Medics moved by neighbour's show of solidarity

On Thursday everyone was invited to applaud those looking after loved ones from their windows, doorsteps or balconies. Picture by Arthur Allison/Pacemaker

NURSES and doctors were moved to tears as neighbours stood in their doorways in streets across Northern Ireland to applaud in appreciation of their efforts against Covid-19.

The clapping started at 8pm on Thursday as part of a show of solidarity advertise on social media with the hashtags #clapforcarers #clapforourcarers and #ThankYouNHS

Some people went to their cars to flash the lights and sound horns as applause and cheers resounded at the appointed hour.

Among the Stormont leadership showing their appreciation was health minister Robin Swann who uploaded a video of his children clapping in their garden,

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey posted a video of herself joining "people of the Market, my local community who came out to their front doors tonight to show solidarity and support for our NHS, our public sector workers and our community activists who are working tirelessly".

Medics expressed their appreciation for the morale boosting display.

David Ferran, a deputy charge nurse, thanked "our amazing neighbours clapping and showing their support", adding "with great people around you we can get through anything".

Belfast trust's Acute Mental Health Inpatient Centre posted a video of staff clapping for "All our NHS colleagues from all disciplines & fields and across the whole country, thank you for all that you do - We will get through this"

Another nurse admitted: "I never thought a bit of #clapforNHS would be so heartwarming. Meant a lot to me having neighbours on the street as I set of to work. The public are amazing."

Co Down nurse Vicky Bintley said she was "feeling the love from my neighbours and community in Holywood".

Roisin Devlin, interim clinical manager for Unscheduled Care at Ulster Hospital said it had been a moving experience.

"Oh now that was emotional, hearing the applause, cheers and seeing my neighbours out expressing their thanks to both of us finished me off," she posted on Twitter.

Their union, the Royal College of Nursing, said the support had meant a lot, but needs to be met with action from government.

"Thank you! Nursing staff are heartened by this public support tonight. It will be needed in the weeks and months ahead.

"What all staff need now is the right equipment and support to keep themselves and their patients safe. Thank you again for tonight's show of support."

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