In Brief

Why everyone’s talking about the One Million Claps appeal

NHS urges Brits applauding medical staff to also donate £5 via text message

An appeal dubbed the One Million Claps campaign is being launched to raise at least £5m for NHS workers battling the coronavirus outbreak.

For the past two weeks, people throughout the UK have stood outside their homes or on balconies, or leaned out windows, to pay tribute to front-line healthcare staff with a national round of applause at 8pm on Thursdays.

Now, members of the public are being invited to show their gratitude by also donating £5 by texting “clap” along with a message of support to 70507. The appeal begins tonight, as people across locked-down Britain gear up to applaud NHS workers once again.

The campaign is being promoted with the hashtag #OneMillionClaps and has been masterminded by the NHS Charities Together group, which represents, supports and champions the work of the health service’s official charities.  

The Independent says that the money raised will be used “to provide supplies and support to NHS staff and volunteers — including food, travel, accommodation and counselling”.

The appeal was officially launched today on Good Morning Britain, with the show’s hosts Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid announcing that ITV is teaming up with NHS Charities Together to deliver the project, as the Daily Mirror reports.

Reid told viewers that the goal was “to raise millions of pounds to support those staff, who frankly, are risking their lives every day in the fight against this wretched virus”.

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“A short film has been produced to promote the campaign, voiced by the entertainer and writer David Walliams, which features a version of the Queen song We Will Rock You with its lyrics amended to ‘NHS, we love you; We say, we say, thank you’,” adds The Guardian.

The track was rewritten by Queen guitarist Brian May, who is also throwing his weight behind the fundraising appeal.

Urging members of the public to show their support too, NHS Charities Together chief executive Ellie Orton said: “Like everyone else, I’ve been incredibly moved by the millions of us showing our public support for our health service over the last two Thursday evenings.

“I really hope #OneMillionClaps inspires those who can to give a donation that will make a real difference to the amazing staff and volunteers who are daily saving lives and battling against this horrible virus on our behalf.

“Thousands of staff are risking their lives every day for us and many of them are now sick themselves or at breaking point.”

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