SWINDON came out in force to show its support for our NHS heroes.

People all over the town opened their windows or stood on their doorsteps and clapped at 8pm on the dot to show their support for hardworking hospital staff. 

Doctors, nurses and other workers are staying away from their families and putting themselves at risk of catching the virus as they work on the frontlines during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Clap For Our Carers campaign resounded across the country as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wiltshire rose to 43, with 11, in Swindon, and the number of deaths increased by more than 100 for the first time, up to 578.

Mariana Araujo and her family were clapping and cheering from their home in Andover Street. She said: “I’m a carer on maternity leave I had twins in October. NHS helped me loads with the twins.

“They do a great job even though they don’t get recognised enough. They put their lives at risk and the government only appreciates them in times like this.”

Nicci Primrose, from Blunsdon, added: “I have a friend currently in a hospital receiving amazing care. As a community this will affect us all and without the NHS staff being on the frontline, we’d have no hope.

“We need to show universal support to show them that they are appreciated and that we are grateful for them going to work despite having the same pressures and fears as we all have.” 

The campaign had starry support from David and Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton, Paddington Bear, Zoe Ball, and royals Prince Harry and Megan Markle.

A spokesperson for Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We have been overwhelmed with the support from our local community across Swindon and Wiltshire, and this initiative is a great way of continuing to show support. 

 “Our staff are working around-the-clock to care for patients, and many are making personal sacrifices by staying away from their own families so they can continue coming to work. 

“They deserve to be recognised for this hard work and we look forward to seeing the response. 

 “Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far, whether that be through donating food or toiletries, offering transport or accommodation or simply sending in messages of thanks. It really is appreciated.”

People on Westcott Place, Welcombe Avenue, Timandra Close, Shrivenham Road, Catmint Close, Risingham Mead, Galsworthy Close, Jupiter Close, Orchard Grove, Croft Road, Midhurst Avenue, Tithe Barn Crescent, Kishorn Close, The Circle, Barbury Close, Tamworth Drive, Cranmore Avenue, Lismore Road, Stroma Way and Windrush all got involved.

Coun Bazil Solomon said: “My wife, other family members, friends and so many others that we love and respect work in healthcare and for the NHS. 

“From cleaners to nurses to doctors, they have been and are currently putting their lives at great danger, so that we all can survive this awful coronavirus pandemic. I want to say thank you and our street in Liden, all of Swindon want to give them our blessings, courage and love.”

The person behind the campaign wrote on its website: “In Spain, France and the Netherlands they already did this.

“Being a Dutch Londoner, I want to pass this on in the country I feel so at home, and the NHS had been nothing but amazing to my family and myself.”