COVID-19 Vaccination Volunteers: The story of five volunteers

Article written by Maryam Nassor, a student volunteer at Voluntary Action South West Surrey.

Over 800 volunteers went out into the community, rain or shine, to facilitate the vaccine roll-out.

Among them was Warren Tebbit, who worked a remarkable 87 shifts as a volunteer for Pro Care during Covid-19 (and he still plans to do more in the future!). Warren and his wife, Kate Tebbit, were inspired to volunteer, as their “daughter was in her final year of her Nursing degree and along with many fellow nursing students, she was facing first-hand the horrendous impact of Covid while on placement at the Royal Papworth Hospital.”

Although he initially worked two to three shifts per week, Warren said that he was “soon spending up to five to seven days a week at G-Live.” Volunteering every day of the week is a huge commitment and was recognised by the local community who offered up their support. This came in the form of bringing in “cakes, fresh fruit and snacks and one very generous local restaurant even provides a weekly Friday lunch.” The restaurant that Warren is referring to is Rumwong Thai Restaurant and “for many weeks the owner and his staff would bring over a large selection of meals on Friday lunchtime as a thank you for the work of the Vaccination Centre. It was really appreciated by everyone and the dishes were excellent.”

Phillip Kemp (Associate Director of COVID Response at Procare) is equally grateful for the volunteers’ help, writing that they “have been a vital part of the success of the vaccination programme in Guildford & Waverley – Throughout the duration of the programme at Cranleigh, Haslemere and in G-live – they have been an integral part of the team which has helped deliver over 160,000 vaccines since it opened in December 2020. With their wide-ranging and diverse backgrounds, they have brought an enormous wealth of experience to the programme which everyone involved has benefited from. They have helped guide members of the public through our venues with care, compassion and humour and they’ve done it in all weathers. Without them the service wouldn’t have been half as successful as it has been, nor half as fun. Thank you for all of your hard work”.

Mayor, Cllr Marsha Moseley, also expressed her appreciation, writing that “it has been so inspiring to see the commitment and sacrifices made by volunteers to help their communities during one of the most difficult periods of our lives. We have been touched by their kindness, generosity of spirit and endless enthusiasm. They have really gone above and beyond…our NHS and volunteers across our borough’s vaccination centres have played such a big role in helping to keep our residents safe and to stop the spread of the virus. Thank you to everyone who has made the biggest vaccination programme in this country’s history such a success.”

The Mayor has also shown her gratitude by inviting the volunteers to the Guildford Cricket Festival 2021 which took place on Tuesday 27th July.

All of the volunteers that I spoke to had one thing in common; their charitable acts came from a desire to help others. Peter Robotham, for example, is a volunteer who actively sought out ways to help his community during the COVID pandemic. After searching online for volunteer roles, Peter found that he could support his local vaccination programme, a role that he thoroughly enjoyed. With the everyday bustle of patients in socially distanced queues, Peter was grateful for the social element which came

along with the role after several months of isolation. Meeting hundreds of people per day who were “very purposeful” in getting the vaccine to protect themselves and the public, was inspiring for Peter. From organising queues to helping the patients remain calm, Peter and the other volunteers contributed to the united effort of vaccinating the nation. Peter remained humble, however, as he took the time out of our conversation to praise the NHS workers who were responsible for vaccinating patients. Peter said that “though they have full-time jobs, they do extra shifts to help out” and had to concentrate on and listen to hundreds of different patients within their shifts. Howard Klein echoed Peters pleasant experience as a volunteer, writing that, “The opportunity to help people makes the work worthwhile, and so many saying thank you.”

Volunteering often entailed identifying and comforting individuals with needle phobia. Howard stated that “sometimes those afraid of a needle are more obvious, but not always, so a bit of eye-contact/small- talk can help.” Therefore, the volunteers had an impressive range of interpersonal skills and were instrumental in allowing the vaccination programme to run smoothly. Some of the volunteers also had some funny encounters to share with me when we spoke. Ali Johnson, for instance, recalled a “man telling me that he was 52 when the over 50s were called forward only to confess he was 49 when he got inside.”

