TELLY favourite Jeremy Clarkson yesterday urged Sun readers to sign up for our Jabs Army — and cure their own lockdown blues.
Visiting a vaccination centre, he said: “Everyone is saying how bored they are. They’ve watched Netflix, gone through everything on the internet, read Google.
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Sign up at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
“Well let’s not be bored — let’s get off our bottoms and volunteer.”
Jeremy, 60, host of Who Wants to be a Millionaire and The Grand Tour, went on: “Please, please, please volunteer.
“The Sun campaign to get volunteers is so important. These volunteers here and everywhere else are vital.
“It’s a chance to have a bit of a laugh with the people waiting to be vaccinated. Everyone is capable of helping.”
Jeremy — who met Covid marshals, medics and patients at the Windrush Medical Practice in Witney, Oxfordshire — said: “It’s a small centre but even there they need 50 volunteers to keep things going throughout the week.
How to sign up
VOLUNTEERS for the Jabs Army are being asked to first register online at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
You will then receive an email with log-in details to sign up online.
Finally, you will be asked to download the GoodSAM app on a smartphone which will match you to a role in your area.
Services will be opening in the coming days and weeks, with different areas up and running at different times, so you might not be required on site for some weeks. Not everyone who signs up will need to be called upon.
You need to commit to only two six-hour shifts a month at a vaccination service, and no prior experience or qualifications are required.
You will work as part of a team that will include NHS staff and volunteers. The Royal Voluntary Service will conduct appropriate background checks.
Go to nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
“That shows how many volunteers you need across the country to make it work.
“To be involved in solving the biggest crisis we’ve seen since 1939 is so important.
“So wake up one morning and say, ‘Yeah, I’m going to do that. I’m going to volunteer’.
“When you see that 82,000 people have died and think that’s around the capacity of Wembley Stadium, it brings home what we’re going through.”
Jeremy had the coronavirus himself recently.
He added: “I was lucky compared to the poor people suffering really badly with it in hospital.
“When I was told I had it, I sat in my bedroom on my own. I didn’t feel bad with it — it felt like I had a minor cold.
“So you think, ‘I’ve got ten days of sitting here by myself with an iPad and YouPorn’ and and you think, ‘I’ll muddle through’.
“But Day 11 is typically the day you either go, ‘Great. I’m better’ or you go to hospital and you might die. You go to a fork in a road without knowing which fork you go down.”
Nearby, volunteer marshal Maddy Radburn, 75 — helping waiting patients maintain social distancing — said: “It’s such rewarding work.”
‘Everybody is quite cheery and thankful’
JO COOK has been helping at a vaccination centre, booking in the patients.
The 67-year-old is encouraging everyone to join our Jabs Army and make sure the mass roll-out is a success.
She said: “I’ve done a couple of morning shifts, which are six hours.
"Everybody is quite cheery and thankful to have the opportunity to get the injection.”
Doctor’s receptionist Jo works at the vaccine centre in Brentwood, Essex, on days off.
Another marshal, Anne Carter, 60, said: “Some haven’t been outside their homes for months so are a bit anxious.
“We reassure people and tell them the process and where they’re going.”
Sun columnist Jeremy shared a joke with 89-year-old Gillian Roberts queuing patiently.
She said: “I’m so grateful to anyone who volunteers and helps out.”
The Sun has joined forces with the NHS and the Royal Voluntary Service to urge readers to help out at pop-up vaccination centres across the UK.
You meet so many interesting people and many want a laugh and a joke. It’s great to help the national effort
You need only commit to two six-hour shifts per month and no prior experience or qualifications are needed.
The Windrush clinic is currently administering the Pfizer jab and needs six-to-eight marshalling volunteers per session.
Marshal Judith Bucknall, in her 60s, was the cheery face welcoming patients at the practice door when Jeremy arrived.
She said: “I get so much out of volunteering and would definitely recommend it to others.
“You meet so many interesting people and many want a laugh and a joke. It’s great to help the national effort.”
‘It’s good to play a part in the operation’
RETIRED school bursar Ian Wallace is already volunteering at a vaccination site.
The 68-year-old has done his first shift at the Centre for Life in Newcastle, which opened yesterday and hundreds have now had their first jab.
Ian said: “When they called for volunteers, I decided it was something I wanted to do, to help the vaccination process run as smoothly as possible.
“It’s good to play a part in an impressive operation.”
Practice senior partner Dr Stephen Smith said: “The marshals have been incredible.
“The end point is that injection of hope that we put into people’s arms. It starts with a volunteer making sure a patient goes to the right place, and getting them through the building.
"We genuinely couldn’t do it without them.”
- Sign up at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
SAFETY for our Jab Army volunteers is paramount.
Here we answer your questions about how you will be protected while working as a Steward Volunteer in a vaccine centre:
When I do my voluntary duty will I be safe from catching Covid?
Volunteer and patient safety is the NHS and Royal Voluntary Services’ top priority.
While is no upper age limit for volunteering but being a Steward Volunteer is a frontline role and is not for anyone who is in a medium or high-risk category.
Team leaders will ensure volunteers have the correct equipment to keep them safe at all times and social distancing will be in place throughout volunteer shifts.
There are lots of other volunteering roles available on the website.
Will I be asked to wear PPE?
Yes, the safety of volunteers is extremely important and you will be provided with appropriate PPE at the vaccination centres by your team leader.
Will I come in direct contact with patients?
One of the key jobs of our Steward Volunteers is to make sure people queuing up to receive their jabs are keeping to a safe social distance.
This is also includes yourself, so, where possible you will be two metres away from patients and other volunteers.
What training will I be given?
You will be provided with a comprehensive ‘Getting You Started guide’ to explain everything that is required on site.
As this is a non-clinical role, no specific training is required and once you arrive on site, team leaders will take you through a site introduction and briefing.
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