A small group of volunteers were invited to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London this month, representing the many wonderful Surrey volunteers who gave their time, expertise and energy during the Covid-19 pandemic.Joanna Gordon was one of the group who were invited. Joanna, who volunteered at the Walton vaccine centre, said, “The palace celebrations were fab and I was so honoured to have been chosen.
“A truly incredible group of people came together when the call went out for help, making volunteering both rewarding and good fun in equal measures. Not only did I feel I was making an invaluable contribution to the national campaign to fight the virus, but I met an amazing group of volunteers as well as dedicated healthcare staff. We worked tirelessly, together, with good humour, positivity and efficiency to deal daily with the wide variety of questions and anxieties faced by a local community going through an unprecedented vaccine programme – but also found time to enjoy all the lovely treats they kept bringing in to thank us! I know I speak for all Walton volunteers when I say it was a delight to volunteer and we’re proud to have been a part of the vaccination programme.”
Roberta Davenport, another volunteer who attended the celebrations, agreed: “To see London shut down was a spectacle to behold. We started off at St James’ Palace, took a picnic, went to the Mall, made our way to Green Park. We ended up in the press corner at the back of Buckingham Palace and watched all sorts of people come in including Prince Charles and Zara Phillips. It was an amazing privilege to be there.”
She added, “I started volunteering early on in the pandemic after I lost my husband. I needed to do something and found out about the initiative at Surrey Heath, providing residents with flu vaccinations to begin with and then later the Covid vaccine.
“I’ve enjoyed the volunteering, I’m going to keep on doing it. I’ve met some amazing people”
Voluntary Support North Surrey have supported five vaccination centres across the region with recruiting and scheduling volunteers. Over the last 12 months we have helped to recruit over 1100 volunteer to support the vaccination programme. At the busiest times we were filling 111 shifts per day or 3,108 hours of volunteering per week.