Ali also emphasised that there is a shortage of volunteers nationwide – an issue that many of us are able to solve by finding roles within our communities to aid the vaccination programme. After hearing the inspiring stories of some of the volunteers, we should all strive to assist our communities in similar ways.

Find out how you can volunteer by visiting MyImpactPage – Voluntary Action South West Surrey (betterimpact.com)

Note to reader:

Statistics are from January – March 2021 (inclusive).

Admin and Monitoring Assistant

Responsible to: Social Prescribing Service Manager

Our charity supports the voluntary and community sector in Guildford and Waverley. We are the social prescribing provider across Guildford and Waverley covering four Primary Care Networks. Due to the growth of the service we are looking for an Admin and Monitoring Assistant to join us as we continue to grow and develop the service. You will assist in the day to day running of Voluntary Action South West Surrey by providing administrative, monitoring and compliance support for staff and volunteers within the social prescribing team.

The post holder will complete a Regulatory Compliance Officer apprenticeship course (subject to eligibility criteria) during their working hours to support their work.

The role is subject to an Enhanced DBS check.

Working Hours: 35 hours per a week (5 days week)

Salary: £18,000 (FTE)

The role is office based.

See below for an application form and full job description.

Please email info@vasws.org.uk with any questions/queries.

Closing date is Thursday 19 August 2021 at 09:00.

Shortlisted candidates will be notified via email on Friday 20 August 2021.

Interviews will be held on Monday 23 August 2021 via Teams.

Please note this will be the only interview date offered.

Pending safer recruitment checks an immediate start date is available.

Unfortunately, as a small charity we can only provide feedback to candidates shortlisted for an interview.

Application Form

Admin and Monitoring Assistant JD

 

Data and Monitoring Assistant – Kickstart Scheme

The Data and Monitoring Assistant will provide support to projects and management within Voluntary Action South West Surrey.

Key responsibilities:

  • Updating internal databases with partners/clients information accurately.
  • Collating data and producing reports for management, funders and partners as and when needed.
  • Contacting partners/clients for information via phone and email using a scripted framework.
  • Liaising with internal staff to collate information internally.
  • Making appointments between partners, funders and internal staff, updating Outlook calendars as required.
  • Minute taking at meetings.

This role is part of the Kickstart scheme therefore candidates must be:

  • 18 to 24 years of age.
  • Currently on Universal Credit.
  • Looking for employment and training.

Number of hours a week: 25 Hours.

Working Pattern: Monday – Thursday (inclusive)  09:00 – 15:45 (inclusive of half hour unpaid lunch break) can be flexible.

Hourly rate of pay: National minimum wage.

The Data and Monitoring Assistant will also provide general support to management and is expected to be flexible to meet the needs of the charity.

All staff at Voluntary Action South West Surrey are expected to attend and contribute to team meetings, 1:1’s and training to provide support to both you and the charity.

How to apply: Quote the job title and postcode to your job centre work coach who will then refer you to us.

Youth Work Assistant – Kickstart Scheme

The Youth Work Assistant will support young people in the Guildford and Waverley area to access voluntary opportunities and create social action projects. The Youth Work Assistant will promote the work of Voluntary Action South West Surrey to young people.

Key responsibilities:

  • Arrange and visit external venues such as schools, colleges and youth clubs to promote and support young people with accessing voluntary opportunities and creating social action projects.
  • Updating internal databases and monitoring data with all work completed.
  • Working in collaboration with external partners to identify and set up social action projects for young people.
  • Liaise with staff to promote opportunities.
  • Lead on key campaigns in relation to young people within the charity.
  • Deliver training and workshops to both young people and partner organisations.

This role is part of the Kickstart scheme therefore candidates must be:

  • 18 to 24 years of age.
  • Currently on Universal Credit.
  • Looking for employment and training.

Number of hours a week: 25 Hours.

