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Poll: Is it time we stopped clapping for carers?

PUBLISHED: 09:13 28 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:09 28 May 2020

Clap for Carers Norfolk & Norwich Hospital 30th April 2020. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Clap for Carers Norfolk & Norwich Hospital 30th April 2020. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Archant

The founder of Clap for Carers has called for the gesture to be stopped.

Millions take to their doorsteps every Thursday night to show their appreciation for the NHS and key workers.

Landmarks have also been lit up in tribute to those in the front line.

But Annemarie Plas, who started the ritual 10 weeks ago, believes it has now become politicised.

MORE: ‘Sing for carers!’-Special performance to coincide with Thursday night clap

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 BRADLEYThorpe 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

Ms Plas, a 36-year-old yoga teacher from London, wants tonight’s clap to be the last.

She told Sky News: “Without getting too political, I share some of the opinions that some people have about it becoming politicised.

“I think the narrative is starting to change and I don’t want the clap to be negative.”

It comes as a campaign is launched for the social care sector to receive a £1.4bn cash boost to make sure workers are paid the so-called Real Living Wage.

Claps for Carers at the Borough Council depot on Hardwick Narrows. Public open space and waste teams at the end of their shifts, joined by James Wild MP, the Leader of the borough council Brian Long, Stuart Dark and the chief executive Lorraine Gore. Picture: Matthew UsherClaps for Carers at the Borough Council depot on Hardwick Narrows. Public open space and waste teams at the end of their shifts, joined by James Wild MP, the Leader of the borough council Brian Long, Stuart Dark and the chief executive Lorraine Gore. Picture: Matthew Usher

Charity Citizens UK said around 280,000 social care workers are in insecure and low-paid work that leaves them particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.

A petition has been launched appealing for Health Secretary Matthew Hancock to adequately fund social care and ensure care workers and all social care sector staff get at least the Real Living Wage of £10.75 an hour in London and £9.30 in the rest of the UK, which is higher than the statutory minimum of £8.72 for adults.

Citizens UK said care workers, academics, unions, faith leaders, teachers and others have come together to back the appeal for better pay and protection for social care sector workers.

Matthew Bolton, executive director of Citizens UK, said: “Today we are focusing on the social care sector given the huge rates of infection in the country’s care homes.

Happy clappers of Lomond Road in Attleborough, applaud the NHS for the battle with Coronavirus on the frontline. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYHappy clappers of Lomond Road in Attleborough, applaud the NHS for the battle with Coronavirus on the frontline. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“These incredible people go out every morning to look after our loved ones, risking their lives to do so, often on the minimum wage.

MORE: Fleet of vans line hospital car park in rousing Clap for Carers gesture

“It’s important we take the next few weeks to celebrate our key workers, but also to remember that a Real Living Wage should be the least they deserve.”

John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, said: “It is just morally wrong to put our care workers on the front line in the face of infection and potential death, with limited personal protective equipment and to do that for poverty pay.

“For me this is simply unacceptable. I hope that if this epidemic teaches us anything, it will be to draw us back to justice, compassion and love.”


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