The #PinYourThanks initiative, which is entirely volunteer-led, has teamed up with a number of well-known figures from the world of music, sport, art and design who have each designed their own pin badge.
Actor Knightley designed hers with two flying birds swooping together into a near heart shape, while former The Beatles singer Starr put a peace symbol inside a love heart in his design.
Elsewhere, comedian Joe Lycett drew a thumbs up image with the words “Cheers Bab” in rainbow colours for his design, and artist Ian Berry put a pair of clapping hands at the centre of his badge.
Other celebrities taking part in the campaign include footballer David James MBE, British cyclist Dame Sarah Storey and musician Anoushka Shankar. In addition, a special in-house designed pin badge is available to give, known as “The Original”.
The £5 #PinYourThanks badges, which are available to buy now, have been created for people to give to someone who they feel deserves a heartfelt and personal thank you for their work and support during this challenging time.
Each gift giver can also leave a message for their personal hero after going online at http://www.pinyourthanks.org and making their order.
“It feels very important to say 'thank you' to all the NHS workers, carers and others, who have done and continue to do such an incredible job through this time of crisis,” Knightley said.
Some of the star names came on board after answering a call from two-time Oscar winning costume designer Jenny Beavan, who raided her contacts book to help pull the scheme together in just six weeks during lockdown.
Ms Beavan, 69, who co-founded the initiative, told the PA news agency: “The original idea around the designs was that it was all about hands, hearts and stars because the hands do the physical caring, the heart is there to give and receive and also because all these people are stars.
“What I love about all the badges is that I just think they are all little glowing pieces of art.”
Ms Beavan added that working on the pin project left her “very humbled” by the impact of Covid-19 and how people have come together to help each other.
“Saying thank you really does mean something and I always find I am curious when people do not say it. I think they are two of the most important words right now,” she explained.
Clive Little, co-founder of #PinYourThanks, added: ”We wanted to create something that would allow people to show their personal and heartfelt appreciation to their local heroes, from helpful neighbours or supportive friends, to local community volunteers, care workers and NHS staff.
“We hope this special symbol of thanks will help spread the feeling of togetherness throughout the country and beyond, whilst raising funds for important Covid-19-related causes”.
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