News

Ann’s Experience as a Vaccine Volunteer

8th March 2022

Ann was one of hundreds of vaccine volunteers who supported Barnet during the Covid-19 pandemic. A retired part-time student, her inspiring story is a great example of the camaraderie and determination our volunteers display across their roles in Barnet. Today, we mark International Women’s Day to celebrate women like Ann across our volunteers’ network, and the support they give to our borough.

What inspired me to Volunteer?

I was working in Book Retail Operations, until a few years ago when I retired. My first ever volunteer role was at the London Olympics in 2021, when was in customer services at Lords. I loved this so much. At the time I was working full-time and did not consider that I had time to volunteer further.

Fast forward to last year when I realised that I need to carve out a post retirement plan, I volunteered for the Vaccine Support role because I wanted to be involved in the community response.

My volunteering journey.

I had already found a role in the local library through Volunteering Barnet, so when I decided to look for a Vaccine Support role, that is where I went to look. Gateway were one of several pharmacies that were looking for volunteers, and they were the easiest for me to get to by bus.

I was mainly responsible for checking and organising the queues outside the centre, welcoming people and confirming the time of their appointment. At different times I also handled the ‘hygeine’ role – taking temperatures and supplying hand gel; organised the inside queues and making sure they got to the correct booth, and doing some aftercare in the 15 minutes post vaccination. there were also lots of customer questions to field or pass on to the Clinic.

The training was fine and there was lots of support from the Clinic Manager, the Vaccination and the Pharmacy staff, as well as other volunteers.

I enjoyed being outside, being busy, being useful and contributing to a nationwide effort to prevent illness.

The best thing about the experience.

I loved the personal contact with both the public and the staff in the clinic and the pharmacy. All the team at Gateway were fantastic, always patient, happy to make cups of coffee and supply biscuits and chocolate to keep us going (especially in the winter!), and making sure that when outside in the cold we all got a break inside. And so friendly!

Can I sum up my experience in 3 words?

Life-affirming. Valuable. Friendship.

If you would like to find a new volunteering experience, or would like to see how volunteering can work for you, email us on enquiry@volunteeringbarnet.org.uk or you can search our database here to find your perfect role!

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