The sound of applause rang out across Bristol once again this evening, as the nation united in support of the NHS.
Residents lined some streets today (Sunday, July 5) at 5pm, to make some noise and mark the 72nd birthday of the National Health Service.
North Bristol NHS Trust invited staff to stand outside of their hospitals to join in with Clap for the NHS, and were pictured applauding colleagues with pride.
It brought back memories of the Clap for Carers campaign earlier in the coronavirus lockdown, which saw people stand on their doorsteps and lean out of windows to applaud key workers on Thursday nights.
This evening’s clap was the culmination of various actions this weekend, designed to show support for the NHS.
Yesterday evening (July 4) people were asked to remember all those who have lost their lives, by putting a light in their window or on their doorsteps such as a candle, lamp or torch.
Local and national landmarks were also lit up in blue light last night, to commemorate the birthday.
Tonight it will be Bristol’s turn when City Hall will be lit up from 9pm.
Residents, schools and businesses had also been encouraged to fill windows, streets and buildings with message of thanks.
This year the NHS has faced one of the biggest challenges in its history as it stepped up in ways never seen before, to deliver services differently during lockdown, recruit tens of thousands more staff, returners and volunteers and even build hospitals to respond to the pandemic.
Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) marked the birthday with a series of events to pay tribute to everyone who has made sacrifices during the coronavirus outbreak, and remember those lost.
The CCG’s chief executive, Julia Ross, said: “The NHS could not have achieved all it has over the past six months without the commitment and skills of our people and we are thankful for the recognition they have received.
“However, the unprecedented challenge facing the NHS would have been made all but impossible without the help and support of countless individuals and organisations.
“Key workers – from bus drivers and refuse collectors to care givers and shop workers, and the public who followed lockdown rules to help protect the NHS and their communities.
“We are grateful to everyone who has played their part.”
She also noted how this weekend marks the anniversary of the social care system.
“It is a very welcome opportunity to celebrate the incredible and too often overlooked work of our partners in social care.
“We’re really grateful to our colleagues who have been working tirelessly alongside us throughout the pandemic to keep the population safe, well and independent.”