District nurses last night thanked the supermarket workers who have been clapping their support every week since the pandemic began.

Carers, nurses and other staff working at Great Western Hospital’s North Swindon hub descended on Asda to present staff at the Orbital shopping centre supermarket with hampers packed with goodies.

And at 8pm last night, shoppers in the store stopped what they were doing to mark the now weekly clap for carers. Since the pandemic began millions of people have applauded the contribution made by NHS staff, carers and other key workers.

Chantal Myerscough, a rapid response nursing sister with the out of hours “Twilight” team, said the hampers were a thank you from her colleagues to their fellow key workers.

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The 44-year-old district nurse, who has been in the nursing profession for more than a decade, said of the supermarket staff: “Every week they provide our service with treats – with goodie bags and on VE Day they gave us a cream tea.

“They’re certainly supporting us, so we felt we needed to support them and give a little bit back.

“We’ve made up several hampers. We had quite a few donations from staff. We’ve got small self-care treats, like bath bombs, toiletries, body spray, as well as some things for their staff room.”

Since the weekly clap for carers phenomenon began in late March, a cadre of staff members from GWH’s North Swindon base have gone to neighbouring Asda every Thursday night.

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Chantal said: “It’s been fabulous. I work within the Twilight team. It’s a very small team, supporting the district nurses.

“At times there have only been four or five of us that have gone to Asda for the clap. It gives us a sense of balance. It helps us understand people do appreciate the role we’re providing and how difficult it is for all care staff.”

Asda deputy manager Colin Davies thanked the GWH staff for the donation. He added of the clap: “It’s an unprecedented time, at the end of the day. It’s support for the NHS and the staff who have helped the community.”

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