Four volunteers from Hinckley & Rugby Building Society have recently donated their time at vaccine centres in Leicestershire, in a bid to help the national effort of the Covid-19 vaccination roll out.
The four helpers – Michael Sharpe, Lucy Sharpe, Andy Phillips and Anne-Marie Thompson – decided to use some of their volunteer days given by the Society each year, to help out at the centres, where they were asked to perform various tasks to assist with the smooth operation of the sessions. The Society allows each employee up to three days per year to do some volunteering of their choice.
Michael Sharpe, Head of IS and Change at the Society volunteered at Heath Lane Surgery in Earl Shilton after witnessing the efforts by volunteers during a visit to the surgery:
“I was struck by the amazing work being done by the volunteers. I spoke to the staff, and they explained how much they relied on them, and I simply volunteered there and then.”
Michael, who has volunteered on more than one occasion, explained:
“My first session was spent outside managing queues, handing out consent forms and directing people to the right places. For some it was their first social contact in months which made the whole experience very humbling.
“My second session, alongside my daughter, Lucy, was spent inside directing people, cleaning chairs between vaccination groups and simply doing anything that helped the hundreds of patients that came through the door – and on one occasion getting the whole centre to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to a fantastic man celebrating his 95th birthday with his second jab!”
Michael’s daughter, Lucy, part of the HR and People Development Team at the Society, spoke of her experience:
“As much as it was strange being around so many people after a year of being so separate, it was really nice speaking to everyone. I would definitely recommend it to anyone. It was very well organised and clearly a lot of planning had gone into ensuring everyone’s safety and to keep it moving as quickly as possible.”
Another volunteer, the Society’s IS Operations Manager, Andy Phillips, volunteered last month at Hinckley Leisure Centre:
“I had my own vaccine a few weeks before and was impressed by how well organised the process was. I performed a number of roles – car park attendant, queue co-ordinator, post-vaccine leaflet distributor, and asking people to provide their feedback. The number of vaccinations done on the day was 1,200 so there was not much quiet time but all in all an enjoyable day.”
Anne-Marie Thompson, the Society’s New Lending Manager, also volunteered at Hinckley Leisure Centre:
“I volunteered during the first week of the Leisure Centre opening in February as a vaccination centre and I found it very rewarding – even standing out in the snow!
“I was the first person that the public saw if they travelled to the centre in their cars. I greeted them, checked their appointment time, explained the process, and directed them to the car park. From a personal point of view, it was nice to see so many different people as I have been working from home.”
Anyone who is interested in volunteering at a vaccination centre can sign up on the NHS Volunteer Responder website: https://nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/i-want-to-volunteer/volunteer-roles/steward-volunteer .