Volunteers wanted to help at coronavirus vaccine clinic in Wigan

Volunteers are needed urgently to help at a coronavirus vaccination site in Wigan.
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Requests for steward volunteers have soared in recent weeks and there are now more than 2,000 shifts that need filling in sites across the country every day.

The North West has seen a growing need for steward volunteers and the NHS is calling for help to get people vaccinated over the summer, particularly in those areas where vaccinations are most needed.

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Steward volunteers support the efficient and safe movement of patients through vaccination sites, ensuring that social distancing measures are in place and identifying people who require additional support.

Volunteers are needed at Robin Park Leisure CentreVolunteers are needed at Robin Park Leisure Centre
Volunteers are needed at Robin Park Leisure Centre

Among the places in the North West which need volunteers is Robin Park Sports Centre in Wigan.

The programme was set up by the NHS and is delivered by Royal Voluntary Service and GoodSAM. Volunteers use a mobile phone app to choose which shifts they would like to do.

This is one of the busiest and most crucial periods of the national vaccination programme. More than 50m vaccines have already been delivered and work continues to vaccinate all adults.

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Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of Royal Voluntary Service, said: “We find ourselves at a crucial moment in the vaccination rollout. There is a real urgency to this and we are working at pace to get all adults vaccinated as fast as possible. There is a particular need for steward volunteers to help the vaccination programme reach communities most in need. If you are able to help by joining the team, please don’t hesitate. Together we can get the jabs done.”

Andrew Clarke, a steward volunteer, said: “I like working in a team environment, so the steward volunteer role came naturally to me. I love meeting new people, I am very sociable and one of the jobs as a steward is to help with queue management, so I will often be chatting to everyone in the queues, asking how they are, where they are from. I have been lucky to get shifts at a lot of different sites around Greater Manchester and have really enjoyed meeting all the different people with different backgrounds, from different parts of our great city. I have met some interesting people along the way.

“It’s great to see the younger generations coming along for their jabs and it really is a buzz to see them after they have had their jab and are on the way out. It is a good feeling. I enjoy it a lot and I have no plans to stop volunteering even though I have recently started a new interim job role, I want to be a steward volunteer all the way through this rollout.”

People interested in becoming a steward volunteer should go to www.nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk.

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Shifts usually last up to six hours with expenses covered. No experience or qualifications are required and a full briefing is provided on site.

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