POP star Peter Andre and his doctor wife Emily will join millions on their doorsteps at 5pm today to applaud the NHS on its 72nd birthday.
The couple and their children urged Britain to cheer the loudest they have so far to thank all the doctors, nurses and key workers before a socially distanced toast to mark the institution’s anniversary.
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Emily, 30, who has daughter Amelia, six, and three-year-old son Theo with Peter, has been working on the front line throughout the pandemic as a junior NHS doctor.
Peter, 47, also dad to Junior, 15, and Princess Tiaamii, 13, said: “Come on Britain, let’s give the biggest and loudest clap of all tonight to say thank you to our amazing NHS.
“This time it’s not just to be thankful, but to celebrate the NHS’s 72nd birthday, so we should all get behind it.
“I’m so proud of Emily and all of the NHS staff. What they have gone through to help all of us is beyond comprehension.
“Every person who has worked on the front line to help this country get through one of the hardest moments in our lifetime is a hero.”
After the clap, instead of heading back indoors, The Sun on Sunday would love you to raise a glass — it can be your favourite tipple, soft drink or even a cup of tea — with your neighbours.
Peter said: “We will be joining the country and we can all use this time to have a catch-up — at a safe distance, obviously — with neighbours, friends and family.
“Or use the time to get in touch with someone who is alone and would appreciate a chat. Or someone who helped you during the pandemic — say thank you to them as well.
“This pandemic has brought out the kindness in us all.”
While we show gratitude to the nation’s key workers tonight, Peter said it is also time to remember those who lost their lives or are still battling Covid-19.
He added: “My heart breaks for all those that have been affected and lost loved ones and their livelihoods.
“This is not over, and we all still need to look out for each other and be careful. Tonight let’s celebrate the wonderful NHS because we are so lucky to have a healthcare system like this.
“Happy birthday, NHS, and thank you for everything that you do for this country.”
Lord Richard Dannatt, Chairman of the National Emergencies Trust, will also join the clap.
He said: “It’s a last chance to show our shared appreciation to health workers, retail workers and all the other key workers who have kept the nation going through this crisis.
“I’ll also be clapping for the thousands of people who have volunteered their time in recent months to help out neighbours in need — volunteers from local charities and groups which have delivered meals, provided care packages and offered virtual counselling to the isolated and the bereaved.
“I’m privileged to see stories of these local heroes every day.
“While a round of applause usually signifies an ending, the work of these volunteers is far from over.
“The crisis in communities continues.
"So I’ll be at my doorstep thanking community caregivers for all they’ve done so far, and for helping to keep their communities going in the challenging months to come.”
There are a number of ways communities around the country are planning to show their appreciation for the NHS tonight.
On Main Road in Hextable, Kent, locals will toast the NHS and key workers with a G&T or pint while banging on drums and tambourines.
Following the clap, neighbours in Compass Heights, Plymouth, will raise a glass and have a long-awaited catch-up.
Scouting spirit so strong
By Bear Grylls, Chief Scout
TIMES of crisis bring out the best in us. I believed that before the lockdown and I believe it even more now.
The wave of kindness and courage has blown me away and renewed my faith in the power of people to work together for the common good.
It is incredible what we can do when we put aside our own concerns and think of others first.
That is what we do in Scouts. It is in our promise and our DNA.
Over the past few months, the famous Scouting spirit has shone brighter than ever.
Back in March, meeting face to face was out of the question.
So more than 5,000 of our groups switched to Zoom – helping young people connect, have fun and take their minds off the troubles, if only for half an hour or so.
We asked our Scouts to hike a sponsored mile in their home or garden.
We smashed our target of hiking the 240,000 miles to the moon and hiked all the way back again.
In the process, we raised more than £345,000, which was match-funded to more than £700,000.
Our brilliant Scout ambassador and real-life astronaut Tim Peake got involved too. He hiked up his stairs, while I did laps of my garage.
Every penny went to Comic Relief and BBC Children In Need.
It was the biggest sum ever raised by Scouts for good causes and I couldn’t have been prouder. There’s a reason I call Scouts a force for good.
But we didn’t stop there. We worked with other brilliant partners to help improve more lives.
With the British Red Cross, we asked Scouts to carry out 10,000 acts of kindness for care home residents.
Again, they excelled – writing letters, sending videos, painting “kindness rocks” to give out.
At a time when it would have been easy to simply shut Scouts down, the movement has stepped up.
Our Scouts have shown their generosity and courage in the face of adversity. They are true shining lights, a credit to the movement, to themselves and to our country.
Let’s not lose this great spirit of collaboration, kindness and courage.
At a time when we’ve had to stay apart, this crisis has brought us closer together in so many ways.
It reminds us of the good we are capable of and the difference we can make working together.
Today we can celebrate that spirit together and pledge to keep at it – for the NHS, for our communities, for us all.
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