The NHS in Leeds has thanked volunteers for their contributions across the city to support work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including those who have been supporting the vaccination programme.
One such volunteer is Rose Watson, aged 69, who is a retired nurse from Calverley.
Her voluntary work over the past seven months has included meeting and greeting patients arriving at the vaccination clinics at GP surgeries in Calverley, Pudsey and Stanningley, as well as supporting with car park marshalling and helping to put people at their ease who may be nervous about their vaccinations.
She has also recently qualified as a COVID-19 vaccinator so that she can directly support the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
As well as her support for the vaccination programme, for the last two years Rose has been a patient champion with Hillfoot Surgery and as part of that she has run a monthly ‘chit chat’ group at St James the Great church in Pudsey.
The group has just been able to restart following the easing of government restrictions and it is recommended to people by their GP as part of community and social prescribing. Her other volunteer work includes being on a weekly rota of volunteers that run the Methodist Live at Home lunches in Calverley.
“I love being with people and I like to feel helpful and useful. With the COVID-19 pandemic I think everybody has to do their bit and help where they can.
“I worked as a nurse for more than 40 years, including 20 years training students in administering injections at the University of Leeds Medical School, so I wanted to continue volunteer work in health and care as that is what I know and enjoy.
“Through the chit chat group, the lunches and other groups that I support, I get to meet and support such a wonderful mix of people, from lots of different backgrounds, and I’m enjoying the challenge of learning new skills like egg-free baking to suit people’s dietary needs.”
Since the start of the vaccination programme in late 2020, hundreds of volunteers in Leeds have given their time to ensure vaccination clinics run smoothly and efficiently, with their work including greeting patients, supervising waiting areas and car park marshalling.
Sam Prince, Executive Director of Operations for the Leeds Covid Vaccination Programme, commented:
“The vaccination programme has been an incredible achievement for Team Leeds – with all NHS organisations, Leeds City Council, and community and voluntary organisations working exceptionally hard to vaccinate 435,856 people as of 3 June 2021.
“We are extremely grateful to all the volunteers who have supported this work and played such a vital role, and Volunteers’ Week gives us all the opportunity to recognise this.”
Find out more about what the CCG volunteers do on the NHS Leeds CCG website, in the getting involved section: www.leedsccg.nhs.uk.