This Sunday, 4 July, is set to be the UK’s biggest ever thank you party, as local communities, members of the public, celebrities, politicians and more take part in the country’s first ever national Thank You Day.
According to polling by ICM Unlimited 16.3 million Brits would expect to join in events where they happen in their local communities. This would make the day the biggest mass participation event since the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
The idea of Thank You Day came from a grassroots campaign to hold the country’s biggest ever thank you party in local communities as a way of thanking each other and of building on the community spirit felt during lockdown.
The campaign has won support from hundreds of organisations ranging from the NHS to the Scouts and from celebrities including Gary Lineker, Michael Sheen, Dame Judi Dench, and Raheem Sterling.
Members of the public are being encouraged to mark the days in numerous different ways from picnics to BBQs, outdoor parties to drinks – while sticking to Covid guidelines.
Organisations are also putting on events throughout the day including:
- 9:00: Join in an hour’s exercise across our country’s parks and green spaces
- 11:00: Power Hour – Keep Britain Tidy, the RSPB and Rotary are organising an hour’s tidy up of parks and green spaces
- 13:00: The Big Lunch are organising small street parties and picnics to get neighbours together
- 17:00: Cheers for volunteers, led by Ross Kemp and the Royal Voluntary Service is encouraging people to raise a glass or a cuppa with their neighbours, the initiative is backed by thousands of pubs across the country
- 19:00: The country’s biggest ever BBQ with neighbours, led by Levi Roots, the Scouts and the National Citizens Service
And, at 3pm, led by Together with Music, individuals, choirs, bands and music groups are invited to get together and sing or play Christine McVie’s (from Fleetwood Mac) classic “Don’t Stop” outside care homes and hospitals to thank residents, patients and staff for everything they have given over the past year. The Feeling, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Jamie Cullum & friends have also released a new cover of the song in support of Thank You Day.
May Parsons, the NHS nurse who gave the first Covid vaccination and who was one of the original proposers of the day said:
“We knew people wanted a chance to get together in a socially distanced and responsible way, so we can all say thank you, and the scale of the public’s response has blown us all away.
“This is going to be an important national moment and we want everyone to join us – safely, and in line with government guidance – in the country’s biggest ever thank you party.”
Businesses including M&S, McDonalds, HSBC UK, Unilever, Asda, JCDecaux UK, O2 and PwC will also be marking the day. Activity includes:
- Over 3,000 pubs and breweries have pledged to serve a Cheers for Volunteers Beer at locals across the UK and the campaign is supported by the British Beer and Pub Association and the Society of British Breweries
- Virgin Media O2 have created a £500,000 Together fund for communities wanting to mark the day and will be thanking their own colleagues who have kept the communications infrastructure going through the lockdown
- M&S has created a limited edition Thank You Day card and bag design by Charlie Mackesy and a point of sale promotion around BBQ and picnic lines ahead of the day
- JCDecaux UK is collaborating with Thank You Day to promote the day and drive visibility through its digital Out-of-Home screens
- HSBC UK will be directly thanking their customers through frontline staff, radio, digital and more. HSBC UK is also engaging with their communities including more than 70 schools across the West Midlands, its sustainability communications networks, and charity partners promoting involvement in and support for Thank You Day
- Asda is running a week long campaign for their colleagues, including a thank you and celebration wall in every store, depot and office, a special double colleague discount event and the Big Asda Picnic over the weekend of the 2-4t July (a celebration free picnic for all stores and depot colleagues)
Mike Cherry of the Federation Small Businesses, said:
“Despite the terrible impacts of Covid-19 which have affected us all, the crisis has demonstrated the power of people coming together to overcome adversity and to contribute to the national effort. I know so many small businesses will be using this opportunity to say thank you to their staff and customers. I want to add my thanks to the small businesses themselves throughout the UK who have gone above and beyond to be there for their communities throughout this crisis. Their imagination, resilience, ingenuity and flexibility have been an inspiration to see. I would urge people throughout the UK to get involved in Thank You Day on 4 July and use this opportunity to say a massive thank you to all who have helped.”
Politicians say Thank You
Political leaders from across the political spectrum are also supporting Thank You Day. The Prime Minister is planning on holding his own BB-Thank-Q on Sunday, joined by volunteers, key workers and young people from the Scouts and the National Citizens Service. Dragon’s Den star Levi Roots will be helping to cook together with the PM.
More Thank You Day-related activity
Ahead of Thank You Day, and NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers Day (Monday 5 July), Spectrum Community Health CIC launched its #CareFor10 campaign – an appeal for the public to take just 10 minutes to care for someone else in the community through small but meaningful acts of kindness.
The social enterprise, which oversees a range of community-based clinical care projects across the North of England, wants to encourage the continuation of the neighbourly spirit that developed throughout the pandemic.
The campaign also celebrates Spectrum’s 10th anniversary, with the social enterprise encouraging all 850 members of staff to take part in the campaign.
The NHS Big Tea also takes place on 5 July. It asks people to raise a mug or hold their own virtual or physical tea party at 3pm on that day or at any time that suits them on or around that date, and raise funds for either NHS Charities Together, or their local hospital NHS trust. The event is backed by TV personality and A&E doctor Dr. Alex George, and supported by Morrisons, which is encouraging its customers and staff to take part, and Flowercard, with an exclusive, limited-edition range of tea-themed cards and tea cups filled with blooms, with 100% of profits from the sale of the collection going to NHS Charities Together.
And – another NHS related story: Nights On Us has a new giveaway benefitting NHS workers.
In partnership with Sofar Sounds and Locke, the nonprofit is transforming one of Locke’s London hotels into an intimate concert venue with Sofar Sounds. Between Monday 5 July and Friday 9 July, Nights On Us will be giving eight tickets away to NHS workers and their guests (16 tickets in total).
On Sunday 25 July, three special artists will play to this special crowd, each performing a relaxed set in one of Locke’s outdoor courtyards. The exact location of the event will be released to the public 36 hours before the show, with the NHS winners finding out some weeks in advance to give them time to plan their visit to London.
Between 5-9 July, NHS workers can log onto www.nightsonus.co.uk/sofar-locke and enter for their chance to win one of the eight special packages for the event, which includes a ticket to the concert and a free night at the Locke where the gig is being held. Paying guests can visit www.sofarsounds.com to purchase their tickets.
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