It was party time at Bath Racecourse this week to say thank you to all the volunteers who had helped during the Covid-19 vaccination programme across Bath and North East Somerset.
Generous people from all corners of the region have played an integral part in the local vaccination programme, with thousands having come forward to offer their time and energy ever since the first lifesaving vaccine was given in December 2020.
The collective efforts of all volunteers have now been recognised by local NHS officials as part of the region’s participation in the annual Volunteers’ Week.
A celebration event for volunteers at the vaccination centre at Bath Racecourse was held on Monday 6 June, where they were thanked with a special tea party.
Elsewhere, staff and volunteers from other vaccination centres have been gifted a with commemorative thank you pin badge, which highlights their key role in the lifesaving vaccination programme.
Gill May, Director of Nursing and Quality, said: “A year ago, all of our lives were still being dominated by the continual threat of Covid-19, and it was only with the help of our generous volunteers that we were able to persevere and come out the other side with the vast majority of the local population fully vaccinated.
“I’d like to say a special thank you to everyone who has donated their time to help the vaccine programme, especially all those who cancelled their Christmas and New Year plans at the last minute to help us deliver the booster vaccination at speed and turn the tide on the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
“Although Covid-19 is not making headlines in the way it once was, the virus is still present in our communities, which is why it’s still so important for people to get vaccinated if they haven’t already, and for people who are eligible to do so to top up their immunity with a booster jab.”
Husband and wife duo, Robin and Angela Horne, were among the volunteers whose efforts were praised as part of Thank You Day.
The couple have been helping out at the Salisbury City Hall vaccination centre each week since February 2021.
Retired engineer Robin said: “To have been involved in such a large rollout of the vaccine programme has given a great purpose to each week.
“Being retired, time is your own and so it has been great to be able to give back.
“Plus, the new friendships that have been formed mean we now have a Friday gang, all of whom volunteer together each week.”
In total, more than 2.2 million Covid-19 vaccinations have been given out across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, which means more than 89 per cent of the local population have received both primary doses and the all- important booster dose.
Additionally, almost three quarters (72 per cent) of those eligible for a second booster, such as those aged over 75 and people living in care homes, have so far come forward.
Vaccinations continue to be given at venues across the region, including the larger sites at Bath Racecourse, Swindon’s Steam Museum and Salisbury City Hall.
Visit http://www.nhs.uk to book a vaccination appointment, and click on the Covid-19 banner at http://www.bswccg.nhs.uk for further information on the local rollout and more volunteer stories.