Sheffield volunteers praised for dedication at vaccination centre

As Covid-19 vaccination rollout widens across Sheffield, a team of volunteers have committed themselves to supporting the most at risk group, including the ones who have been shielding for almost a year since the pandemic hit.

By Rahmah Ghazali
Thursday, 14th January 2021, 1:38 pm
Updated Friday, 15th January 2021, 9:03 am

Andy Jackson, who works for Heeley Trust, said he and his team have been volunteering at Mathews Practice vaccination centre on Asline Road since it was open on January 5 to ensure that the process of vaccinating hundreds of people each day is as smooth as possible.

He said: "We guide the people throughout the process in a really kind and calm manner and the volunteers have done brilliantly.

"I don't think we could do it in another way because the community support aspect of it is what makes it so compassionate and makes it smoother and quicker."

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Volunteer Andy Jackson (right) with Dr Ollie Hart at Mathews Practice vaccination centre

The 53-year-old, who has done over 80 hours at the centre last week, said each person getting the jab would spend 25 minutes at most to get through the process while adhering to strict safety measures in place.

"We have to maintain social distance and we have to keep everyone safe because we are dealing with the most vulnerable in our community and the ability to support them with the mobility issue.

"There's also the fact that it's the first time they have been out of the house for a year and they're being anxious about the vaccine.

"So by the time they get to have the vaccine, all of that has been taken out of the system," he said.

Clinical Director of Primary Care Network based at the practice Dr Ollie Hart also praised the dedication shown by the volunteers.

"They're like Games Makers at the Olympics. They treat the people with respect and dignity and not just a number to be shuffled through."

The Mathews Practice is one of the 15 networks in Sheffield who are administering the Covid-19 vaccines as part of the government's effort to vaccinate almost 14 million of the most vulnerable in the UK by mid-February.

The practice has so far vaccinated almost 3,000 people from the most at risk group and aimed to complete it in one month.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.