West Midlands says ‘thank you’ to lockdown heroes

The region will take part in a national day of thanks.

Communities across the West Midlands will come together this Sunday to say ‘thank you’ to the everyday heroes who have played their part in helping to get through lockdown.

From community choirs performing at care homes and BBQs in parks to celebratory street parties and tidy-ups, residents will join forces to show their gratitude as part of the UK’s first national Thank You Day on Sunday July 4th.

The day will recognise the remarkable actions of people who have gone above and beyond for the community during the pandemic.

Thank You Day

May Parsons, the NHS nurse who gave the first COVID-19 vaccination and who was one of the original proposers of the day said: “We knew people wanted a chance to get together in a socially distanced and responsible way, so we can all say thank you, and the scale of the public’s response has blown us all away.

“This is going to be an important national moment and we want everyone to join us – safely, and in line with government guidance – in the country’s biggest ever thank you party.”

Locally, there is an extensive line-up of events planned, including a BBQ at St Philip’s Cathedral in Colmore Row, Birmingham and in Hanley Park, Stoke. Forest of Hearts, an organisation which creates community gardens, is holding a thank you event for its volunteers on Sunday, while Stoke-on-Trent organisation Growing an Abundant Community in Fegg Hayes, is holding an afternoon tea to say thank you to its community support team.

In Birmingham, the New Heights Warren Farm Community Project is holding a celebration and re-launch event with tea and cakes for the Kingstanding community. Additionally, inter-faith events will be taking place in Smethwick and Coventry to bring together diverse communities.

A full timetable of activities has been developed across the country throughout Sunday July 4th:

9am: Join in an hour’s exercise across our country’s parks and green spaces.
11am: Power Hour – Keep Britain Tidy, the RSPB and Rotary are organising an hour’s tidy up of parks and green spaces.
1pm: The Big Lunch are organising small street parties and picnics to get neighbours together.
3pm: Led by Together with Music – community choirs and schools will gather outside care homes and hospitals to perform their version of the Fleetwood Mac classic Don’t Stop to thank residents, patients and staff for everything they have given over the past year.
5pm: Cheers for Volunteers – led by Ross Kemp and the Royal Voluntary Service – is encouraging people to raise a glass or a cuppa with their neighbours. The initiative is backed by thousands of pubs across the country
7pm: The country’s biggest ever BBQ with neighbours, led by Levi Roots, the Scouts and the National Citizens Service.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “On Thank You Day, I’ll be saying ‘Thank You’ to everyone in the West Midlands for the resolve they have shown in fighting this pandemic over the past year. And I’ll be saying an especially big ‘Thank You’ to the many heroes of the past year – from NHS workers to the thousands of volunteers who have given their time so generously, to the community groups, faith groups and mutual aid groups who have run food banks and been there to support people when their communities needed them most.

“We all need a chance to say thank you sometimes, but never more so than now. That’s why Thank You Day is such a great idea and a great opportunity for all of us.”