For many people, myself included, we’ve often spent the last few weeks wondering “What can I do to help?” The message has been clear from NHS staff nation-wide: “Stay Indoors. We stay here for you. You can stay home for us”.
However, at 8 o’clock, March 26, something magical happened.
In a social-media fuelled campaign to get as many people involved, UK citizens took to their windows, drive-ways, and in some cases fireworks in the back-garden, to erupt into an applause which saw the nation stand still. From my window in Doncaster we saw an array of people cheering for our wonderful NHS, and from a family with two ex-NHS parents, its importance was paramount. In a time of uncertainty, the support of these dedicated workers sends hope in what can feel like a hopeless time.
However, this wasn’t Doncaster-specific. Newcastle saw a similar response, with students taking to the street to support the cause.
In one instance, Sandyford saw students join together, banging pans and shouting encouraging “whoops” towards the National Health Service.
Another Newcastle student reported that, just outside of Sandyford, entire streets of people were taking part. Neighbours were waving at each other in an act of unity which is relevant now more than ever.
In a town which prides itself on its relationship with students, it’s amazing to see so many getting behind this effort and supporting their NHS.
"I was really impressed with the number of people that joined in"Stephen Dawes
The acts of clapping and cheering from one's home is the perfect metaphor for how we can go about the next few weeks. Small acts of compassion and support can blossom into something amazing, and the combination of people, young and old, shouting from their homes will show those working for the NHS that their courage and determination is not going unnoticed.
For anyone needing more guidance on the current COVID-19 situation, the NHS has issued clear guidance.
This article is dedicated to those working for the NHS. Keep making your nation proud!