Clap for Carers tonight should be the last, says organiser

The latest Clap for Carers event may be the last, after the woman behind the idea said she will no longer take part.

Clap for Carers: This week is the tenth event. Getty Images
Clap for Carers: This week is the tenth event.

The tenth weekly Clap for Carers event on Thursday night may be the last, after the woman behind the idea said she will no longer take part.

Millions of people across the UK have lined their thresholds, gathered – while socially distancing – on pavements, and stood in their gardens at 8pm every Thursday to demonstrate their support for care staff and frontline workers.

But the ritual has been criticised by some for becoming “politicised”, while others, including NHS staff, have said some people who take part in the clap then wilfully ignore the plea to stay at home and avoid gatherings in an effort to ease the strain on the healthcare system.

Organiser Annemarie Plas, 36, said she had no problem with people continuing to gather at 8pm each week to clap, but said she will not be among those taking part in future.

ADVERT

She said: “To have the most impact I think it is good to stop it at its peak.

‘To have the most impact I think it is good to stop it at its peak.’

Organiser Annemarie Plas

“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.”

Ms Plas, from Streatham in south London, told Good Morning Britain on STV she will clap on Thursday evening, and will return outside at the same time next week to “check in” with her community, without applauding.

‘For everybody who wants to continue I think they should, but for me I think it’s good to see how we can see that positivity delivered to the next level.’

Organiser Annemarie Plas
ADVERT

She said: “For everybody who wants to continue I think they should, but for me I think it’s good to see how we can see that positivity delivered to the next level, which can be an annual moment and also to embrace the community still at 8pm.

“For me, next Thursday I will go out to see who is out there and check in with my community – we are still in this crisis, but I think there are other initiatives we can support which show our gratitude.”

NHS doctor Meenal Viz said on Twitter: “As a doctor, I’ve appreciated your support during #ClapForCarers.

“But instead of clapping tonight at 8pm, I’ll observe silence in remembrance of my 237 colleagues who have died during the pandemic.”

She is backing a crowdfunding campaign to challenge the Government over personal protective equipment for NHS staff.