Woman Behind Clap For Carers Says It Should End Next Thursday
The woman behind the weekly Clap for Carers campaign has said she thinks it should come to an end, as she believes it has become 'too politicised'.
Annemarie Plas is the South London resident who came up with the idea when the coronavirus pandemic began, which now sees people take to their front doors and balconies to applaud front line NHS staff and key workers every Thursday.
After saying she was 'overwhelmed' by the support the campaign had received, the Dutch national now thinks it's better to stop while it's at its peak.
Ms Plas, 36, said: "I think it's good to have the last of the series next Thursday, because to have the most impact I think it is good to stop it at its peak.
"Without getting too political, I share some of the opinions that some people have about it becoming politicised.
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"I think the narrative is starting to change and I don't want the clap to be negative."
On Thursday, it will be 10 weeks since the campaign began, which marks the first week the UK went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It's seen Prime Minister Boris Johnson, members of the Royal Family and numerous celebrities joining in, as well as millions of people across the country.
On behalf of the whole country, I want to thank all the incredible nurses, doctors, NHS support staff & carers who are working flat out to fight coronavirus :clap: #ClapForOurCarers #ClapForNHS
To help them, and protect the NHS, we need everyone to stay at home #StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/kpdQ5KHQiy
- Boris Johnson #StayAlert (@BorisJohnson) March 26, 2020
However, the event has come under criticism, with some branding it patronising, while other political issues surrounding NHS staff have since returned to the spotlight. These include NHS wages, as well as this week's decision - which was quickly reversed after widespread criticism - to charge overseas health and care staff for using the NHS.
Ms Plas said: "A clap is something normal people can do, showing our appreciation. But the power is not with us. We can give them respect but we are not signing the cheque - that falls on another desk."
She suggested starting it up again in 2021 to mark a year since the coronavirus outbreak, adding: "Stopping clapping doesn't mean we are not still appreciating them. Some people will still want to carry on, so they should. But we will show our support in other ways - there are other initiatives we can support."
Featured Image Credit: PA