How Wales clapped for carers and why the tradition is set to end

On Thursday evening millions of UK residents will take to their doorsteps to clap for health and social care workers in what has become a weekly tradition.

For ten weeks streets have erupted every Thursday at 8pm with the sounds of clapping, cheering, pots and pans clanging and even song.

But the show of support is set to end after its founder called for 28 May to be the final clap, amid concerns the event has become politicised.

Staff at Llys Nini Animal Rescue Centre are among thousands of others who have paid tribute to the NHS. Credit: Llys Nini

Why could tonight be the final clap?

Founder Annemarie Plas said she was "overwhelmed" by the support for the idea, but said it was better to stop when it was at "its peak".

"Without getting too political, I share some of the opinions that some people have about it becoming politicised," Plas said.

The event has divided opinion between some who feel empowered and encouraged by the gesture, and others who feel it is patronising.

How has Wales clapped for its carers?

From children drawing rainbows on their windows, to volunteer groups delivering food to hospital staff - there has been an outpouring of support for those working on the frontline since the outbreak.

Thousands of Welsh streets have shown their appreciation each week, with many saying the initiative has brought neighbours closer together.

People of all ages have been showing their support. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales
A grandfather in Pontyclun has dressed up as a dinosaur to entertain his neighbours every Thursday evening. Credit: Gary Venn
An 8-year-old boy from Connah's Quay has been keeping his neighbours entertained by impersonating Freddie Mercury after the clap. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Frontline workers themselves have also joined in on the initiative.

An ITU nurse at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, said she and her colleagues have been overwhelmed by the show of support.

Some have used it as a way of paying tribute to colleagues and loved ones they have lost to the virus.

Staff at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant, have clapped regularly. Credit: Andy Davies
North Wales Fire & Rescue Service paid homage to NHS workers. Credit: North Wales Fire & Rescue Service

Landmarks and buildings across Wales have also been used to mark the weekly event, with many being lit up and displaying messages.

Conwy Castle wore the colours of the rainbow - a symbol that has been shared widely as a representation of hope during the pandemic. Credit: Trish Lambert
The Senedd, Cardiff, was among other buildings lit blue as a sign of respect for the NHS. Credit: Welsh Parliament
The iconic Britannia Bridge, Anglesey, was lit blue to say thank you to NHS staff and other key workers. Credit: Network Rail

Watch how Wales has clapped for carers over the weeks:

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