Elderly couple ask others to clap for the NHS this Christmas

Despite families preparing to spend the festive period in their chosen bubbles, for many elderly and high-risk people, Christmas Day will be a quiet one this year.

Marilyn and Tom Cowles, who are both in their seventies, haven’t been able to spend quality time with their family since April.

“I’ve never known anything like this in my lifetime,” 73-year-old Marilyn said.

Throughout the lockdown, Marilyn and her 79-year-old husband, Tom would clap for the NHS and careworkers at their doorstep alongside their neighbours.

Doorstep greetings became a lockdown tradition in their friendly Birstall street, starting with Tom’s birthday which happened to fall on the same day as the first night evening marking the country’s appreciation for the NHS.

“We were quite good in this street – we would actually all get involved when it was someone’s birthday and sing for them,” Marilyn told LeicestershireLive.

Now, with Christmas approaching, the pair knew that for many, it will be a lonely day.

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That is why they are encouraging people to join them and their neighbours once again in clapping for the NHS and careworkers on Christmas Day.

The couple and their neighbours will come together at their front doors at 12pm to clap and wish each other a Merry Christmas.

“We know that there will be other people like us who won’t be able to see family at Christmas. It will be especially hard for widows and widowers too.

Tom said: “It would be lovely if we could get the whole city and whole county out to clap for the NHS and to wish each and every one us a happy Christmas.”

“It’ll make people happy and it will brighten up the day, even if it’s just for a little while,” Marilyn added.

If something similar is happening in your village, town or city neighbourhood this Christmas, then let us know about it.

Contact us at: newsdesk@leicestermercury.co.uk

Leicestershire Live – Leicester News