Local volunteers have collectively donated over 100,000 hours of their time to support Lancashire and South Cumbria’s COVID-19 vaccination programme – a huge milestone for the region which is helping to protect residents against the virus.
To date, 1,473 volunteers are registered with the Lancashire Volunteer Partnership (LVP) who have been recruiting and training people to provide essential support for local vaccination clinics around the region.
Volunteers have been marshalling at over 30 different community vaccination clinics and 7 mass vaccination centres across Lancashire and South Cumbria. The marshals help patients find their way through the site, from directing them to a parking space, checking they have an appointment, managing the queues and helping them to exit sites safely after their vaccination. The volunteers come from all walks of life.
Paul Stanford, a volunteer marshal at AFC Fylde vaccination site said: “Being a volunteer marshal at the vaccination centres over the past few months has been very enjoyable.
“Meeting and working alongside the many other volunteers and professionals, to help greet and process members of the public, has allowed us all to contribute towards the safe, efficient and successful running of the vaccination sites.
“Even when it was a damp cold day in March or one of those baking hot August days, going along and doing a few hours as a volunteer marshal was great fun and there was always a sense of achievement – both during and especially at the end of a shift.
“The flexible approach of the Lancashire volunteering programme has allowed people to fit in volunteering into their existing commitments of family, work and other pastimes. Some people have done one shift a week, some two and some a lot more depending on their preference.
“I am sure that many friendships have been made, and that many volunteers, without probably realising it, have learnt new skills along the way.
“And by giving up their own time and enthusiasm, they have all made a huge contribution to their local communities.”
So far, 1,219,360 people in Lancashire and South Cumbria have now had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 1,101,618 have had both doses.
Jane Scattergood, Senior Responsible Officer for Lancashire and South Cumbria Vaccination Programme, said: “We are so grateful to the thousands of people who applied and trained for voluntary roles as part of the NHS Covid-19 vaccine team – we simply could not have done it without you.
“Thanks to these volunteers, and the many existing NHS staff who have trained to deliver vaccines or perform other important roles, the NHS has had enough people to roll out the vaccine programme at pace to our local population. We do need more volunteers for the next phase so if you can spare a few hours a week please sign up – it’s a great thing to do.
“And to our local residents, if you haven’t had your jab yet, I urge you to please do so as soon as possible – it provides vital protection against coronavirus. We have a range of walk-in Covid-19 vaccination clinics, so you can attend at a day, time and place that suits you. Protect yourself and your loved ones by coming forward and getting vaccinated today.”
For information about local vaccination sites, visit the Lancashire & South Cumbria website.
To find out more about Lancashire Volunteer Partnership and how to apply to become a volunteer, visit the LVP website.