What is VE Day 75?
This year, the first of two May Bank Holiday’s will take place on Friday. That’s because 8 May marks 75 years since thousands gathered in the streets of London. They were there to hear the announcement that the Second World War had come to an end. Britain was finally at peace.
The annual commemoration of VE Day is usually a time for gathering with friends, families and communities with a traditional street party. But as we are facing the third Bank Holiday of the year still in lockdown, many will be staying home.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however, there are still ways we can all celebrate, and do our best to come together while staying socially distant.
Join the Royal Airforce Museum’s Virtual VE Day Festival
There have been many e-posters shared across the internet, calling for neighbours to celebrate on their own front gardens or driveways. By bringing your own food and drink and sitting at a safe distance apart from neighbours you can still enjoy a street party atmosphere, 1940’s style.
The RAF Museum are hosting their own VE Day Festival, virtually. Join them and others around the U.K from 10am Friday 8 May and enjoy short films, stories from soldiers and more.
Find out more about how you can get involved with the Virtual VE Day Festival from RAF Museum here.
Send a message of thanks or kindness
Many of us are lucky enough to be with family, partners or even housemates while we go through this pandemic. But some, especially those over 70, may not have anyone. That means facing each day alone.
That’s why we’ve designed a special VE Day Postcard, that can be used to send messages of kindness or thanks to people who may be feeling lonely.
You can download and print out a Postcard here for your kids to colour in. Add your VE Day message of thanks on the back and then safely post it through someone’s door – an elderly neighbour who lives on your street.
You can also leave a VE Day message of thanks online through the Royal British Legion here.
Volunteer your time as a companion
There are more ways to help put a smile on someone’s face on VE Day and any day. You can volunteer your time and become a companion for someone who is facing loneliness in their own home.
Lots of charities have taken their volunteer support online because of Coronavirus, encouraging phone and video calls to stay in touch, as well as the traditional methods like written letters and postcards.
Find out more on the links below:
- Adopt a Grandparent with CHD Living here
- Become an Age UK Telephone Befriender here.
- Join the Silver Line Helpline here.
- Re-Engage Volunteers
- Volunteer with the Royal British Legion.
Don’t forget to join the nation and tune into the below activities:
- 11am: 2-minute silence
- 11:15am: Royal British Legion live stream
- 3pm: Nations Toast to the Heroes of World War 2
- 8pm: The People’s Celebration BBC One
- 9pm: Televised address from The Queen, followed by a national singalong of “We’ll meet again"
Whatever you’ve got planned to celebrate the 75th VE Day remember to stay home and stay safe.