A new fundraising appeal is encouraging the public to donate to the NHS as well as clap for carers tonight.
The One Million Claps appeal is asking people to donate £5 via text to support NHS Charities Together, an association representing 143 NHS charities across the country. It aims to raise £5m.
For the past two weeks, people have been coming together every Thursday at 8pm to clap for NHS workers from their windows, balconies and gardens in the Clap For Our Carers initiative.
The public is now being asked to turn the claps into more concrete support and donate to the NHS Charities Together coronavirus appeal.
According to the appeal's Virgin Money Giving page, at least £25m has been raised so far. The figure does not account for offline donations.
The funds will be used to support NHS staff in a number of ways, from wellbeing packages to covering travel costs.
The One Million Claps appeal is also being promoted through a short video shared on social media, which features a cover of the Queen hit We Will Rock You.
Ellie Orton, chief executive of NHS Charities Together, said: “Like everyone else, I’ve been incredibly moved by the millions of us showing our public support for our health service over the last two Thursday evenings.
“I really hope One Million Claps inspires those who can to give a donation that will make a real difference to the amazing staff and volunteers who are daily saving lives and battling against this horrible virus on our behalf.”
Actor and comedian Stephen Fry has also shared the appeal on his Twitter profile.
Show your love for @NHS @NHSEngland with the #OneMillionClaps campaign with @NHSCharities - let's show them how much we care!#covid19 #clapforcarers #clapfortheNHS #inthistogether pic.twitter.com/ZWu3RiLXdw— Open (@LifeAtOpen) April 9, 2020
Other fundraisers for NHS
One Million Claps is the latest of a long series of fundraisers that have been raising money for NHS.
The NHS Charities Together appeal is also supported by a group of Premier League players, who said in a statement they will be creating a fund to help during the crisis through the #PlayersTogether initiative.
The statement says: “The contributions that this initiative will generate will help NHSCT quickly grant funds to the front line to support in a number of ways, including to help enhance the well-being of NHS staff, volunteers and patients impacted by Covid-19 as well as helping them in their work supporting many other critical areas of need both now and in the longer term.”
A new website has also been set up where people can virtually “clap” for NHS, leave a thank you message and donate to the appeal online. The website has already reached over 280,000 virtual claps.
Corporates have also been contributing. Last weekend, bookmakers donated their profits from losing bets at the Virtual Grand National to the appeal.
Auction house Bonhams is auctioning a number of prizes donated by artists and celebrities and donating the money to the appeal. Among the prizes are lunch with Joan Collins and drinks with Jools Holland.
A few initiatives were also born outside the NHS Charities Together appeal. Four doctors have been fundraising on Crowdfunder in the Masks for NHS Heroes appeal, in order to buy Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. They have raised more than £1.6m so far.
The appeal says: "Unfortunately current hospital supplies are not sufficient and while we are reassured the government is doing everything it can, healthcare workers on the frontline are risking themselves daily without adequate protection to care for sick patients."
Another doctor, London-based Jack Manley, set up a new platform where the public can donate meals prepared by independent food businesses for frontline NHS staff. DeliverAid is also a way to support businesses that are struggling during the crisis.
Jack Manley, founder of DeliverAid, said: “As an NHS doctor working across London hospitals, I have seen firsthand how hard the NHS is working to help as many people as possible. I’ve also seen an increasingly large number of local food businesses struggling in these uncertain times.
“I wanted to connect the dots and create a charitable platform that allowed people to do good on both fronts.”
DeliverAid has raised £22,000 so far.