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St John Cymru volunteers give thousands of hours to support vaccination programme

Volunteers at Bayside Mass Vaccination Centre, Cardiff. Photo credit: Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Volunteers from Wales’ leading first aid charity achieved a significant milestone this month as they reach 10,000 hours of volunteer time supporting Wales’ coronavirus vaccination efforts.

Teams of highly skilled volunteers from St John Ambulance Cymru have shown extraordinary commitment by giving their time and clinical skills providing vital care to people after receiving their jabs at mass vaccination centres.

Volunteers began supporting the programme in January 2021, playing a crucial role ensuring clinical staff are freed up to get on with the job of giving vaccinations.

Volunteer efforts haven’t gone unnoticed as teams in Cardiff were shortlisted for the ‘Partnership and Systems working in volunteering’ award alongside Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and British Red Cross volunteers at last year’s Helpforce Champions Awards 2021.

The charity’s support will increase again throughout February as they work towards approximately 30 specially trained volunteers are upskilled by Swansea Bay University Health Board to administer vaccinations. Teams will be led and overseen by clinical leads within the Health Board.

St John Ambulance Cymru Vaccination Care Volunteer, Claire Stone, said:

“It’s been an absolute privilege to be a part of Wales’ vaccination programme and it’s been fantastic to see the difference our efforts have made to people in the community.

“Personally, I’ve loved seeing the smiling faces of people after they’ve had their vaccination and working alongside volunteers at the British Red Cross. It’s been great combined effort going towards supporting this vital programme.”

Benjamin Savage, Chief Operating Officer for St John Ambulance Cymru said:

“We’re immensely proud to have helped drive Wales’ response to the coronavirus pandemic and play a pivotal role in freeing up health board staff to get needles in arms.

“The clinical skills of our volunteers have ensured they’re perfectly placed to help people who need medical support after their jabs including those who feel faint or have had an adverse reaction.

“Everyone who has been involved in driving our response both on the front line and behind the scenes has played a vital role and we can’t thank them enough for dedicating their time to help.

“We’re proud to have worked alongside our healthcare partners in delivering the programme across the last year and we remain committed to supporting communities in Wales,” he added.