The last 15 months have been difficult for everyone, and we couldn’t have got through it without each other.
The coronavirus pandemic has reminded us that, when it really matters, we are here for one another.
From family members to key workers, good neighbours to volunteers, delivery drivers to teachers, we’ve all got somebody to say thank you to.
Thank You Day is on Sunday 4 July. With the end of lockdown in sight, the country’s biggest ever ‘thank you’ party is a chance to get together in the sunshine (we hope) with our neighbours, communities and families, to mark what has happened, celebrate the spirit that got us through and say thank you.
A message of thanks on behalf of Team Devon from John Hart, Chairman of the Local Outbreak Management Board and Leader of Devon County Council
“We’ve all been through 15 of the most difficult months many of us will ever have experienced. But this weekend thousands of us will be attending the Devon County Show. Many others will gather in pub gardens to watch our footballers try to make a little bit of history.
“Gradually we are beginning to live life again. But as we meet old friends we haven’t seen for such a long time or raise a glass to Gareth Southgate, the national Thank You Day gives us an opportunity to pause and pay tribute to all those people who have got us to this place.
“Our thoughts obviously go to the front-line doctors and nurses who have borne the brunt of the pandemic and its terrible effects and all those working in the NHS who supported them. We say a massive thank you to our care staff who looked after the old and the vulnerable. And to our teachers and school staff who cared for our children.
“Then there are the people who enabled us to cope with the lockdowns just by carrying on doing their jobs – the supermarket staff, the delivery drivers, the refuse collectors – and so many others.
“Many of our own staff at Devon County Council – and in lots of other public organisations in the county – continued to do their jobs remotely from home, combining that with looking after children or relatives.
“And then there were the thousands of volunteers in our towns and villages who looked out for their neighbours and communities in so many different ways, delivering food, collecting prescriptions or just making sure they were OK. Often parish and town councils took the lead in helping to coordinate and support the volunteers in their communities and their support was invaluable.
“Hundreds of volunteers continue to support the NHS in our vaccination centres and – despite the effects of the Delta variation – have kept infection rates in Devon amongst the lowest in the country.
“They all deserve our heartfelt thanks. And I want to thank the vast majority of Devon citizens for abiding by the rules. I would urge them to continue to wash their hands, wear a mask when required and socially distance.
“Please self-isolate if you show symptoms and arrange a PCR test, self-isolate if you’re identified as a contact and take a PCR test and take regular rapid lateral flow tests, twice a week, to identify if you are likely to be carrying the virus.”
A national Thank You on Thank You Day
Thank You Day is being supported by hundreds of organisations across the country, including the Scouts, Royal Voluntary Service, NHS, The Mirror, ITV, the Football Association and the Local Government Association.
It’s also got the backing of Dame Judi Dench, Tim Peake and Ellie Simmonds, religious leaders, local councils, schools, businesses and communities throughout the UK.
The aim is for as many people as possible to be involved, however they would like to, so everyone who deserves it gets a thank you and we say it together.
Some communities are taking part in a ‘power hour’ to tidy up shared spaces to say thank you to local environments for keeping us sane on our daily walks.