Charity boss hails response after 'army of volunteers' come forward to support vaccine centres

Shelley Hart, chief executive of Havering Volunteer Centre

Shelley Hart, chief executive of Havering Volunteer Centre. - Credit: Steve Poston

More than 120 people have volunteered in under a month to support the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out in Havering, according to a charity boss.

Shelley Hart, chief executive of Havering Volunteer Centre (HVC), revealed the extent of the community's response after HVC raised a call for help on December 17.

She told the Recorder that the volunteers are covering three shifts daily over a 12 hour period and among their roles include reassuring people arriving for their jab and helping them to complete any documentation.

They are supporting the borough's two vaccination centres - one is at Victoria Hospital in Romford and the other is at Hornchurch Library.

Shelley said: "HVC onboarded and mobilised an army of volunteers in a short space of time to undertake this mammoth programme supporting the NHS.


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"They have helped speed up the process and enable more patients through to receive their vaccination.

"Our wonderful volunteers have been vital helping every step of the way, shoulder to shoulder with clinical staff getting the job done."

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People who are eligible for the vaccine include those aged 80 and over, care home residents and staff as well as health and social care workers at high risk.

Those who can get the vaccine will be contacted only when it is their turn.

HVC volunteers have also helped to deliver oximeters, which measure oxygen levels in the blood, to the borough's GP practices over the festive period.

The charity has now engaged more than 600 people to assist with the Covid response since the start of the pandemic, according to Shelley.

She added: "I would like to thank everyone who has helped so far, you really have made such a huge difference. 

"Havering volunteers have shown their mettle and worth during this crisis.

"I want everyone to know that volunteers are the fabric of our community, it's their life blood, they are our heroes and I am proud to be a part of the voluntary sector in Havering."

But Shelley said further volunteers are needed now "more than ever".

Anyone interested can call HVC on 01708 922214 or email volunteering@haveringvc.org.uk.

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