Homeless people receive Covid vaccine at YMCA Romford

Dr Anil Mehta administers a dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to a homeless person at YMCA Romford.

Dr Anil Mehta administers a dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to a homeless person at YMCA Romford. - Credit: Frank Augstein/AP/Shutterstock

Homeless people were given a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine at YMCA Romford.

Residents and staff at the charity's site in Rush Green Road were given the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine by a team from Fullwell Cross Medical Centre in Barkingside.

A charity spokesperson said the vaccinations came after Bridget Quinlan, support worker for projects and programmes at the YMCA, worked with the Partnership of East London Co-operatives (PELC).

This organisation, which was originally formed by GPs to provide out-of-hours GP services, has been providing support to people during the pandemic.

Bridget said: “As a homeless charity, we support people who are vulnerable so we wanted to ensure they were vaccinated as soon as possible.


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"“PELC have been incredible throughout the lockdown, providing an outreach GP service for our residents, offering flu jabs and referrals."

The Covid jabs were carried out in the sports hall at YMCA Romford and Dave Ball, chief executive of YMCA Thames Gateway, said it was wonderful to be able to get 146 people vaccinated.

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He added: “I can’t explain how grateful I am, on behalf of our residents and staff, that we have been able to provide this health-giving opportunity to so many.

“Many of our staff work on the frontline as we provide not only accommodation and support services but childcare services to key workers. The vaccination will help them to feel and to be safer in their place of work."

The boss of the charity, which provides supported accommodation for young people as well as health and wellbeing activities and other support programmes, revealed he was proud of the services it had continued to provide during the past year.

YMCA Thames Gateway, which also offers services in Barking and Dagenham as well as on the other side of the river in parts of Kent, said it has kept its pre-schools and nurseries open during the pandemic and increased its community work.

Dave said: "We are part of a long line of volunteers and staff who have been serving our localities since 1872.

"The vaccines feel symbolic of our local and national fightback against this appalling virus and, if I’m honest, this day felt like something of a reward.”

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