NHS Social Care And Frontline Workers’ Day Website Launches On January 2, 2021


On July 5,1948 an historic moment occurred in British history, a culmination of a bold and pioneering plan to make healthcare no longer exclusive to those who could afford it but to make it accessible to everyone. The NHS was born. Since then it has been there for us. Free at the point of access and created and sustained by those who have truly believed in services, health, medical ethics and society more generally.

Over the decades the NHS has faced crisis, economic downturns, periods of prosperity, growth and so much more. However, none would argue that these past long months have brought a new respect and affection for the NHS and the people who work for it; we have relied on them to treat us during the coronavirus pandemic and to keep to safe – and they have not let us down.

Let’s not also forget the tens of thousands of care home workers too who have given their skills and service  – often putting their own health on the line to keep safe the elderly and vulnerable.

I believe a national, annual day when we remember to thank them all - for being there when we need you most – is not only appropriate, it taps into the nation’s high regard it has for NHS staff and all care and frontline workers.

It will comprise of a series of events throughout the day, designed to involve as many aspects of our wide and diverse society as possible. It is being organised to raise money for NHS Charities Together, set up to support 250 hospitals and their charitable trusts, and for the National Care Association, a membership body representing 1.6 million workers caring for some of society’s frailest citizens. 

It is impossible to predict whether the crisis caused by COVID-19 will be over on July 5, 2021, so the following events could be subject to change, but provision will be made in the planning for all eventualities. 

However, the guarantee is that ALL proceeds raised will be used in supporting the health and wellbeing of NHS staff and Care Association workers and will be divided equally between those member hospital trusts and care providers. All details can be found on our website  www.nhsfrontlineday.org.

So how will it work

10am: The raising of the Rainbow Flag

A special flag has been produced and will feature the NHS logo and a stylised rainbow to symbolise the emblem of thanks and hope that children, families, churches and organisations have been putting in their windows and displaying prominently on walls and on pavements during these long weeks of the pandemic. The flag will be sold commercially and will include a donation from the sale of each flag to our two chosen good causes. A great project for schools.

Those purchasing flags will be asked to raise them together at 10am on July 5 as the official start to this day of celebration and commemoration and will be encouraged to leave them flying for seven days. There will be three sizes available, including one for Government buildings.

The Lord Mayors of the City of London, Cardiff and Belfast, along with the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, have been invited to raise them in their own capital cities, and a VVIP would be approached to raise the principal rainbow flag at a central London location.

MP’s, Lord Mayor’s, Mayor’s, HM Lord Lieutenants, High Sheriffs and High Stewards, Leaders of Councils, schools, hospitals and others are also being encouraged to raise them within their local communities, bringing the country together for this special moment in time.

11am: The Two Minute Silence, playing of the Last Post and Reveille

Although this is to be a great day of celebration, it is important the country stops for these two minutes to remember those from the NHS, care workers and others who have lost their lives in the service of others and their families who have also sacrificed so much. It is hoped this reflection will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and other faith leaders to ensure that all nationalities and faiths are fully represented.

The Two Minute Silence would be accompanied by the playing of the Last Post and Reveille by local buglers, trumpeters and cornet players throughout the country. These will be drawn locally from the three Services Cadet Forces, Brass, Silver and School Bands, Salvation Army and others wanting to show their respect. This activity is ideal for schools to participate in too, especially as many parents are frontline workers.

1pm: The Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of the NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers

Throughout this pandemic one word has summed up how the nation views our NHS teams, care and frontline workers…heroes. The country including children in schools will again be asked to stop and to stand and raise a glass of refreshment of their choice and undertake the ‘Nation’s Toast,’ the wording of which is  "to those who gave so much, we thank you”. It is hoped the ‘Nation’s Toast’ will be led by the Prime Minister from Downing Street or another location of his choice, and all Members of Parliament within their own constituencies will be encouraged to also take part. And the toast will be made from the four highest peaks in the UK - Mount Snowdon in Wales; Scafell Pike, in England; Ben Nevis, in Scotland and Slieve Donald, in Northern Ireland.  

The Toast will be accompanied by the playing of a special anthem by Brass Bands throught the UK, specially written by a member of Brass Bands England who are leading on this aspect of the celebrations.

1PM – Onwards: Garden Parties at Home and celebrations in the gardens of Pubs, Hotels and Restaurants etc.

People will be invited to have parties in care homes and in their gardens with family and friends, and hospitals will be encouraged to expand on the NHS Big Tea celebration, which takes place annually on July 5. The hospitality industry will ( Government guidelines permitting) be keen to have celebrations in pubs, hotels, wine bars and social clubs etc, throughout the day, using it as an opportunity to attract custom and raise money for our chosen good causes.

4pm Afternoon tea, led by the members of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes and the NHS Big Tea Initiative

Everything Stops for Tea as the classic song goes… Now members of the WI cross the land are being encouraged to put on the kettle and play a leading role by organising Afternoon Tea on hospital wards, care homes - and other locations of their choice from within their local communities. As 2021 will be the 71st Birthday of the NHS, a special cake recipe will be created by the WI to celebrate this milestone, and there will be a national cake cutting at 4pm, when thousands of cakes throughout the nation will be cut together as show of grateful unity to the men and women who undertake so much for us all.  There will also be a national competition for the most unusual Afternoon Tea location, with the winner receiving £1,000.

Afternoon Tea could also be undertaken as a fun project by schools with them running a competition, with the winner having the honour of cutting their cake.

8PM: Clapping & the Ringing of Church Bells

The theme of clapping by a grateful public became so popular every Thursday at 8pm it seems fitting to include it as part of the public finale of the day. The clapping would be accompanied by the ringing of church bells throughout the UK, led by the Central Council of Bell Ringers. Ringers will be asked to ring a bell or bells 73 times with each ring representing a year in the life of the NHS.

The plan is to make this an annual event, growing in size and stature involving individuals, local communities and others. Those taking part are being asked to register their involvement on the website www.nhsfrontlineday.org  and they can also download a special certificate to keep as a permanent reminder of their participation in this most special of events.

We do hope that you will take part in one or more of the above activities.

My warmest regards,

Bruno Peek

Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR
NHS, Social Care &
Frontline Workers' Day