Ashu’s experience as a Vaccine Volunteer

31st May 2021

Since the pandemic began in March 2020, Volunteering Barnet have been involved in supporting organisations and volunteers in Covid-response roles across the borough. Ashu, a Vaccine Volunteer, was happy to share her story and experience with us!

Why I wanted to volunteer

“In ‘normal life’ I work as a Senior Consultant for an IT company. I’m based in Temple Fortune (North West London) which is somewhere in the middle of Golders Green, East Finchley and West Finchley.

I have always wanted to find ways to give back to the community and for that reason I started participating in the Charity events and supporting by donation and fundraising wherever possible. My employer has the policy in place to set aside a budget for different charities allowing the employees to apply for their selected charities.

There is so much we can offer to help those who need the most and, being a compassionate person, when the pandemic hit I thought it was the best opportunity for me to offer help and support wherever I could. So I started applying to different charities to support.

Finding Volunteering Barnet

I’m always searching online for any volunteering opportunities. A few months ago I received a notification from Volunteering Barnet for the COVID-19 testing volunteer role in schools. When I registered for this opportunity the flood gates opened for various other opportunities.

I also had the opportunity to register for a Covid-19 Vaccine Support Volunteer role, along with getting involved as a Community Garden Volunteer. A big thank you to Barnet Volunteering for giving me the opportunity!

Ashu at McParland Pharmacy

My volunteering role(s)

While I fill in for roles at different venues depending on what is required at the setting. I have been a solo volunteer for my 5.5 hours shift with HA McParland Pharmacy. Some of the duties I perform welcoming patients and confirming their appointments, helping them to fill in their consent form and sometimes filling it in on their behalf, managing the queue in order of arrival and taking the patients to the vaccinators, cleaning and sanitising the chairs and other items after every use. With the information I am given by the staff, I also try and answer people’s questions wherever possible.

It is such a rewarding role. I feel happy at the end of my shift to think that I contributed in some way. It does become challenging at times but the staff are very helpful and always willing to jump in to help. But the fact that I am able to contribute to achieving the vaccination target which will protect people from the deadly virus makes it all worthwhile.

The benefits of volunteering

The best thing about the experience is that I am still able to support as many Pharmacies, Schools and GP Surgeries as I can, given the limited time I have after my full-time job. I have met so many people through this programme; some very excited about the vaccine where some were anxious and even scared. It is very satisfying to be able to give comfort to those anxious and scared, especially since they have left their homes after months of shielding. It is also such a pleasure to see so many other volunteers who are willing to help and support for the greater cause.

How I would sum up my experience in three words:

Every Little Helps!”

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