Have your say: Will you take part in 'Clap for Heroes'?

Ellen Manning
·2-min read
NHS workers participate in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's NHS (National Health Service) workers and other frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool, northwest England, on May 28, 2020. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Clap for Carers is returning under a new name, Clap for Heroes. (Getty)

The weekly applause for NHS workers is set to return this week – though it has been met by a mixed reaction.

Clap for Carers, which ran for 10 weeks during the first lockdown, became a weekly ritual on Thursdays at 8pm.

The tradition is now set to return, but under a new name - Clap for Heroes.

Tweeting about the return of the weekly clap, organiser Annemarie Plas - who last May said it should end before it became negative - said: “We are bringing back the 8pm applause, in our 3rd lockdown.

“I hope it can lift the spirit, of all of us. Carers teacher, homeschooling parents, those who shield and ALL who is pushing through this difficult time! Please join & share! #clapforheroes.”

The announcement has been met with a mixed reaction - with some people saying that healthcare workers should be paid better rather than rewarded with applause.

One Twitter user wrote: “Clapping doesn't put food on their tables or keep their lights on”, while another said: “Does clapping increase public sector salaries? No? Then pay healthcare workers better instead!”.

Another person said: “Can I have a payrise, manageable workload and safety in the workplace? Um, how about some claps? And a new job title, 'hero' #clapforheroes”.

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But some organisations backed the move, sharing news stories about it and encouraging people to join in.

Plas, a Dutch national living in south London, originally came up with the “spontaneous idea” as a way to show support for frontline workers battling coronavirus in 2020.

She initially thought it would be just her and a few friends sharing the moment on video chat but it quickly became a national tradition, with millions of people across the UK gathering outside their homes to show support for care staff and frontline workers.

Watch: Nationwide applause for final ‘Clap for Carers’

However, in May she said it was time to end the ritual as it became criticised for becoming too politicised.

Ahead of the final clap that month, she said: “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.”

Watch: What you can and can’t do during the UK’s third lockdown