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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Community events to thank the Queen for her service to the country

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ommunity events to thank the Queen for her service to the country are to take place across the country on Sunday, and have the backing of a footballing hero.

Sunday marks the final day of the monarch’s jubilee festivities – as well as national Thank You Day.

The event, which began in 2021, was set up in appreciation of those who helped people through the Covid-19 pandemic and this year coincides with the four-day bank holiday weekend for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The Queen symbolically leads the lighting of the principal Jubilee beacon at Windsor Castle (Jonathan Brady/PA) / PA Wire

It is hoped millions will gather at street parties, host a Big Jubilee Lunch or get together around the county to thank the Queen for 70 years of service, but also to thank neighbours, family, friends, communities, the NHS and key workers for their support over the past year.

Thank You Day events include a picnic on the pitch at Wembley Stadium, with ex-England footballer John Barnes participating in a sing-along with The Kingdom Choir, who will perform a rendition of the Thank You Day Jubilee Anthem – Sweet Caroline.

The get-together will also see 1,000 invited guests sharing a meal with famous footballers.

Barnes said: “Thank You Day is an opportunity for us to all come together to say thank you to the people who make a difference to our lives.

“To be here at Wembley Stadium, a place which is very special to me, and to share in a great day and a Jubilee lunch with 1,000 people from the local community means a lot.

“Football is such an important part of people’s lives up and down the country, which is why it was so important for the FA to be involved in Thank You Day and today’s celebrations.

“It’s an opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has helped us through the last couple of years – from volunteers, coaches, team mates, backroom staff, neighbours, family and friends.”

John Barnes (Danny Lawson/PA) / PA Archive

The events have been organised by Together Coalition, which is made up of community groups and businesses who work together on campaigns and projects, and they expect as many as 10 million people to take part. 

Other events due to take place include “the world’s longest lunch” on the Long Walk in Windsor, in which 3,000 people will gather for food across 488 tables, and a performance of popular hit Sea Shanty on the River Thames under Tower Bridge.

Also in London, generations of refugees from the those fleeing the Holocaust to refugees of modern conflicts including Afghanistan, Syrian and Ukraine will share a meal together and with those who helped them along the way.

It doesn’t matter what you do, what matters is that we come together, say thank you to the people that have made our lives and communities that little bit better over the last year, and have a good time.

Together Coalition’s Brendan Cox said: “All across the country communities are coming together to share the day – whether that’s a Big Jubilee Lunch, a concert, a royal look alike competition.

“It doesn’t matter what you do, what matters is that we come together, say thank you to the people that have made our lives and communities that little bit better over the last year, and have a good time.”

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