Urgent appeal for Torbay vaccine volunteers
- Credit: Submitted
An appeal has gone out to find volunteers in Torbay to help with one last push in a bid to beat Covid-19 as the lockdown takes hold and vaccines are rolled out.
Torbay Community Helpline is again looking for people to help with shopping, befriending, and prescription collections as well as to help marshall people arriving at the vaccination centre.
Vaccinations for extremely vulnerable, referred by their doctors, have been taking place at the Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay.
Because the vaccines from Pfizer have to be kept in strictly controlled temperature conditions, they will only be administered at the RICC; they cannot be done in people’s homes.
The helpline has been asked to help with the logistics of what is potentially a considerable operation at the Riviera Centre, which serves all parts of the Bay.
St John Ambulance staff are also helping administer the vaccinations, but more volunteers are needed to help marshall people in and out as well as provide support services, particularly for those who are nervous.
“The latest lockdown has seen a surge in calls to the helpline for people, particularly those that are shielding, in need of help and we once again need our fantastic volunteers to step up,” said a helpline spokesperson.
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“We are also aware that help is needed at the Riviera Centre as the scale of vaccinations is ramping up from this week," said the spokesperson for the helpline - a group of organisations from the charity and voluntary sector in the Bay including the Torbay Community Development Trust, Brixham Does Care, Age UK Torbay, Healthwatch Torbay, Ageing Well Torbay, Citizens Advice Torbay, the Torbay Advice Network, Homemaker Southwest and What’s Your Problem, all working alongside Torbay Council and the Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust.
“It is going to be a complex operation, but we know that there are lots of volunteers out there willing to help and so we will get this done.
“We might well need to able to drive those without their own transport to the Riviera Centre and we will need people to help them whilst they are there, particularly chaperoning those that are nervous.
“For now, these vaccines are just for the extremely vulnerable and everyone eligible is being contacted by their doctors, so please do not just turn up,” they added.
If you can help with either vaccinations or with the helpline, please contact the Torbay Community Helpline on 01803 446022, from 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday and Saturdays 9.30am to 12.30pm.