Volunteers join Havering COVID vaccination drive

Mick Ferris
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Havering residents have come forward in their droves to volunteer as part of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

More than 453 volunteers have registered to support the vaccine roll-out at three sites across the borough.

120 people have volunteered with Havering Volunteer Centre (HVC) in under a month to support the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in Havering, with over 333 residents signing up through the Havering Volunteer App on Havering Community Hub over the last week.

This is part of a joint effort between Havering Council and its charity partners and residents to help the NHS by recruiting volunteers to take up non-clinical roles at the borough’s three vaccination sites: Raphael House/Victoria Hospital, Pettits Lane and Hornchurch Library from Monday 18 January.

Volunteer roles include: guiding residents to the entry and exit points of either Raphael House, Pettits Lane or Hornchurch Library; reminding people to keep socially-distanced and to wear face masks; supporting flow-through the buildings; and, observing people who have been vaccinated for the customary 15 minutes.

Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said: “We have asked so much of our Havering Heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic. I continue to be amazed by the community spirit in our borough and thank all of those who are doing their bit to help others.

“We’re also calling on residents to take up the vaccine when contacted and to encourage their friends, family and neighbours to do the same. The vaccine is our path out of this dreadful pandemic and the only way the restrictions we’re currently living under may be eased.

“Whether through volunteering or just supporting the roll-out – it’s up to us all to back the vaccine programme and continue to follow the rules to protect the NHS and save lives.”

Paul Rose, chairman of Havering’s charity forum, Havering Compact, said: “Havering has the huge challenge of having the largest over 80s population in London, with only three sites for them to go to.

“Recruiting volunteers to support operations at the vaccination sites is crucial to making sure we reach our vaccination targets.”

Volunteer, Lewis Main from Romford, said: “I am on furlough at the minute, I am a hairdresser by trade. I just felt I was being wasted at home, I work with the public all day, I have a lot to give and I’m good with the people and felt I had more to give than sitting at home, the sooner we get this all done the sooner we can get back to some normality.

“To look back and feel you helped a bit, and if I made someone’s vaccination journey easier or more comfortable then great!”

There are three ways to volunteer at one of Havering’s vaccination sites:

  1. Register your details and availability on Havering Community Hub Havering Volunteer App
  2. Contact Havering Volunteer Centre at volunteering@haveringvc.org.uk or on 01708 922214; and
  3. If you already volunteer for a local charity, contact them and tell them you want to help with the vaccination sites

Once they have registered their interest, all volunteers are vetted by Havering Council and its charity partners. A vaccination site coordinator will then be in touch with them.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk