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London buildings #LightItBlue for the NHS

by Olivia Powell

Major sporting and entertainment venues, national landmarks and historic buildings across London illuminated in blue at 6pm yesterday, 7 January, as a gesture of thanks to the NHS, volunteers and all those on the Covid-19 healthcare frontline.

The venues included The O2, London Stadium and Olympic Park, the National Theatre and Madam Tussauds London.

The #LightItBlue campaign has been organised by mental health non-profit organisation MAKEITBLUE CIC, formed last year by members of the live events and entertainment industry.

Tim Owen, MAKEITBLUE director of strategy and engagement, said: “With the support of the Mayor of London, we want to light the city blue as a public demonstration of continued support and admiration for all those working under immense pressures to look after Covid-19 and other emergency patients.

“Knowing the best thing the rest of us can do is to stay safe at home, we’ve used our communication networks to organise this campaign and are concentrating on locations that can be programmed or switched on remotely.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It is a very challenging time for our city and nation, and we owe a great debt to our NHS and key workers who are working so incredibly hard to serve our city. By lighting up buildings in blue in their honour, our capital is again standing together to thank them for their tremendous efforts.

“These workers deserve our praise and our thanks, and I urge Londoners to continue following the lockdown rules so they can play their part in supporting the NHS and save lives.”

Sunny Jouhal, general manager of the lastminute.com London Eye, said: “In these hugely challenging times we have seen the most incredible bravery and hard work from all our healthcare workers. In the face of such adversity words cannot describe how thankful we are, and it couldn’t be a more important time for us to all come together and show our appreciation and solidarity with those on the frontline. We’re proud to show our support through the #LightItBlue campaign as we light up the London Eye, and the city skyline, in a bold NHS blue.”

The original #lightitblue initiative began on 26 March 2020, when over 100 of the UK’s castles, cathedrals, bridges, city halls, sports stadiums and LED screens were illuminated in blue to coincide with the nationwide applause for the NHS and care workers.  Within weeks, eminent landmarks across the world including Windsor Castle, Niagara Falls and the Prince’s Palace of Monaco joined the campaign, which peaked during the NHS’ 72nd Anniversary weekend on 4-5 July.

Buildings were lit blue from 6-9pm. All organisations involved in the ongoing #lightitblue campaign are acting on a pro bono basis.

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