Serving our community

Volunteers pull out all the stops for the jab programme

The Rotary Clubs of Furness, Furness Peninsula and Barrow, together with 120 volunteers, have been helping to organise and steward the Covid vaccination programme at the Alfred Barrow Medical Centre since December 2020. 

Peter Garwood was the Rotary co-ordinator for the project, and he volunteered to draw up the rotas for each vaccination session and over the whole programme he produced over 364 rotas. 

Also, in conjunction with NHS staff, he developed the way in which patients would be dealt with as they arrived at the Centre.

The volunteers turned up in all weathers to take on a role that suited them such as sanitising seats, handing out masks, manning the car park, directing people to the right place or sanitising hands. 

It is 18 months since the clinics started and, in that time, there have been 160 clinics and 98,250 jabs carried out. There has been a total of 12,900 volunteer hours including 1,200 by Peter. 

Peter said, “I have really enjoyed organising the rotas and the volunteers and I appreciate the awards that I had from BBC Look North-West and a Community Award from Love Barrow for my work. I say me, but they were really meant for the whole team.”

Some £600 was also collected for Children in Need and the Ukraine Appeal. The Rotary Club of Furness has contact with a Club in Warsaw, Poland who are co-ordinating the supply of medical items to Ukraine and the money collected has been sent to them.

The Rotary Clubs and the volunteers would also like to thank local businesses who have provided food for the volunteers. These include Asda, Morrisons, Dominos Pizzas, Greens meat pies, and in particular Tesco who have provided tea and coffee etc for the whole of the period of the vaccination campaign. 

Also the people of Barrow who have generously given tins of biscuits, chocolates and cakes.

Now that Covid is less of a threat, the last clinic for the time being, was held on Saturday 11 June at the Alfred Barrow Medical Centre.

The volunteers have enjoyed supporting the NHS in the huge task of vaccinating the population of Barrow and the surrounding area, and if there's a need in the future we'll be there! 

Report by Geoff James

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