Colin clapping as NHS staff arrive at Basildon Hospital
Staff at Basildon Hospital and the Mayor of Basildon, David Burton-Sampson have officially thanked Colin Wilkinson, who since April has stood and applauded staff every morning as they come into work.
At a presentation on Wednesday 3 June, outside Basildon Hospital, Mayor David Burton-Sampson presented Mr Wilkinson with a gift to acknowledge his continual support at the rainbow banner, which he helped put up to support NHS staff.
Dani Mayo, Lead Chaplain at Basildon Hospital, thanked Mr Wilkinson on behalf of staff and led a prayer for him as he is a devoted Christian.
Dani presented him with a card from the hospital and with staff in attendance – they returned the inspiration and clapped for Mr Wilkinson thanking him for his daily support through the coronavirus pandemic.
Dani said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by Colin’s dedication and commitment these last 40 days. He’s been welcoming and clapping our staff day in and day out.
“We’ll all hold Colin in our hearts in these days to come, as he’s been a light in the darkest of moments. We’re really grateful for how he has supported us here at Basildon.”
Basildon Mayor, David Burton-Sampson said: “The coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge toll on Basildon, the UK, and around the world – and seeing the action of one man, supporting hospital and NHS staff, patients and visitors every day is a tribute to what it takes for us all to get through this crisis.
“Without the support of others we are nothing – and this has not been clearer in recent memory for us all than in these past weeks and months. On behalf of Basildon, thank you Mr Wilkinson for being a beacon of hope and support every day through May – today we’re clapping for you.”
Mr Wilkinson has said that on the morning of Saturday 25 April he went up to the banner to pray but then began clapping as NHS staff came into work at the hospital – and has returned every day since. Colin vowed to come back on in the evening to mark the last day of his clapping vigil.
Colin said: “It was an unbelievable experience and I can’t believe the impact this has had. It has finally hit home what it means to people.
“Someone said I am a star and I will take that, but the NHS workers are the real heroes in all this."
In addition to gaining recognition in the media and social media Mr Wilkinson has received thanks from NHS staff and people who have lost relatives to Covid-19 – the latter two of which helped guide his daily clapping and support.