23rd June 2021
Thank You Day began with just 13 individual members of the public proposing the day. Julie was one of them. Here’s her story.
I’m a Community Organiser – locally in Slough and nationally within Muslim communities – and it’s been phenomenal to see at first-hand how people have pulled together over the past year. People who never normally volunteer have stepped up and helped others, never questioning each other’s backgrounds.
For faith communities and mutual aid groups, the wheels were set in motion as soon as the pandemic started. I connected grassroots groups so they could share resources and talent, and supported people who wanted to help others so they could figure out exactly how to make that happen.
I was delighted to chip in at schools where I’m a Governor to help out with their support for families in need. Staff members were crucial as they had fostered strong relationships with the families and clearly had the young people’s interests at heart. I worked with the staff to identify which families we could help and then put out calls for donations.
It was the most humbling thing to see how many people responded to these calls on the same day. These people trusted me and didn’t question who the families in need were. It didn’t matter who required help, someone was there for them.
Both my experience working within schools, and what I have seen from the other side as a parent of two teenagers still at school, mean that for Thank You Day, I want to say a massive thank you to teachers.
Teachers went way beyond their job descriptions to keep young people safe and well. They kept students motivated, while adapting to social distancing rules when physical lessons were possible or teaching remotely through a computer screen when they weren’t. The admiration I already felt for teachers and other school staff has increased to a whole new level this year!
Thanking others is something we don’t do often enough. It is nice to give thanks and it is nice to receive a thank you. Thank You Day will focus our attention on thanking others and remind us all why gratitude is important.
The day gives an excuse to catch up with people who we don’t regularly see. I plan to celebrate locally by inviting my neighbours round to my garden, which is a first for me.
I will also encourage the schools where I am Governor to run events with parents so teachers and parents can thank each other. Faith teachings are often centred around the values of gratitude and humility. Nationally, I will support faith groups to organise services of thanks.
I hope that Thank You Day will be a catalyst for getting people involved in some of the brilliant volunteering opportunities already out there. It will remind us to acknowledge each other, to be grateful for what we have, and to remember that we are bigger than just ourselves.
Meet all the Thank You Day proposers.