Working Pattern: Monday – Thursday (inclusive)  09:00 – 15:45 (inclusive of half hour unpaid lunch break) can be flexible.

Hourly rate of pay: National minimum wage.

The Youth Work Assistant will also provide general support to management and is expected to be flexible to meet the needs of the charity.

All staff at Voluntary Action South West Surrey are expected to attend and contribute to team meetings, 1:1’s and training to provide support to both you and the charity.

How to apply: Quote the job title and postcode to your job centre work coach who will then refer you to us.

Training Assistant – Kickstart Scheme

The Training Assistant will identify opportunities and promote the work of Voluntary Action South West Surrey.

Key responsibilities:

  • Research and identify free, low cost and fully funded face to face and online training opportunities applicable to the charity.
  • Support internal staff with preparing training courses and materials including but not limited to course presentations, course handbooks and handouts.
  • Produce separate annual training programmes for internal staff, partners and community members.
  • Promoting training and development opportunities to internal staff, partners and community members.
  • Managing course bookings for any internal courses and providing course attendees with an excellent customer journey.
  • Managing administrative duties with courses such as attendance list, booking training rooms, printing materials and sending any materials as needed via email to trainers and/or course attendees.
  • Collating feedback from course attendees and updating internal databases.
  • Collating data and producing reports for management, funders and partners as and when needed on training and development.
  • Contacting partners for information via phone and email on training opportunities.
  • Creating training courses to deliver to partners in consultation with internal staff.
  • Supporting volunteers and students on placement with tasks supporting training and development.
  • Minute taking at meetings.

This role is part of the Kickstart scheme therefore candidates must be:

  • 18 to 24 years of age.
  • Currently on Universal Credit.
  • Looking for employment and training.

Number of hours a week: 25 Hours.

Working Pattern: Monday – Thursday (inclusive)  09:00 – 15:45 (inclusive of half hour unpaid lunch break) can be flexible.

Hourly rate of pay: National minimum wage.

The Social Media Assistant will also provide general support to management and is expected to be flexible to meet the needs of the charity.

All staff at Voluntary Action South West Surrey are expected to attend and contribute to team meetings, 1:1’s and training to provide support to both you and the charity.

How to apply: Quote the job title and postcode to your job centre work coach who will then refer you to us.

Communications Assistant – Kickstart Scheme

The Communications Assistant will support Voluntary Action South West Surrey to improve communication internally with staff and volunteers and also externally with our partners.

Key responsibilities:

  • Producing an internal communications plan which includes all communication channels utilised.
  • Reviewing and improving internal and external communication to include but not limited to News Bulletins, website content, news articles, weekly updates and social media messaging.
  • Liaising with colleagues to co-produce and keep up to date an annual calendar of key events, campaigns and celebrations to share across communications channels.
  • Increase engagement across all communication channels.
  • Scheduling future content and forward planning for the charity.
  • Collating and analysis communications analytics to identify trends and areas of interest/improvement.
  • Collating data and producing reports for management, funders and partners as and when needed on engagement from communication.
  • Contacting partners/clients for information via phone and email on positive news, events, campaigns and case studies to share.
  • Liaising with internal staff to identify and promote opportunities.
  • Supporting volunteers and students on placement with communication tasks.
  • Minute taking at meetings.

This role is part of the Kickstart scheme therefore candidates must be:

  • 18 to 24 years of age.
  • Currently on Universal Credit.
  • Looking for employment and training.

Number of hours a week: 25 Hours.

Working Pattern: Monday – Thursday (inclusive)  09:00 – 15:45 (inclusive of half hour unpaid lunch break) can be flexible.

Hourly rate of pay: National minimum wage.

The Communications Assistant will also provide general support to management and is expected to be flexible to meet the needs of the charity.

All staff at Voluntary Action South West Surrey are expected to attend and contribute to team meetings, 1:1’s and training to provide support to both you and the charity.

How to apply: Quote the job title and postcode to your job centre work coach who will then refer you to us.