We're saying the biggest thank you possible to the NHS as it celebrates its 72nd birthday.
While there probably isn’t a thank you big enough for all the amazing work NHS staff, carers and key workers have done over the last few months, we're going to try our best to show our gratitude for what they've done, and are continuing to do, during the coronavirus pandemic.
The nation is coming together at 5pm on July 5 in a huge show of appreciation for everyone who has kept the UK going at its time of need now and throughout the lifetime of the NHS. We're supporting NHS Charities Together – who are working with NHS England and the Together Coalition – to give a well earned pat on the back to everyone who has been there for others.
The charity’s vision is that after we’ve clapped and cheered we'll spend some time with friends and neighbours – at a safe distance, of course.
To mark the occasion, community champions at our stores have been creating displays to celebrate all the hard work of their key working colleagues and also the work they've done to support NHS. And over the past three months colleagues and customers have been showing their gratitude for the NHS in many different ways.
Our home shopping colleague Peter from our Lincoln North Hykeham store painted an amazing rainbow on his house in support of the NHS and key workers.
Peter, who's a keen painter and sculptor and a former retained firefighter, said: "I'm on the road to the hospital, so I hoped it would raise a few smiles for people passing by, but it's had a really amazing response. During the weekly Clap For Carers there was a fire engine, two or three police cars and two or three ambulances and paramedic cars outside the house with their lights and sirens on." Read his story here.
Our Rainbow Pizzas – shown above by colleague Kim at our Feltham store – have been going down a treat. Profits from the vegetarian pizza which had colourful toppings including red and orange peppers, sweetcorn, spinach and red onion are split equally between NHS Charities Together and The Care Workers' Charity.
Our caring colleague Tina from our Kingswood store in Hull, above, used her free time to sew scrub bags for the NHS, as did our Gosport community champion Rachel Webber, below, and her 13-year-old daughter Abigail who had to self-isolate for 12 weeks due to health issues. They made scrub bags for Gosport War Memorial Hospital.
Many of our colleagues across the UK have been knitting cuddly toys, rainbows and hearts to raise money for the NHS – like our home shopping colleague Sally from our Sutton-in-Ashfield store, below. Sally, who's worked at our store for 19 years, raised hundreds of pounds for NHS charities.
And our Portlethen store's community champion Abbie, below, used her knitting skills to make hearts for Covid-19 patients in the intensive care unit at Aberdeen General Infirmary.
Everyone loved our special NHS Rainbow T-shirts with the slogan Brave, Kind, Strong – proudly worn here by colleagues at our Longwell Green store in Bristol. One hundred per cent of the profits were split equally between NHS Charities Together and The Care Workers' Charity. These were often worn by colleagues at the weekly Clap For Carers held in stores at 8pm on Thursdays too.
And our stores were only happy to donate snacks, refreshments, goodies and pamper packs to the hardworking frontline key workers of the NHS whether they be in hospitals, ambulance stations or doctors' surgeries.
Pictured above are the team at Queen Alexandra Hospital's maternity unit in Portsmouth who received a donation from our Waterlooville store.
And below are crews from Watford ambulance station collecting refreshments from Asda Watford, where the store's community champion Beverley Ashdown said: "We just wanted to thank them for all the wonderful work that they are doing."
In May we also took the opportunity to thank all NHS workers and care workers by presenting them with a £5 George voucher for all their hard work. In Dewsbury, pictured below, colleagues even held a minute's clap to show their support.
And as part of of the NHS birthday celebrations colleagues have been signing birthday cards for their local hospital. Here's our Cookstown store manager Peter Beckett with the card, which was sent to the local Craigavon Hospital.