The last two years have been tough for everyone. But at the same time, in the millions of acts of kindness, big and small, we’ve also seen Britain at its best — from the volunteers to the key workers and the neighbours who look in on a friend.
The people of this country have been brilliant at keeping each other going through something none of us could ever have imagined. But we’ve not always been good at recognising that — saying thank you to the people who go the extra mile. That’s what Thank You Day is all about.
This year, we celebrate Thank You Day on the final day of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend, Sunday, June 5. But I don’t think we should stop there, that’s why I’m backing the campaign for a new permanent Bank Holiday — a “Thank Holiday” — as a fitting way to forever mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne, and a yearly chance to thank the people in our own lives who make all the difference.
After all, we all love a bank holiday — yet we get fewer than the rest of Europe. And after the last two years, the sectors that have struggled most during the pandemic — hospitality, retail, tourism and leisure — could really do with the boost that an extra day off would bring. So I’m joining business leaders from across the country, including the CBI and major brands like Siemens, in calling on the Government to make a new bank holiday a permanent fixture in the calendar.
An annual Thank Holiday would give us all a special day each year to think about the things and the people that make life worth living. It would be a brilliant opportunity to come together in our communities and strengthen the ties that bind. It could be anything — sharing food, a concert or even some friendly competition — but what matters is that we get together and show our gratitude for people who change our lives for the better.
The bottom line is this: a new bank holiday would be good for us all, good for our mental health, good for business and good for our communities. It’s an idea whose time has come — now we just need ministers to make it happen.