The nation has been urged to help end tonight's final Clap for Carers event 'on a high'.

This evening (Thursday) will see millions across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales stand outside their homes at 8pm to applaud the NHS and key workers for the last time.

Why is it ending?

It comes after the founder of the weekly event has said that tonight's show of support should be the last, following concerns the event has become too politicised.

Annemarie Plas, a Dutch national living in South London, said she was “overwhelmed” by the support for the cacophonous ritual, but said it was better to stop when it was at “its peak”.

She told the PA news agency last week: “I think it’s good to have the last of the series next Thursday, because to have the most impact I think it is good to stop it at its peak.

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

“I think the narrative is starting to change and I don’t want the clap to be negative."

When did the Clap for Carers event start?

It began ten weeks ago on Thursday, March 26, following the start of the UK lockdown.

Who has been involved?

It has seen members of the royal family, the Prime Minister and celebrities join in.

But it has also divided opinion between some who feel empowered and encouraged by the gesture, and others who feel it is patronising – particularly over the Government’s initial decision, later reversed, to charge overseas health and care staff for using the NHS.

Will the Clap for Carers event return?

Mother-of-one Ms Plas said: “A clap is something normal people can do, showing our appreciation.

“But the power is not with us. We can give them respect but we are not signing the cheque – that falls on another desk.”

Ms Plas suggested resurrecting the clap in 2021 to mark a year since the coronavirus outbreak.

She said: “Stopping clapping doesn’t mean we are not still appreciating them.

“Some people will still want to carry on, so they should.

“But we will stop and show our support in other ways – there are other initiatives we can support.”

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Final Clap for Carers

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