Over the last week, NHS and key worker staff have been overwhelmed by public gratitude for all their hard work.
On 26th March, millions of people across the UK opened their windows or stepped outside their front doors to applaud the work of the NHS for the first time – but the thanks haven’t ended there.
Now people are going out of their way to support key workers on their commutes, with everything from encouraging road signs to dedicated parking spaces.
Up and down the country, people have been transforming road signs and billboards to create messages of thanks for NHS workers as they drive.
In Teesside, NHS staff were reportedly ‘moved to tears’ when supporters put up a banner near James Cook University Hospital reading: ‘Those working to protect us – Thank you’.
On the M25, the railway bridge between junctions 16 and 17 in Buckinghamshire has also been transformed. Once graffitied with ‘Give peas a chance’, the bridge is now painted with a message of support: ‘Thank you, NHS’ in the healthcare service’s classic blue and white.
But it’s not all just words. In Wigan, a group of kind-hearted residents have taken their thoughtfulness a step further by marking out a dedicated parking space on their street, so a neighbouring NHS worker never has to search for a space after her shifts.
On 25th March the Government introduced new measures to help those working on the front line – including new parking measures for NHS workers.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the Government’s commitment to supporting NHS staff working in hospitals during the pandemic.
He said: “Our NHS is facing an unprecedented challenge, and I will do everything I can to ensure our dedicated staff have whatever they need during this unprecedented time. So, we will provide free car parking for our NHS staff who are going above and beyond every day in hospitals across England.
“My enormous gratitude goes out to the many NHS Trusts and other organisations already providing free car parking and I urge other Trusts to do the same with our backing. We will do what is needed to protect the NHS, support our health and care staff, and save lives as we tackle COVID-19.”
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Photo reference: Tim Goode/PA Wire/PA Images