see millions across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales stand outside their homes at 8pm to applaud the NHS and key workers for the last time.
It comes after the founder of the weekly event – Annemarie Plas, who is originally from the Netherlands – has said that tonight’s show of support should be the last, following concerns the event has become too politicised.
Mother-of-one Ms Plas, who lives in South London, said she was “overwhelmed” by the support for the ritual, but said it was better to stop when it was at “its peak”.
The Clap for Carers event started ten weeks ago on Thursday 23rd March, following the start of the Coronavirus lockdown in the UK, since when the public have been joined by members of the royal family, the Prime Minister and celebrities.
But the campaign has also divided opinion between some who feel empowered and encouraged by the gesture, and others who feel it is patronising – particularly over the Government’s initial decision, now reversed, to charge overseas health and care staff for using the NHS.
Ms Plas said: “A clap is something normal people can do, showing our appreciation. But the power is not with us. We can give them respect but we are not signing the cheque – that falls on another desk.”
“Without getting too political, I share some of the opinions that some people have about it becoming politicised. I think the narrative is starting to change and I don’t want the clap to be negative.
“Stopping clapping doesn’t mean we are not still appreciating them,” added Ms Plas, who has suggested bringing back the Clap for Carers in 2021 to mark a year since the coronavirus outbreak.