In light of the extended economic lockdown in the UK, TikTok has pledged to donate £5m to the COVID-19 Healthcare Support Appeal, created by the RCN Foundation. Together, TikTok, the RCN Foundation, and the Royal College of Nursing plan to aid healthcare workers and first responders on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis. The emergency funding will go to recipients including nurses, midwives, healthcare support workers, paramedics, physiotherapists, cleaners and porters.
"In these unprecedented times, the healthcare community is facing significant challenges and this donation will not only support those individuals who may be experiencing personal hardship as a result of COVID-19 but will also help to address some of the psychological implications associated with working on the frontline at this time,” said professor Jane Cummings, chair, RCN Foundation.
Creators on TikTok have started posting content in solidarity and support of healthcare workers, as healthcare related videos have increased 5000 per cent in the past 4 weeks, totaling 330m views in the past month. While TikTok influencers are posting more supporting videos using #ClapForOurCarers and #ThankYouNHS, healthcare workers themselves are joining the platform using hashtags like #BlindingLightsChallenge and #OhNaNaNaChallenge. As of last week, there were over 200,000 #ThankYouNHS videos and over 4,000 #ClapForOurCarers videos uploaded on the TikTok platform.
Rich Waterworth, TikTok general manager UK said: "The courageous work of those on the frontline of our healthcare system is both poignant and inspiring, and I hope our donation to the COVID-19 Healthcare Support Appeal, established by the RCN Foundation, can go some way in alleviating just some of the pressures many of these workers are dealing with at this time. I would like to personally thank them for the work they are doing in these unprecedented times.
"Despite the huge challenges frontline healthcare workers face on a daily basis, I have been enormously heartened by what we are seeing on our platform. Not only have we seen the TikTok community show their thanks and appreciation for the health care workers in their masses through some amazing videos, we're also seeing the workers themselves use the platform for some light relief. We have seen so many of them take to TikTok in their breaks to add a bit of light relief while at work, which I hope has provided a touch of joy during their difficult days."
TikTok's £5m donation to the RCN Foundation is part of the platform's pledge to raise $250m for crisis workers globally, with $68m specifically going to European countries in need. For healthcare workers in need of monetary aid, they can apply for indvidual grants from the RCN Foundation, to help cover the costs of personal bills, housing, food and more.