Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

T

he newly relaunched Clap for Carers was boycotted tonight as social media users clamoured for key workers to receive more than just applause. The weekly tribute returned at 8pm on Thursday, but was a notably muted occasion across swathes of the country. Rather than stand out on their doorsteps in honour of frontline staff, Twitter users shared the hashtag “thunderclapforcarers”, in a bid to lobby the Government into increasing NHS wages.

The initiative was started by chef and campaigner Jack Monroe, who wrote to her 291,000 followers on Thursday morning: “Why don’t we tweet, email and write to our MPs en masse at 8pm every Thursday to ask them to do their bit to ensure frontline key and essential workers are paid a decent liveable wage instead. “Sort of a #ThunderclapForCarers instead. And from indoors, where we’re meant to be.”

Her suggestion was retweeted more than 3,000 times, as fellow users called for teachers, nurses and other essential workers to be “paid what they deserve”. Green MP Caroline Lucas shared a page created by advocacy group Best for Britain, making it “even easier to tweet/email MPs at 8pm every Thursday to ask them to support better wages for frontline key and essential workers.” Meanwhile, Irish actress Bronagh Waugh wrote: “I won’t be clapping tonight.

Nurses, carers and frontline workers do not need our claps, they need proper PPE, a pay rise, permanent free parking and access to vaccinations.” Elsewhere, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said that although he had joined in the applause for key workers, he acknowleged “clapping isn’t enough”. Sir Keir tweeted: “Once again we took to our doorsteps to #ClapForOurCarers.

But clapping isn’t enough. They need to be paid properly and given the respect they deserve. “The vaccine brings us hope, and we thank the NHS workers, army, volunteers and all those supporting the roll out. #ClapForHeroes.”

His deputy Angela Rayner shared a condensed version of the the same sentiments, writing: “Claps = good, pay rise = better.” The movement gained traction just hours after the founder of Clap for Carers revealed she had opted to distance herself from the relaunched event. Annemarie Plas, a 36-year-old mother-of-one, said that although the clap should still go ahead at 8pm on Thursday, she would “no longer seek to raise further awareness of it”.

In a statement, released on the Clap for Heroes Twitter page, she said: “Since announcing the return of the applause yesterday, I have been targeted with personal abuse and threats against myself and my family by a hateful few on social media channels. “Irrespective of their views and reasons for believing this is an acceptable way to behave, I did not set out to make a political statement and will not put my loved ones at risk. “I have no political agenda, I am not employed by the Government, I do not work in PR, I am just an average mum at home trying to cope with the lockdown situation.”


Clap for Carers returns – In pictures



Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

NHS workers applaud on the streets outside Royal Liverpool University Hospital

REUTERS

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

Firefighters are seen applauding at Cadogan Fire Station

REUTERS

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

NHS workers applaud on the streets outside Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

REUTERS

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

Members of the public take part in a national “clap for carers” in London

AFP via Getty Images

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

People are seen applauding from flats in Riverlight Quay during the Clap for our Carers

REUTERS

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

Members of the public take part in a national “clap for carers”

AFP via Getty Images

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

Members of the public take part in a national “clap for carers”

AFP via Getty Images

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

Fireworks are seen during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS

REUTERS

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

Firefighters are seen applauding at Cadogan Fire Station

REUTERS

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

NHS workers applaud on the streets outside Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

REUTERS

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

People stand on their balcony and clap near West Middlesex University Hospita

AP

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

NHS workers in the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

PA

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

Members of the public take part in a national “clap for carers”

AFP via Getty Images

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

Members of the public take part in a national “clap for carers”

AFP via Getty Images

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

Finlay MacDonald plays the pipes at his home in Glasgow alongside sons Elliott, ten, and Fionn, eight

PA

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

NHS workers applaud on the streets outside Royal Liverpool University Hospita

REUTERS

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

Members of the public clap outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

PA

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

Members of the public take part in a national “clap for carers”

AFP via Getty Images

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

Members of the public take part in a national “clap for carers”

AFP via Getty Images

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

Members of the public take part in a national “clap for carers”

PA

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

Members of the public take part in a national “clap for carers”

AFP via Getty Images

Thunderclap for carers: Clap for Heroes replaced with calls to give NHS workers ‘the pay they deserve’

A member of the public bangs a pot outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

PA

Ms Plas, a Dutch national living in south London, said the tradition was never meant to be a “political platform”.

The statement continued: “The idea of bringing back the applause was only to bring some optimism and positivity to the country, not to make a political comment about the state of the nation. “It has never been the intention of either myself or Clap For Our Carers/Clap For Heroes to lobby government or suggest that clapping is a substitute for anything else. “If people want to make a statement about the world we live in or have a desire to instigate change in our systems, there are ways to do it.

“I would be delighted if other people talking about the applause opens up dialogue and debate, and gives them a voice and impetus to discuss and engage in positive conversations and actions around wider, related subjects.”

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She said she acknowledged the frustrations and anger felt by some but vilifying her personally was “destructive and counter-intuitive”.

“It absolutely can and should still happen at 8pm tonight if you choose and want to clap for your heroes on an individual and personal basis — it’s up to each person to decide how relevant or worthwhile they feel it is to participate,” she said.

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