'Thank you' to our vaccine volunteers

By Dr Helen Wall, Senior Responsible Officer of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Bolton

To our crew of volunteers: our support network, our new friends.

It’s hard to believe that it’s only eight weeks since we began vaccinating in Bolton. December 15, 2020 – a date to remember!

In those eight weeks it’s been difficult to take a breath, to reflect on our achievements and to actually take stock of how far we’ve come.

However, I feel I must now take a few minutes to acknowledge the hard work of our volunteers – as without you, we could not have tackled the challenge that lay before us.

I have been absolutely blown away by the sheer dedication, compassion and commitment of all the volunteers that have come forward to help with the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Bolton.

I think, even as clinicians, we never really fully appreciated just how much we needed you to assist us on this mission.

And what a mission it has been! One which is by no means over, so please could I ask you to keep on doing what you’re doing?

You are so valued and so appreciated.

Many patients arrive at our vaccine centres anxious, concerned and apprehensive, not to mention often physically frail and vulnerable, simply because they haven’t been anywhere else in nine or 10 months.

The first face they meet in the car park or at the door is crucial in ensuring that they feel comfortable and happy to continue through the vaccination centre and ultimately have this life-saving vaccine.

We - and I’m sure I speak for all my clinical colleagues on this - cannot underestimate the power of a happy, smiling face to welcome our residents and take them through that journey.

This is what our volunteers have done for our town of Bolton. You have been that first point of contact, that friendly welcome and that reassurance before we even get involved.

I personally can’t thank you enough and each and every one of you should be immensely proud of yourself, and each other.

I know I am.

Dr Helen Wall with some of Bolton's vaccination volunteers

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