Actor, comedian and writer Stephen Fry and actress Olivia Colman have joined a host of familiar faces to support the NHS Big Tea as part of the UK wide celebration of our NHS.

The list of famous supporters of the campaign also features the England men’s football team, including NHS Charities Together Charity Champion Jordan Henderson MBE, and Tyrone Mings, as well as Line of Duty actress Vicky McClure, TV presenter and journalist Lorraine Kelly and author Adam Kay.

The support also includes well known doctors and TV presenters including Dr Alex George, Dr Hilary Jones and Dr Ranj, alongside the radio DJ and TV presenter Edith Bowman, chef, author and presenter, Nadiya Hussain, actress Sunetra Sarker, This Country actress and writer Daisy May Cooper, comedian Rosie Jones, The Chase’s Paul Sinha, and more.

The NHS Big Tea takes place today, 5th July, to mark the NHS’s 73rd birthday and showcase the public’s outpouring of gratitude for NHS staff for everything they have done over the pandemic and continue to do. Thousands of NHS Big Tea parties are being held nationwide to raise funds for the incredible staff and volunteers that make up the NHS and have been there for the nation over the last year.

Stephen Fry

Actor, comedian and writer Stephen Fry said:

“One of the positives of the last year, is that expressing gratitude for our NHS has never been so widespread across the nation. But just our gratitude won’t be enough to support NHS staff, who are dealing with the aftermath of the untold trauma that they heroically confronted. It’s so important for the public to unite today, have a cup of tea together, and raise funds for them so that they can continue their hugely important work.”   

Olivia Colman

Actress Olivia Colman said:

“As ever, I am tremendously grateful for our heroic NHS, but even more so following this very peculiar year. We are so lucky to have our NHS, and today we will celebrate its 73rdbirthday. There is much to celebrate, but also much to be aware of as we try to recover from the past year. It’s our turn to care for our NHS staff and show them all the love and respect we can, by raising money for the support NHS Charities Together provides.”

The immense show of support for the NHS Big Tea comes as NHS Charities Together releases new research on the level of public gratitude to NHS staff. Three quarters (75%) of the public feel grateful to the NHS for what it has done during the pandemic and 67% are proud of how frontline workers have coped with the pandemic so far. The same research also shows that support for NHS staff is more important than ever, with more than half reporting a mental health toll as a result of the pandemic, and all staff now facing busy clinics while continuing to care for sick patients.

Supporting the NHS

NHS Charities Together has so far allocated £125 million in a range of projects supporting staff, patients and volunteers.

Through its 240 NHS member charities covering the UK, projects include counselling services and helplines to help support the mental health of staff, bereavement support for families who have lost loved ones, long-Covid research, and funding thousands of emergency volunteers. Funding has also supported staff with practical needs like food, drink and a place to rest, enabling staff to continue with their vital life-saving work.

The evidence shows these projects are already making a huge difference for frontline staff, with over three in ten NHS staff surveyed saying they most value the counselling support and support with practical needs, like food and drink, that have been provided by NHS charities.