More than 250 volunteers from all walks of life are being thanked for coming forward to offer their different skills to support with the COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Sefton.
Sefton Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) are working in partnership on the volunteer programme with NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG and the call for people to sign up has been met with an overwhelming response.
Retired nurse, Barbara Fearns (pictured left) is among the volunteers providing support in one of the four dedicated local vaccination centres, which are run by Sefton GP practices working together in groups – known as Primary Care Networks – to immunize their patients in order of priority. Barbara is a marshal, ensuring residents know where they are going when they arrive at the centre to ensure they receive their vaccine in a quick and safe way.
Barbara, who retired in 2012, says: “I am thoroughly enjoying my volunteering role. I feel privileged to be a small cog in a big wheel in rolling out the vaccine. It’s giving me something to do during lockdown and it is nice to get out and see people.
“I feel quite emotional seeing how grateful people attending are to be vaccinated. In their words – ‘it’s hopefully a step closer to normality’ I am so proud of our NHS.”
Volunteers are carrying out a range of vital roles depending on their background and skills from marshalling like Barbara, to signing in patients and other key admin tasks. Along with volunteers from the public, the vaccination programme has been supported by GP practice staff and CCG staff.
Chief officer of the CCGs in Sefton, Fiona Taylor, has also returned to the front line to help out with the COVID-19 vaccinations and is thanking all of our volunteers for supporting them at this busy time.
Fiona said: “We are so grateful to all volunteers who have helped out at our vaccination centres, from our clinical staff helping to vaccinate patients to GP practice staff, members of the public and CCG staff helping to register patients and ensure that they are kept safe whilst coming in for their vaccine. The support has been phenomenal and it has been great to work with Sefton CVS to organise the volunteer recruitment.
“I have been helping at a site in Bootle myself to vaccinate patients and it’s been an absolute pleasure and very humbling to be able to make my contribution.
“I’m really proud of all the team working so hard to keep our residents safe during this pandemic and grateful to everyone who is helping.”
The COVID-19 vaccination scheme in Sefton has been supported by volunteers from right across the borough who have given up their time to contribute to the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history.
GP practices and the CCGs are reminding everyone to be patient and to follow the current restrictions and guidance and play their part in the vaccination rollout by following these steps:
- Do not contact your GP practice or the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you
- When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments
- Please attend as close to your appointment time as possible to avoid queues and to keep safe
- Please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives by socially distancing, wearing a mask or face covering and washing your hands regularly
You can find general information about the COVID-19 vaccine here: www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine