'Show respect with a pay rise' - frustration as Clap for Heroes returns

Pictures from the Lock Down 2020. A lady taking part in Clap for Carers Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Pictures from the Lock Down 2020. A lady taking part in Clap for Carers Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

Streets across Norfolk and Waveney could be filled with applause once again tonight for the start of Clap for Heroes, although its launch has been met with a mixed reaction.

NHS staff and key workers were honoured with a weekly applause for 10 weeks during the first lockdown, with the scheme set to return with a new name at 8pm tonight (January 7).

But on the Eastern Daily Press Facebook page, we asked readers whether they will be joining in with the applause, with many of the 1,400 comments arguing staff would benefit more from a pay rise.

Residents of Cemetery Road came out in force to clap for the NHS

Clap for Carers proved to be a huge success in spring and every Thursday people across Suffolk came to their doorsteps to show their appreciation - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Gina Freeman said: "Time to show them respect with a pay rise. The clapping should have shown our government how much the NHS means to us all. As always it fell on deaf ears."

Susan Diggle said: "I work with Covid patients and would definitely appreciate a big fat pay rise rather than people standing and clapping their appreciation. We are exhausted with all the hard work we are doing to keep your families alive and get them better, but your sentiments are appreciated."

Shane Earrye said: "Imagine if Boris asked for a pay rise and was told 'No, you may have a round of applause instead'."

Lorraine Ashworth said: "I felt it was patronising last time, and I feel the same this time. I won't be standing clapping, but I will be thanking every person I meet, online or in person, who is at the sharp end for all they continue to do, and praying there will be greater support for them financially if nothing else."

Deborah McAlister said: "I'd rather get behind a nationwide campaign to get the nurses a pay rise. My claps won't pay their bills or make them feel better, but a pay rise might."

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Others questioned why the scheme was returning and urged people to follow the rules.

Tom Collins said: "What's the point of clapping? Are we congratulating ourselves on flouting the rules, or the fact we're so entitled we can't take simple direction? It was cute the first time, now let's just do our part and stay inside. I'm sure they'd appreciate that much more."

Steph Weller said: "Nope, just another social media 'look how amazing I am by clapping on my street', and then not going by lockdown rules. The NHS staff are exhausted and the NHS is at breaking point. They'd appreciate it more if we just follow the simple rules and stop being selfish."

Clap for carers 23/04/2020 Norfolk and Norwich Hopsital. Thank you NHS clap amid COVID19 crisis. Pic

Clap for carers 23/04/2020 Norfolk and Norwich Hopsital. Thank you NHS clap amid COVID19 crisis. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

Gemma Mortlock said: "No, the only way to show appreciation to the NHS is to follow the guidelines. Leave clapping for live shows."

Nicky Woodhouse said: "They need vaccines not applause. The time has passed for gimmicks I'm afraid."

Thorpe House Care Home staff are joined by fire fighters, police, and local residents at Griston to

Thorpe House Care Home staff are joined by fire fighters, police, and local residents at Griston to thank the NHS and all carers in the Clap for Carers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Natty Simpson said: "How about 'sit on your sofa, watch some TV and order your shopping online for carers'?"

Kate Saunders said: "As a recently retired nurse of 39 years, I think key workers appreciate the gesture from the general pubic, but would rather they just stay safe. As for our government and health minister, please don't bother - I'd rather you hadn't frozen our pay rise."

Some, however, did support the scheme for helping tackle loneliness for people isolating or shielding.

Pictures from the Lock Down 2020. Cheerful Ambulance staff during clap for carers. Norfolk and Norwi

Pictures from the Lock Down 2020. Cheerful Ambulance staff during clap for carers. Norfolk and Norwich hospital. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

Claire Paterson said: "They don't get to say it's meaningless. It means something to people in lockdown who feel isolated, powerless and afraid. It's a positive moment in a long week where you can hear that you're not alone when you can't get close enough to anyone to feel it." 

Sophie Matthews-Weston said: "While I don't agree with it, it's a nice touch that it's been changed to include all key workers. Working in a supermarket myself throughout this whole pandemic I've often felt very overlooked in terms of appreciation.

"Yes, I get we're not saving lives, but if we didn't turn up to work to, among other things, be verbally abused, leant over and pushed past, nobody would be able to access food. I do hope everyone who partakes in clapping remembers us when walking the wrong way around a one-way system, comes into a store with their mask under their nose and decides using sanitiser doesn't apply to them."

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