In just a few weeks, coronavirus has brought the UK to its knees.

More than 1,400 lives have been lost in the country and more than 22,000 have been tested positive for Covid-19.

The health professionals are under extraordinary pressure but are continuing to battle to save lives.

Now more than ever, we are reliant on our paramedics, doctors, nurses and medical staff and now, more than eve,r, they deserve our gratitude and our support.

These guardians angels of the community are serving on the frontline under impossible pressure to save lives.

While the majority of the population are confined to their homes, these heroes are forsaking their own health and well-being to put people like you and I first.

And this is why local newspapers across Newsquest, including the Gazette, are joining forces to raise money for the incredible NHS workers at the frontline of the healthcare crisis.

We think it is time for us as a country to say thank you – and we hope you will join us in donating money to support this workforce.

We are supporting NHS Charities Together, which supports 250 charities across the UK including the Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals charity.

Their urgent Covid-19 appeal which is raising money to support workers and volunteers at the frontline of the pandemic.

So far more than £5,000 has been raised and for that we thank all of you.

Funds will be used for well-being packs and gifts for staff, food deliveries and refreshments, as well as covering the cost of travel and accommodation and other items which enhance the well-being of NHS staff and volunteers.

At this time of hardship, it is important for us, the community, to bring some joy and happiness to those who are giving us so much.

There have been appalling stories of nurses such as Dawn Bilbrough struggling to get access to fresh vegetables due to stockpiling.

Or junior doctors and nurses being forced to share masks because there simply isn’t enough personal protective equipment to go round.

This is where we – as the public – can come together and help.

On a simple level, please follow the Government’s advice and stay at home unless you have to shop for necessities.

Please don’t mix with family and friends even though it is hard to stay away.

And keep a social distance of at least two metres from anyone when you are out exercising or at the shops.

Simple instructions which can stop the spread of the pandemic and can save lives.

We are also asking our readers to extend their support to the heroes of the NHS, to let them know we care and are grateful for everything they are doing for us.

Please donate whatever you can and let us give a collective, united message to our NHS workers - the paramedics, the GPs, the doctors, nurses and all the support staff - of our huge appreciation for their efforts.

To make a donation, visit

You can also get involved in our campaign by telling us why the NHS matters to you or how it has made a difference to your life.

Tweet us or post on Facebook to share your stories, using the hashtag: #ThankYouNHS.

You can also get involved by sending us a picture of yourself holding up a piece of paper reading, “#ThankYouNHS” - some of which we will print in the paper.

Let us show our NHS staff that we care, and that we are thankful for everything they are doing for us all during this crisis.