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Hundreds of people answer Council’s SOS for vaccination centre volunteers

People in Swindon have once again shown their community spirit by coming forward in their droves to help the national vaccination effort.

Published: Thursday, 25th February 2021
Vaccination volunteers at STEAM

Almost 300 people answered Swindon Borough Council’s recent appeal for volunteers to help at the COVID-19 vaccination centre at the STEAM Museum.

And the response was so overwhelming, volunteer co-ordinators no longer require any further offers of help for the vaccination clinics at the Council-owned museum.

The Council made the volunteer appeal at the end of last month for people to act as car park marshals or patient co-ordinators and very quickly Council staff, members of the public and volunteers from the Compassionate Swindon initiative put their names forward.

Council solicitor Craig Hallett was among the many people who braved the cold on the COVID frontline at the STEAM car park.

Craig said: “I saw the call for volunteers in the Council’s weekly staff e-newsletter and realised at some stage my little boy (when he’s older) will no doubt study the pandemic as part of his education. I wanted to be able to tell him I’d done something on the frontline to help.

“It’s only something small and nowhere near as amazing as those on the frontline dealing with the pandemic every day, but it’s something.

“Also, like everyone, I miss seeing my friends and family and taking part in hobbies stopped by the pandemic – I wanted to do something towards getting those back in my life.

This week, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’s Art on Tour team, with sponsorship from Pebley Beach, organised a display entitled ‘Picture of Health’ at STEAM for staff and volunteers to give them a boost while they are on their much-needed breaks.

The display shows artworks from Swindon’s collection of modern British art within the break-out space used by staff and volunteers working at the vaccination centre and will include facsimiles of artworks around the themes of health and wellbeing, such as exercise, fresh air and a healthy diet.

Councillor Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “We have seen it time and time again throughout the pandemic, but Swindon people have really big hearts.

“The volunteering throughout the summer to help the most vulnerable in our communities was really great to see and this latest show of selflessness to help the vaccination programme is a real credit to the town.

“I would like to thank everyone who offered to give up their time to help us when we needed them most, it really is very much appreciated.”

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