Requests for steward volunteers at vaccination centres right across the North East have soared within recent weeks and there are now over 2,000 shifts that need filling in sites across the country every day.
The NHS is calling on members of the public for help to ensure that everyone is vaccinated over the summer, particular in areas where there is a high demand such as our region.
Steward Volunteers support with the efficient and safe movement of patients through vaccination sites, ensuring that social distancing measures are in place and identifying people who require additional support.
The NHS Steward Volunteers Volunteer Responders programme was set up by the NHS and is delivered by Royal Voluntary Service and GoodSAM. Volunteers use a mobile phone app to choose what shifts they would like to do and when.
Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service said: “We find ourselves at a crucial moment in the vaccination rollout.
"There is a real urgency to this, and we are working at pace to get all adults vaccinated as fast as possible.
"There is a particular need for steward volunteers to help the vaccination programme reach communities most in need.
"If you are able to help by joining the team, please don’t hesitate. Together we can get the jabs done.”
The sites that are most in need of steward volunteers across the North East are:
*M&M Escomb Road Pharmacy, County Durham*Birtley Medical Group Practice, Gateshead*Newcastle Racecourse*Newcastle Eagles
*Hexham Mart, Northumberland*Wellway Pharmacy, Northumberland*Redhouse Pharmacy, Sunderland*Nightingale Hospital, Sunderland
Shifts usually last up to six hours with your expenses covered and no experience or qualifications are required, with a full briefing provided on site ahead of starting the shift.
Anyone who is interesting in signing up to be a steward volunteer should visit www.nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk.