A year of lockdown in Doncaster: How Clap for Carers was welcomed by hospital front line

The clap for carers came to be a staple of the first lockdown as Doncaster residents rallied to show their appreciation of the work being done by the hard pressed NHS front line.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 11:04 am

Families on streets across Doncaster came out onto their doorsteps to clap, bang pans together, or do anything else to show their support to those who were working on the wards and care homes as the numbers of coronavirus victims who had needed to be taken into hospital soared.

Workplaces too joined in the applause. LNER staff applauded together on the platform at Doncaster Station.

Some were more ambitious in how they showed their appreciation. For residents in Edlington, the clap was sometimes accompanied by the sound of neighbour Robbie Conroy’s bagpipes.

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LNER staff took part in the clap for carers on Doncaster Station's platform

The 72-year-old wanted to do something special for his neighbours who were key workers so he decided to get out his bagpipes and play Amazing Grace.

There were also amusing moments.

One runner was spotted jogging through the streets of Bessacarr at precisely the same time as dozens of locals had gathered on their doorsteps one Thursday night for the weekly ‘clap for carers’ round of applause from the nation, with footage of the moment circulating on the internet, as it sounded like he was winning a marathon.

The gesture was appreciated by those on the NHS frontline, as critical care nurse Lee Cutler told the Free Press.

Lee, who worked at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary throughout that period, was moved when he heard the sound of the weekly applause around the streets.

Lee said the nurses have been very aware of the support that they have received from the public, as they saw a vast flow of donations sent into the hospital from protective equipment people have made, to food. The stream of donated food has ranged from cakes and sweets to pizzas and curries, and tea bags.

He remembered how he had first heard the clap for carers while tending his garden to wind down after a shift.

He said: “You go out to clear your head, and then I just heard the clapping. It is really emotional for us to hear that applause. The support has been amazing.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.