In the picture above: Left to right - Katie Lloyd, Clinical Nurse Specialist; Maria Battle, Chair of Hywel Dda UHB; Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services; Josh Jones; Davi Davies
31 January 2022
Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) would like to extend its deepest thanks and appreciation to all of the volunteers at our COVID-19 mass vaccination centres for their invaluable contribution towards rolling out one of the largest vaccination programmes in NHS history.
Since the start of the vaccination programme in December 2020, over 400 volunteers have come forward and gone above and beyond to help at our mass vaccination centres. This has included people from a range of fields and age groups - from retired doctors, nurses and police inspectors to students, research scientists, accountants, people working in customer service and hospitality, first responders in the air force, driving instructors, teaching assistants and even a previous volunteer at Wimbledon. Many staff across the NHS as well have stepped up to volunteer and have played a crucial part in the success of this large-scale programme.
Josh Jones and Davi Davies, two of many such volunteers, share their experience of being a part of the programme.
Josh was planning to do medicine but couldn’t get his work experience at the hospital because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He then decided it would be the perfect opportunity to help out at a mass vaccination centre instead. He said : “I managed to get on to that programme and I’ve been helping out ever since. It’s really rewarding, as well as obviously getting me some work experience, which is what I needed.
“It’s been really helpful in terms of personal development and learning to communicate with new people, as well as the satisfaction you get from doing a good job and being able to help people out.”
Davi and his wife have previously volunteered at hospitals and pharmacies, and when the vaccination programme started, they decided to help out. Davi said : “I’m here to help people. It’s the reason why I volunteer. When you see a person that you take in from the car into the centre and they can hardly walk, and sometimes they need a wheelchair to help them, to find that you can do some good is the reason I’m here.”
Bethan Lewis, Interim Assistant Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda UHB, said: “It has been overwhelming to see the number of people that have come forward to offer their support to one of the largest programmes in NHS history.
“While the pandemic brought with it many challenges, the vaccination programme, and all of the volunteers it brought together from such varied walks of life has been a heart-warming silver lining amidst it.
“The speedy and successful roll out of the mass vaccination programme would not have been possible without the tireless contributions of all of the staff and volunteers involved at the mass vaccination centres. I offer my heartfelt gratitude on behalf of everyone at the health board to each one of you that has given the NHS and the COVID-19 mass vaccination programme your time. “
If you’re interested in volunteering with us too, you can visit https://hduhb.nhs.wales/jobs/volunteering/ (opens in a new tab) or contact our volunteering team at HDD.FutureWorkforceTeam@wales.nhs.uk to find out more.