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25 May 2021 | 15:15

With communities across the UK looking forward to enjoying greater freedom to meet and socialise this summer, a campaign to say ‘Thank You’ to those who have helped the country though the Covid-19 crisis has received a groundswell of support with thousands of people rallying behind a national day of action on July 4th. 

The campaign is calling on people to mark the day by getting together with their neighbours, friends and family and joining in a huge nationwide thank you. The idea has been proposed by a small group of people from across the UK including May Parsons, the nurse who delivered the UK’s first vaccination jab in Coventry in December. Together they have issued an open invitation for people to join them, saying:  

“Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on so many people, and it’s tested us in ways we never expected. But for many of us, it has also bought us closer together. Closer to our families and to our communities.

“As a country we aren’t always great at saying thank you to each other. But this year, we want to be part of changing that. To choose one day where we all pause to say thank you to each other. To remember what binds us together, not just what pushes us apart.  

“We all have different people to thank, from family members to key workers, good neighbours to volunteers.  

“So please join us with your friends, neighbours and communities in taking part in the country’s first ever national 'Thank You Day’ on July 4th. And let’s say thank you together.” 


One of these 13 proposers is Eriona Mehmeti, a young coach at Pro Touch Academy, a London-based community sports organisation which provides support and encouragement to talented young athletes as well as offering a wide range of activities and services for young people and families in the local community.  

Throughout lockdown, Pro Touch Academy and organisations like it up and down the country have been a quiet frontline in the fight to support vulnerable families. Young people in disadvantaged communities have been hit hard by the pandemic, with many trapped in overcrowded housing, with limited private space, and reduced access to normal support structures.

ErionaEriona, who is pictured on the right delivering a coaching session, said: “I’ve seen first-hand how many ordinary people have been doing extraordinary things to help their friends and neighbours.

“I want to thank everyone who’s been there for a young person when they needed that boost, and every neighbour who’s gone that extra mile to make life a little bit easier.” 

Eriona’s idea is being supported by the Sport for Development Coalition, which is giving its backing to the campaign and calling on community sports organisations across the country to take part. 

One member of the Coalition, the national charity StreetGames, is reaching out to the 1,500-plus community groups within its network to encourage them to do a Thank You Day event, and offering support to those who wish to participate.

To sign up to Thank You Day on July 4th, click here.