Weekly Clap for Carers is restarting as Clap for Heroes - what you need to know

People all over the UK took part in the weekly Clap for Carers during the first national lockdown, standing on doorsteps every Thursday night to thank key workers for their hard work.

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The weekly round of applause came to an end in May last year, but - with England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all currently in their own respective lockdowns - the campaign has returned.

However, this time around, Clap for Carers will instead make a transition to Clap for Heroes, thanking all heroes during the pandemic.

What is Clap for Heroes?

The Clap for Heroes campaign will not only pay tribute to NHS staff, care workers and all key workers - which Clap for Carers did - but it will also “acknowledge every hero who has played their part through the pandemic.”

Clap for Heroes will take place at 8pm every Thursday evening, and will be in honour of everyone who has been affected by the pandemic, including NHS workers, people who have been shielding, and parents.

Founder and organiser of the Clap for Carers and Clap for Heroes campaign, Annemarie Plas, said on Twitter: “We are bringing back the 8pm applause, in our 3rd lockdown I hope it can lift the spirits of all of us.

“Carers teacher, homeschooling parents, those who shield and ALL who is pushing through this difficult time! Please join & share!”

The original Clap for Carers event ended in May, after Ms Plas said she shared “some of the opinions that some people have about it becoming politicised,” adding, “I think the narrative is starting to change and I don’t want the clap to be negative.”

However, the return of the weekly round of applause has proved controversial.

A tokenistic gesture?

The Clap for Carers event originally raised mixed opinions from the public, with some hailing it an important weekly event and some saying it was a tokenistic gesture.

This time around, the Clap for Heroes campaign has seen a negative response from some who feel that it shouldn’t have returned, with people taking to social media to express their reviews on the weekly round of applause.

One Twitter user wrote: “Nope. Nope. Nope nope. Empty gesture. Pointless and patronising,” while another commented, “No thanks - it’s an empty gesture long past its sell-buy date.”

Another person wrote on Twitter: “It's done now. Sorry. Not wanted, not needed, not useful.”