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NHS72 – A chance to commemorate and to say thank you

After the most challenging few months in the history of the NHS, the acts of remembrance and thanks on its birthday this year have a special focus.

As the National Health Service turns 72 this weekend, people up and down the country will be invited to think of those who have sadly lost their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.

They are also invited to show their appreciation for the health and social care staff and other key workers who have battled tirelessly and selflessly to save, protect and support others.

Members of the public are encouraged to thank one another too, in recognition of the role that everyone has played in reversing the spread of the virus – and as a reminder of how important we all remain to the eventual outcome.

There is a series of activities that people can be part of over the weekend:

  • At 8pm on Saturday (July 4), people are invited to remember those who have been lost by putting a light in their window or on their doorstep. This can be a candle, lamp or torch. (Please don’t leave candles unattended indoors).
  • On Saturday evening national landmarks will be lit up blue as a tribute to those who have lost their lives and to recognise the NHS anniversary.
  • On Sunday, July 5 – the actual birthday – at midday, there will be the biggest, loudest and final clap for carers and key workers.
  • Afterwards people will be encouraged to stay outside to show their thanks and appreciation for their neighbours, or to reach out to someone who is lonely, isolated or shielding.

Fiona Edwards is the Lead of the Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System, which commissions and provides health and care services to 800,000 people from Slough, Berkshire, to Farnham, Surrey.

She said: “At the start of 2020 none of us had ever heard of Covid-19. Seven months later, it has changed our world almost beyond recognition, brought loss and hardship to many and challenged health and care services like never before.

“But those services, and the special people that work within them, have risen to the challenge magnificently and shown strength, determination and ingenuity, and total selflessness.

“On the NHS’ 72nd birthday it is right that we not only remember those who the virus has taken from us, we also thank and pay tribute to every individual who has played a part in turning the tide, from frontline health and care staff and all those who have supported them, including local volunteers, right down to those in our local communities who have done their bit by following the lockdown and social distancing rules that have been so crucial.

“Thank you to every one of you.”

Frimley Health and Care