Thank You Day: Millions get together to express gratitude for charities and people

Simon Cowell praises NHS in Thank You Day message

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The 16.3m people would make the occasion on July 4 the biggest mass participation event since the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. The idea of Thank You Day came from a grass roots campaign to hold the country’s biggest ever thank you party in our local communities as a way of thanking each other and of building on the community spirit that so many felt during lock down. 

The NHS, the Scouts and the National Citizens Service are among organisations supporting the event alongside celebrities like actors Michael Sheen and Dame Judi Dench and footballer Raheem Sterling.

Gavin McKenna, the founder of youth project Reach Every Generation and one of the original founders, said: “Having survived violence, crime, trauma and growing up in women’s refuges, now I am married with three gorgeous children – so I have a lot to be thankful for.

“Thank You Day provides a great opportunity to express gratitude, which is especially important with everything we’ve all been through.

“The NHS staff and frontline workers have been incredible but there’s been so much work on a grass roots level that didn’t get clapped for.

“On thank you day I want to thank that one person who was doing shopping for their neighbour and no one else knows about and the young people for being so resilient and cooperative in such hard times.”

The public are being encouraged to mark the day in numerous different ways from street parties, picnics and BBQs, to litterpicking and a countrywide hour’s exercise class.

At 5pm, former EastEnders star Ross Kemp and the Royal Voluntary Service are encouraging people to raise a glass and Cheers For Volunteers, with the initiative is backed by thousands of pubs across the country.

“We’ve all been through a grim 18 months but our community spirit is one of the things that has kept us going,” he said. 

“I’m going to raise a glass to everyone who has helped our communities get this far.” 

And at 3pm choirs, bands and music groups are invited to get together and sing or play Christine McVie’s (Fleetwood Mac) classic Don’t Stop.

Hundreds of community choirs and schools plan to sing together outside care homes and hospitals to thank residents, patients and staff for everything they have given over the past year. 

The Britain’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell said: “Don’t Stop is a great song choice for the Thank You Day on July 4 and I hope everyone has a fantastic day. 

“This day obviously is about saying thank you, and on a personal note, I would like to say thank you to all of the healthcare workers for an incredible job.” 

The day has secured backing from the sporting world including the Football Association, Wimbledon, the English Cricket Board and Rugby league and union. 

Harry Kane, England’s Captain said: “As a squad we have a big summer ahead but we wanted to be part of saying thank you to everyone who has got us through the past 18 months. 

“We all have people to be grateful for and the national ‘Thank You Day’ is a moment we’re proud to be a part of. 

“Whoever you’re thanking, join your neighbours and communities and say thank you together.” 

Virgin Media O2 are supporting 500 local groups to take part in the day as part of a £500,000 Together Fund created to supercharge charities who are championing the community spirit we’ve experienced throughout the pandemic.

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