St John Ambulance volunteers give vaccination boost at Lowestoft

St John Ambulance volunteer Mark Leggett administers COVID 19 injections at the Lowestoft Vaccination Centre.

St John Ambulance volunteer Mark Leggett administers COVID 19 injections at the Lowestoft Vaccination Centre. - Credit: St John Ambulance

Volunteers from St John Ambulance are working alongside NHS colleagues to deliver the Covid vaccination programme in Lowestoft.

Two St John volunteers work each shift at the Lowestoft vaccination centre at the town’s Old Court Building in Old Nelson Street.

This is part of the charity’s work with NHS partners across England to deliver a local response to this national programme.

One of the volunteers is newly-recruited Dawn Taylor, who is a vaccinator volunteer.

St John Ambulance volunteer Dawn Taylor administers COVID 19 injections at the Lowestoft Vaccination Centre.

St John Ambulance volunteer Dawn Taylor administers COVID 19 injections at the Lowestoft Vaccination Centre. - Credit: St John Ambulance

Explaining how she got to be on the frontline of delivering the vaccination, she said: ”Before I retired I worked for the NHS at the local hospital, The James Paget NHS Trust, for over 30 years, latterly as a Matron.

"I decided to become a vaccinator volunteer as I knew my skill set would allow me to support the phenomenal work being undertaken by both the regular NHS staff and the St John Ambulance volunteers.

"The experience of working with these fantastic teams has been marvellous and I have been welcomed wholeheartedly by everyone.

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"It’s an absolute pleasure meeting the patients who are so grateful for the work and commitment of all the teams involved in undertaking the vaccination programme across the country.”

Long-serving St John Volunteer Mark Leggett, from Westhall, added: “Normally I would be busy at the many events usually covered by St John locally but most of these have been postponed due to the pandemic.

"Having had the training to give the vaccine from St John Ambulance it is very gratifying to see the happy smiles and relief on people's faces when they've had the vaccine.”

Alex Rose, the St John Ambulance area manager responsible for their vaccination teams in Suffolk, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the NHS.

"The respect and thanks shown to vaccination centre staff, including our volunteers, has been phenomenal and I know makes such a difference to everyone involved.

"St John people are best known for helping with events that bring communities together – everything from football matches to firework displays.

"Like everyone else, we are keen to get back to normal and vaccination is, of course, a vital way of helping to make that happen.”

Nationally over 30,000 vaccination volunteers have been trained by St John Ambulance, with St John vaccination volunteers now active in more than 200 locations.

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