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Vital role of volunteers in supporting Cheshire’s COVID-19 vaccination programme

More than 1,400 volunteers have come forward to support Cheshire’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Fulfilling a wide range of roles, including car park marshalls, shift managers and welcome and exit team members, volunteers are playing a crucial role in the drive to protect Cheshire’s most vulnerable residents from COVID-19.

They are currently supporting vaccination centres across the county – including 18 GP-led sites.

Three of Cheshire’s army of volunteers have shared their experiences so far.

Former headteacher David Black, 69, from Alsager, is combining volunteering at his local GP-led site with co-ordinating the efforts of 64 other volunteers.

“In the face of this pandemic you can feel so powerless, so the opportunity to do something to help is what motivates us all,” he said. “We are determined to play our part to support the NHS and overcome this virus which has had such a massive impact on us all. That’s why people are happy to be outside in the rain and snow, supporting our medical professionals to protect the most vulnerable.”

Cleaner Kate Peill, 55, from Cholmondeley, is volunteering as a car park marshall at the GP-led site at Poynton Civic Centre.

“I’ve always been a huge supporter of the NHS so I couldn’t be prouder to be doing my bit to support the vaccination programme,” she said. “It’s so well organised and people are really looked after. To anyone who might be thinking twice about getting their vaccination – please don’t be frightened. It’s fantastic.”

Deputy headteacher Lindsay Cade, 46, from Huntington near Chester, is volunteering as a car park marshall at the GP-led site at Cheshire View in Christleton.

She said: “Like lots of people, my parents and mother and father-in-law have all been dutifully staying at home since March 2020. Supporting the vaccination programme gives us all a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

“I never realised that standing in a car park in the freezing cold for five hours at a time could be so rewarding. It’s great to be doing our bit to, hopefully, get us all back to some semblance of normality.”

Interested in volunteering to support the NHS? The NHS Volunteer Responders scheme was set up by NHS England / Improvement in partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service. Sign up here: www.goodsamapp.org/NHSvolunteerresponders

At this moment in time, figures to indicate the number of people vaccinated so far are only being published nationally. If this position changes in the coming weeks, we will be in touch with media contacts to update on the Cheshire figures.

More information about Cheshire’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is available here: https://www.cheshireccg.nhs.uk/news/news-stories/covid-19-vaccination-programme-what-you-need-to-know/

Pictured - Former headteacher David Black, 69, from Alsager.

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