NELFT are currently running three COVID-19 vaccination centres across our region, at the Romford site alone we have vaccinated just short of 25,000 people so far and we’re grateful for all the support our community of volunteers have given us. We caught up with a few of the many volunteers supporting our Romford site to find out how it’s been going and their reasons for volunteering.
Roy has been a NELFT volunteer for a couple of months now after his wife, who works for the NHS, received an email asking if employees had friends or family who could volunteer with the vaccination programme. Roy volunteers as a marshal at the Liberty Vaccination Centre.
Roy told us: "I enjoy all parts of my role whether it’s interacting with the public before they have their injection or wishing them a pleasant day as they leave. I was very used to interacting with people in my previous job however standing up for four hours was a shock to the system! I find volunteering very rewarding and have nothing but positive comments from people in the queue waiting to receive their jab. I’m pleased I can help the NHS in these current times and put something back into my community."
Roberta also volunteers at the Romford centre, she is an experienced volunteer having worked at CRISIS London and Homeless Eats in Southend. When COVID-19 interrupted her usual volunteer work she signed up to volunteer with the COVID-19 Programme and has taken annual leave from her job as a lecturer.
Roberta said: "I believe if each of us does a little bit we can fight this together. I am glad I have been assigned to help at the NHS vaccination centre, it’s amazing that I can give back, even if it’s just a little bit. I volunteer as a marshal so mostly my job is to ensure people are going to the correct place. I have rotated in different positions but my favourite is on the exit when we give people who have just been vaccinated their sticker – everyone smiles and wears the sticker proudly."
Natalie Cook, operations manager at the Liberty vaccination centre said: "We have a great team of volunteers working here, many of whom have been with us since we opened in March. They play a valuable role in helping keep the journey through the centre as smooth and stress free as possible for all the people being immunised, they are very much part of the team."
Our NELFT volunteers will continue to support the three vaccination centres for the duration of the vaccination programme.
To find out about volunteering for NELFT click here.