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'It’s time for Britain to get behind Public Service Day'

Heather Glanville
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To celebrate the contribution to society by the nation’s millions of public service workers, from nurses to teachers, firefighters to administrators, Britain is being asked to say ‘thank you’ on Public Service Day on 23 June.

The day, officially launched by the United Nations as long ago as 2003, has barely been recognised in the UK so far.

But public sector membership club Boundless wants to change that and put the country’s hard-working public servants in the spotlight, including the nearly 700,000 nurses and midwives employed by the NHS.

Boundless will be donating £10,000 to be spread across five charities which serve those in public service to say its own special thank you, including the RCN Foundation, The Firefighters Charity, Police Care UK, the Education Support Partnership and The Charity for Civil Servants.

However, people across the UK are being urged to make a far simpler contribution: by just saying ‘thanks’ to the people in public service who have impacted their lives, whether that is online, in a letter or in person.

Peter Kyle MP has pledged his support, explaining: “Since becoming an MP, work-shadowing front-line workers in our public services has given me a true insight into the skill, professionalism, and sheer graft that underpins our society. The chance to celebrate public service is something we should grab with both hands as a way to thank those in service today and to inspire those of tomorrow.”

To join the conversation and share your stories, please use the hashtags #PublicServiceDay and #timetosaythanks and include @bemoreboundless.

For more information, please visit

Heather Glanville is association chair of Boundless

Public sector facts

More than five million people in the UK are employed in the public sector. Nearly 700,000 are nurses and midwives, nearly 500,000 are teachers and headteachers, and more than 40,000 are GPs.

All of the employers in the top 10 largest in the UK are public sector: NHS England, NHS Scotland, the British Army, the Department of Work and Pensions, HM Revenue & Customs, NHS Wales, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Defence, the Metropolitan Police Service and the Royal Air Force

The NHS now employs one in every 20 working people in the UK and treats more than 1 million patients every 36 hours.

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