Volunteers support the covid vaccination drive
04 June 2021

Hundreds of volunteers in Sheffield are performing a vital role in the largest vaccination programme undertaken by the NHS.

As clinical staff start vaccinating more people than before they will be supported by over 300 volunteers, who will be on hand to provide assistance to anyone who attends one of the covid vaccination centres across the city.

From showing people where to park, to ensuring social distancing rules are maintained and centres are kept hygienic at all times, the volunteers ensure the smooth running of the vaccinations centres and keep people who attend safe. Their efforts have the additional benefit of freeing up GP practice staff to continue providing medical care in their surgeries, and arranging covid vaccination appointments for eligible people.

Liz Nicklen, from the S17 Covid-19 Community Support Group, has been assisting   vulnerable and shielding people in Dore, Totley and Bradway since the first lockdown in March 2020 and now helps organise a rota for the 100 people who volunteer at the Dore Surgery vaccination site.

She said: “When the vaccination rollout was announced it was clear to me that our communities needed to support the NHS and protect the trained staff whose skills would be vital in delivering the vaccine itself.  I could see that there would be many roles in aiding people at vaccination venues that did not require clinical or other trained skills and so could be undertaken by volunteers. I can’t begin to explain how immensely rewarding it is to be able to offer a smile and help people during these anxious times knowing that I’m contributing something that will make a huge difference in bringing us back to a life where we can all meet family and friends

Amanda Frost is a locality volunteer co-ordinator for the Sothall Medical Centre. Her team is supporting the vaccination centre at Beighton Medical Centre. She said: “Our volunteers play an essential role in the vaccination programme. They undertake any number of tasks, from directing patients through the one-way system to helping with the paperwork. Some of them volunteered after coming for their covid jab. They saw the difference our volunteers made to their experience of being vaccinated and they wanted to get involved. Many of them give up their weekends and we are grateful for their help.”


 Beighton Medical Centre volunteers


Alun Windle, Chief Nurse and Covid Vaccination Lead at NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, said: ‘I’d like to thank the all of the volunteers for their time and service. It’s fantastic that even during the recent freezing temperatures they were outside doing their utmost to signpost people and offer a hand as elderly and often vulnerable people come for their vaccinations. Their dedication allows practice staff to focus on arranging appointments for patients to come in for their covid vaccine, and running surgeries for patients who still need the care and attention of our GPs and practice nurses.”

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