The pandemic has changed the way we live our lives, how we work, and how we connect with our fellow human beings. And it has also changed who we consider to be our ‘heroes’. The definition of a hero is ‘a person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities’ and there are some very special people out there who fit the bill - our healthcare and social care workers, educators and others in front line services, such as shop workers, lorry drivers, refuse collectors and so many more. In these unprecedented times, these remarkable key workers have gone above and beyond to keep us going, so read on to find out how we can show appreciation for our new national heroes.
Importance of showing gratitude to our national heroes
In the words of novelist G. B Stern, “silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone”. So, learning how to show appreciation for our national heroes is a small act that can have a great impact, on lots of different levels.
There has been lots of scientific research on the power of gratitude, which indicates that it can have great benefits for both the thanker and the person being thanked.
According to Robert Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California, and one of the world’s leading scientific experts in this field, gratitude is “the ultimate performance-enhancing substance at work”. For key workers who have continued with their important work through all the challenges of the past two years, receiving thanks and praise for their efforts means a lot. It shows that they are respected, and that the time and effort they have put in during unprecedented difficulties has not been wasted. It makes them feel happy at the thought they have done something to help someone. When people feel appreciated, it motivates them to continue with their work, encourages them to go the extra mile and be helpful in the future.
In addition, saying thank you can help improve the mental well-being of the thanker too. Alan Percy, Head of Counselling at Oxford University, says, “in times of crisis, it is all too easy to become focused on the negatives. Psychology researchers tell us that expressing gratitude helps us to put situations in perspective, enables us to sleep better, makes us more emotionally resilient, strengthens our relationships, and even boosts our immune systems”.
So how do I show appreciation to our national heroes?
Many key workers in frontline services don’t see themselves as ‘heroes’. They may feel that they are just carrying out their job, or doing what anyone else would do, and don’t always feel comfortable having the spotlight thrown on them. So, showing gratitude to our heroes doesn’t always have to be a great song and dance - there are lots of little things we can do, and it is often the small gestures which mean the most.
Here are some simple ideas:
1. Say thank you to our everyday heroes
The past two years have brought to light a whole range of Unsung Heroes who we may have previously taken for granted. Saying ’thank you’ to the key workers in your community will mean a lot. Whether it’s the key worker at your local hospital, your child’s teacher, or the refuse collector who is out at dawn every day - don’t forget to say thanks for all they are doing for you.
2. Create a sign
Just like many people did during lockdown, you, or children in your household, could create a poster or piece of artwork to put up in your window, thanking your local heroes. It will be seen by frontline workers visiting your house, working outside, or driving past on their way to work. It will evoke a warm sense of community spirit and is a lovely way to brighten up the neighbourhood too!
3. Tell others
If you want to show your appreciation for our national heroes, then be sure to tell people! If there is a special person who has helped you in some way, or an organisation that you want to thank, ensure that they know what a great job they’ve done. This simple gesture could turn into something much more significant. Spread the word with our network and on social media, as gratitude is contagious!
TAP provides a quick, simple and secure way to send messages of thanks to individuals and organisations across the country. You can send personal messages, or public displays of thanks, even if you don’t know the full details of the person you’d like to contact. TAP will share your message of gratitude! To show your appreciation for our national heroes, click here to write and send your message of thanks.
Another way to show your gratitude to our heroes is to donate to the organisation they work for, or a cause they support. Not-for-profit organisations need donors more than ever to counteract the effects of the pandemic, and to ensure they can continue to provide crucial services.
Through TAP, you can donate to worthy causes and show your appreciation for our national heroes - and your donation will be matched by one of TAP’s corporate partners. They are all supporters of the education, social care and healthcare sectors and are keen to show their thanks too. Find out more about matched donations here.
We hope you enjoyed reading about how to show appreciation to our national heroes. Find out more about how TAP can help you say thank you to key workers here.