Clap for Heroes: Nurses say they do not want return of applause | Nursing Times

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The weekly round of applause for key workers is set to officially return tonight under the new name Clap for Heroes – however, nurses say they do not want the claps and are not heroes.

While recognising the good intentions behind the initiative, nurses told Nursing Times all they wanted was for the public to adhere to the Covid-19 rules and safety guidelines in place.

“We aren’t heroes, or brave. We are educated professionals with careers in nursing.”

Vicky Bintley

The weekly clapping for NHS staff and other key workers ran for 10 weeks during the first coronavirus lockdown, under the name Clap for Our Carers.

Those behind the initiative declared on Tuesday that they were bringing it back for the current lockdown, starting from 8pm tonight, in a bid to “lift the spirit of all of us”.

However, the announcement attracted backlash from some critics. Nursing Times reached out to nurses on social media today to ask for their views on the return of the applause and the new name Clap for Heroes.

 

Nearly all of those who responded said they did not support the event coming back.

Cate Mimi wrote:

“As an NHS nurse, I do not want to be clapped for. All I want is for people to stick to the guidelines and for the government to raise the wages for nurses.”

One respondent named only as Maria said they agreed with the clapping in the first lockdown but they “cannot feel the same way this time round”.

“I have seen too much Covid denial, general abuse and harshness towards the medical profession since then to fully believe the sentiment is real,”

added Maria.

A number of people who commented described the clapping as a “hollow gesture” and, instead, called on the public to campaign for fair pay for nurses.

In adition, several people raised concern about the use of the term “hero”.

“All I want is for people to stick to the guidelines and for the government to raise the wages for nurses”

Cate Mimi

Vicky Bintley wrote:

“We aren’t heroes, or brave. We are educated professionals with careers in nursing.”

Kirstie Hill said they believed hero was a “dangerous” term, because it “implied invincibility”. “We are not invincible and when we do say we’re struggling, we’re not believed,” added Kirstie.

Likewise, Kessi D wrote: “Heroes undergo their duties knowing there will be a risk to their life or their safety.

“When I became a nurse nine years ago, this is not something I had to consider. I’m no hero.”

Meanwhile, Becky Gibbs-Brown said the clapping was “insulting” if people did not also follow rules around social distancing and wearing a mask during their day to day.

However, Elaine Adams said she supported the clapping and that it should not be politicised.

While the response on social media has been generally negative, abuse targeted at those behind the initiative has now led them to distance themselves from it.

Founder Annemarie Plas released a statement today saying she felt she had been left with no choice but to step back from the event after facing personal abuse and threats on social media by a “hateful few”.

She added that the initiative was never intended to be political and the clapping was never intended to be a substitute for real renumeration.

However, Ms Plas said the event was not cancelled and those who wanted to clap on Thursday evenings should.

 

Source: Clap for Heroes: Nurses say they do not want return of applause | Nursing Times