22nd Oct, 2021

Call for national 'Thank you Day' on July 4 backed by Coventry nurse who gave world's first Covid vaccine

Editorial Correspondent 10th May, 2021 Updated: 10th May, 2021

MAY Parsons, the Coventry nurse who delivered the world’s first Covid-19 vaccination, joins celebrities including Bear Grylls, Ellie Simmonds and Ainsley Harriott calling for a national ‘Thank You Day’ on July 4.

More than 100,000 people across the UK and West Midlands have signed up to support the viral campaign to say ‘thank you’ to those in our local communities who helped us though the crisis.

May, a matron at Coventry’s University Hospital, who administered the UK’s first Covid vaccination jab last December said: “Thank You Day gives me the opportunity to thank all my amazing colleagues working in the NHS and social care.

“This has been the toughest year of our professional careers, and you have all worked so hard to treat all the sick patients who came through our doors, while delivering the biggest and most successful vaccination programme in NHS history.

“I want to thank the incredible volunteers who gave up their time to support us and those in their communities who needed help.

“I am so grateful for all the people who kept us going: the school teams who looked after our children, shop staff, transport and delivery workers. We couldn’t have done it without you.

” I am incredibly proud of our staff and our volunteers, and I want to encourage everyone to take part in Thank You Day in any way that you can.”

The invitation from May and others has now been backed by household names including the Archbishop of Canterbury, actor Michael Sheen, astronaut Tim Peake, Paralympian Ellie Simmonds, adventurer Bear Grylls and chef and Big Lunch ambassador Ainsley Harriott.

And the call has the support of national organisations including the Scouts, Girlguiding, Royal Voluntary Service, the FA and the Together Coalition.

The NHS will also be joining in on July 4, following the huge public support for the Health Service on its 73rd anniversary over the same weekend last year.

With communities across the UK looking forward to enjoying greater freedom to meet and socialise this summer, the campaign has received a groundswell of support, especially in Coventry and ideas for how to make ‘Thank You Day’ special include:

  • Getting together with neighbours for a street party or picnic over a ‘Big Lunch’
  • Special Park Runs
  • Raising a glass or a cuppa to say ‘Cheers for Volunteers’ at 5pm

In a video released for the campaign launch, celebrities have been saying who they want to thank.

Bear Grylls, Chief Scout said: “The last year has been challenging for all of us. But we’ve got through it by pulling together and by helping each other.

“I’ll be saying a huge thank you to my family and to our incredible scout volunteers.”

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