IN just a few weeks, coronavirus has had a devastating effect on our country.

Now more than ever, we are reliant on our medical heroes working in the NHS.

These guardian angels of the community are serving on the frontline under intense pressure to save lives.

Newspapers across Newsquest, the publishers of the Gazette and our weekly titles, are joining together to raise money for NHS Charities Together and their urgent Covid-19 appeal.

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

We want to say a big thank you to all the incredible NHS staff across Essex.

The teams on the frontline across north Essex deserve our praise and gratitude at all times but never more so than today.

As they perform the incredible - and sometimes the impossible - we want to show our solidarity.

Gazette editor Gary Pearson said: “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.

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

“We think it is time for us as a community to say, ‘thank you’.

“Hundreds of NHS workers from doctors, nurses and paramedics through to porters and cleaners are risking their lives to save ours.

“We owe them a huge debt of gratitude as we aim together, to beat coronavirus and emerge from it as stronger, tighter, more resilient communities.”

Nationally, we have seen community spirit thriving in these difficult times with people supporting each other like never before.

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

Please donate whatever you can and let us give a collective, united message to our NHS workers of our huge appreciation for their efforts.

How can you help?

You can get involved and support our campaign by sharing our appeal and telling us why you are thankful for the NHS #ThankYouNHS on social media and sharing this link.

You can also send us a picture of yourself holding up a piece of paper reading #ThankYouNHS some of which we will print in the paper.

You can send it via email to or you can Tweet us @TheGazette or message us on Facebook by searching Colchester Gazette.

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.