Our first account of vaccination volunteering in February 2021 comes from David McLenachan:
Why did you sign up to volunteer at the vaccination sites, and where did you hear about this?
The vaccination program is at a crucial time for the country and the only route to get us out of the pandemic, I wanted to play a part in supporting this.
I heard through Manchester Health and Care Commissioning as I have been a User Representative for Greater Manchester Cancer and Macmillan for 7 years, they forwarded the call out from the volunteer centre.
Where and how have you been helping?
I've worked in 5 different vaccination centres (Wythenshawe, Cheetham Hill, The Jain Community, Newton Heath and Beswick) and have been highly impressed with the planning and implementation. It gives me a real buzz to be working alongside dedicated volunteers and healthcare professionals.
Wythenshawe was the pilot prior to Christmas, and after a few small teething problems the successful model has been spread out to an ever-increasing number of locations throughout Manchester. We have grown in efficiency during this time, from a projected 10 minutes per pod vaccination slot to around 5-6 minutes.
I'm one of the huge number of Marshall volunteers, working to manage the flow of patients through the whole process. I've mainly worked in the registration area and guiding everyone to the next available pod, which means I have chatted to perhaps 3,000 people so far and heard many life stories.
Are you given everything you need to do your job, and do you feel safe and supported?
100% supported, my main contact for volunteering at the vaccination sites has been most helpful. I feel fully protected with the training, the lateral flow testing and the PPE provided.
How have you found your help and presence to be received by those receiving the vaccine?
All the centres have received great feedback, and many people are saying how well-organised, efficient and friendly everyone has been.
What would you tell someone who is thinking of getting involved, any tips or advice?
Other than lending a hand at vaccine sites across Manchester, David is passionate about photography, and has been developing a photo collage that captures the faces of some of the thousands of people that have stepped forward to help at this time:
Share your stories about vaccination volunteering...
We’d love to hear your stories or accounts of vaccine volunteering.
You can share these directly with us in writing, video or other visual formats; or speak directly with the team who are happy to capture these on your behalf by telephone: 0161 830 4770 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also mention us in your posts on social media with @VolunteeringMCR, and we'll pick them up.
We'll be writing and sharing these stories regularly; here, via social media, and on our dedicated Manchester Kindness Stories page.
We look forward to hearing from you!