“Our volunteers have been incredible and are genuinely helping to save lives.”
Those were the words of Test Valley Borough Council leader, Phil North, as he heaped praise on the volunteers supporting the vaccination rollout at The Lights theatre in Andover and Crosfield Hall in Romsey.
The vaccination sites are staffed using a combination of NHS professionals and volunteers, with the latter helping to offer a friendly welcome, check paperwork, show people where to park and where to go when they arrive for their jab.
Councillor Phil North said: “Obviously we can’t thank our NHS colleagues enough for their work to protect us but our local volunteers have also been phenomenal.
“By helping people to feel welcome and reassured they have allowed the clinicians to concentrate on the job at hand, safe in the knowledge that those receiving the jab are being well looked after throughout their visit.
“Our volunteers have been amazing and are genuinely helping to save lives. I have only seen overwhelming positivity on social media and comments to local councillors direct to say what a great set up it is at both sites and I have no doubt that those comments have proved to be reassuring and encouraging to those waiting for their appointment.”
The council’s community services partner, Unity, helped to recruit the volunteers and they had more than 700 people sign up to help.
Unity CEO, Terry Bishop, said: “We were absolutely blown away by the initial response. So many people came forward to help that we didn’t have enough positions available but we are grateful to every single person who put their name down.
“Those helping at the sites have been absolutely fantastic, making sure everything runs smoothly and people are greeted with a warm welcome when they arrive. We are incredibly lucky to have such wonderful people in our community.”
Dr Ben Sharpe, clinical lead for the Andover vaccination site, added: “On behalf of the vaccination team I would like to say a massive thank you to all of our incredible volunteers. Without them, we would never have been able to get the sites up and running and we are so grateful for all of their hard work.”